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Framed in Lace: 10/13/15
Cozy mysteries are one of the first kinds of books I really dove into once the reading bug had finally bitten me as a teenager. Part of that is from borrowing my mother's books and part of it is growing up watching police procedural series with my grandfather. I was a steady consumer of the genre until my early thirties.
And then the time I spent reading them for fun was taken up by bedtime stories, reading books I'd borrowed from friends or acquired through BookCrossing, and ARCs. What free time I did have for reading, I didn't want to commit to a series of any sort.
In the midst of all that "assigned" reading, one of the BookCrossing books was Crewel World, the first in the Needlecraft series by Monica Ferris. I enjoyed it, released it, and went back to my piles and piles of books.
I'm done with all of those obligations (save for the occasional bedtime story) and can focus again on my own reading tastes and schedules. The first cozy I chose to revisit the genre was Framed in Lace by Monica Ferris.
Still reeling from her sister's murder, Betsy has decided to stick around Excelsior and keep the needlecraft store open. She has her staff and a small group of friends willing to help her learn the store.
Meanwhile, the local historical society is pulling a sunken ferry out of the lake to restore it, just as they'd done with another ferry sunk at the end of WWII. This one though surfaces with a skeleton. The only clue to the skeleton's ID is a scrap of lace.
Since Betsy runs the local needlecraft store, she's brought on as the resident expert. Of course, she's not, but she does know how to ask questions and how to find someone who is an expert.
This book worked a lot better for me than Crewel World. Betsy's now established as a character and her fish-out-water status doesn't need rehashing. Also, this mystery relies on two things I know first: local knowledge through canvassing, and the ease at which a typo can be propagated across records to the point of being taken as irrefutable fact.