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Knitting Bones (Needlecraft Mysteries) by Monica Ferris
Cover Artist: Mary Ann Lasher
Review by Gayle Surrette
Berkley Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780425217528
Date: 04 December 2007 List Price $23.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

In Knitting Bones, Monica Ferris changes the rules of her Betsy Devonshire's mysteries. Normally, Betsy gets involved in a mystery and leaves the shop in the capable hands of her assistant, Goddy, while she solves the case. This time, Betsy is in a cast and laid up in her apartment when the check raised by the Embroiderers Guild is stolen by Allie Germaine's husband. Allie begs Betsy to help because she knows her husband is innocent and she wants him found. Betsy can't investigate so Goddy has to go into the field, while Betsy, a bit high on pain meds, has to stay in her apartment, collecting the bits and pieces of the puzzle brought to her by others. Will she still be able to solve the crime?

I like it when an author takes the time to upend our expectations of the series and its characters. Seeing Goddy learn that it's not as easy as he thought and him struggling to leave his preconceived notions out of his questions is interesting. And, this is not the Goddy we've known and loved. Sure, he's still flagrantly gay, generous, witty, and charming -- but he's also been steadied by his brush with murder and jail. All the regulars are back and you can enjoy the shop regulars coming together to aid Betsy when she can't do things for herself.

One of the hardest lessons to learn is to accept help when it's offered. Betsy is no different because she's learned to rely on herself and it's hard to accept help -- can she do it gracefully, or as gracefully as you can when you're wobbly on crutches and everything takes forever to do by yourself. This is more than a mystery being investigated and solved, it's people learning new skills and abilities even if those abilities are just a new way of looking at the world and the people around them.

If you've enjoyed the other books in the series, you'll certainly enjoy this one with the changed roles of these main characters. If you haven't read any of the series before, take a chance. Ferris gives enough back story to get you into the story and you can go back and read them from the beginning is you wish (and you probably will).

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