The Drowning Spool: 11/15/16
The Drowning Spool by Monica Ferris is the seventeenth of the Needlecraft series. Betsy has a routine that involves morning exercise at the local pool. When it is closed for renovation, Betsy's put in the right place at the right time to be part of another murder investigation.
There's a new senior center, Watered Silk, that is offering to host the water aerobics while the other pool is being repaired. Although the building boasts modern day security features including 24/7 onsite guards and keycards, a young woman is found floating dead in the pool.
While it sounds like the typical set up for this series, nothing comes together quite right. The first hinderance is one of the residents of Watered Silk, a woman with Alzheimers who seems gleefully happy at her situation and uses her disease to misbehave as much as possible. She's not a believable character and she borders on unfortunate comic relief, something this series hasn't relied on before and hopefully won't again.
Then there's Water Silk itself. Whenever Alzheimer's is brought up, someone who either lives there or works there, blithely says how the worst patients are locked up for their protection. What? I really was expecting the crime to be centered on the poor management of this awful retirement home.
No instead the whole damn thing is obsessed over the sex life of an unmarried woman. It's not that sex shouldn't be part of the series, the topic has come up before. But usually it's done in a more mature manner. This time it reads like a throwback to a Mexican divorce episode of Perry Mason.