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Thai Die: 06/12/16
Thai Die by Monica Ferris is the twelfth of the Needlecraft Mysteries. Doris Valentine, a regular of the Monday Brunch, returns from a solo trip to Thailand. The trip has done her wonders and she's brought along souvenirs, including a standing Buddha wrapped in a nasty old rag. That one, though, she's brought back for a local antiques dealer.
Read enough cozies and this set up will send alarm bells blaring in the back of your head. It certainly did for me. The set up is nearly identical to Murder Under Cover (though in all fairness, Thai Die was published three years earlier, but I read second). There the item was a Kama Sutra and the rag was a scarf but the set up is otherwise the same.
Going into the same story, knowing what would be the motivation for the murder(s), I was very reluctant to continue reading. Thankfully here, the hook of the series — needlecraft — naturally draws the attention to the rag, rather than to the Buddha.
That said, the story felt more by the numbers than others in the Needlecraft Mysteries. Even if I hadn't recently read Murder Under Cover I would have still seen the plot coming. When something is smuggled in disguised as something that can be thrown away it naturally leads to a dangerous McGuffin driven plot. The real piece gets tossed away by the mule before the less important piece is delivered. The recipient so upset over the missing item goes on a murder spree, trying to track down the item. The growing body count threatens the well being of the protagonist and those close to them, so that they are forced to figure out what the murderer is really after and why.