When murder strikes the small town of Tallulah Falls, embroidery shop owner Marcy Singer isn’t afraid of getting into the knitty-gritty to clear her own name…
For most small-business owners in Tallulah Falls, the upcoming Renaissance Faire is a wonderful way to promote their specialty shops. For Marcy’s nemesis, Nellie, and her sister Clara, it’s an opportunity to finally put Marcy and her shop, the Seven-Year Stitch, out of business. Apparently the sisters like to keep their grudges all in the family and have set up a competing booth right next to Marcy’s at the Faire.
When Clara is discovered dead in her own booth—strangled by the scarf she had almost finished knitting—Marcy becomes the prime suspect. Now she has to do whatever it takes to keep her reputation from unraveling and get to the bottom of a most deadly yarn…
This is my third trip to Talullah Falls. I have also read two other books in Lee/Trent's "Embroidery Shop" series, Thread on Arrival (#5) and Thread End (#7). Each visit further cements this fiction town as one of my favorite vicarious destinations.
The last time I was in town, thank goodness there was a vacant store between Marcy's embroidery store, "The Seven-Year Stitch" and Nellie's store. Nellie is a bitter older woman who would like nothing better than for Marcy to leave town. Unfortunately for Marcy, Nellie's sister, the widow Clara, has taken a lease on the vacancy and set up a shop that would be competing for Marcy's clientele.
Thank goodness there is a Renaissance Faire set to begin shortly in town and Marcy has made all sorts of Renaissance-style garments (with fancy embroidery, of course) to sell in her stall at the Faire. Want to venture a guess on which Tallulah Falls business has the stall right next to Marcy's? And anyone who thinks to senior ladies cannot be a passel of trouble doesn't know my husband's paternal Mamaw (whom I loved as much as my own).
Lee/Trent has created a lovely small community where the people care for each other. When Marcy's booth is vandalized and most of her hand-embroidered, irreplaceable items are shredded and destroyed, the Faire's merchants chip in and bring her 'presents' from their stalls to replace the stock.
There are also enough secrets and skeletons in the town's closets to fuel eight books (so far), and hopefully more, as long as the author cares to work on this series. The whodunit element in Wicked Stitch was as intricate as the patterns Marcy embroidered on the items in her stall and at her store: criss-crossed lines, intentional misdirection meant to throw the authorities (and everyone else) off the murderer's tracks.
So, if you are looking for your next good story, whether you are a cozy veteran or have never read one before, consider Wicked Stitch by Amanda Lee. (You could also start at the beginning of the series with The Quick and the Thread.)
Gayle Trent (writing as Amanda Lee) writes the embroidery mystery series. The series features a heroine who recently moved to the Oregon coast to open an embroidery specialty shop. Marcy Singer left her home in San Francisco, along with the humiliation of being left at the altar, in order to move to Tallulah Falls and realize her dream of owning her own shop. She takes along her faithful companion, a one-year-old Irish wolfhound named Angus O’Ruff. She makes many new friends in Tallulah Falls, but she also makes a few enemies. Thankfully, her best friend Sadie MacKenzie and her husband Blake run the coffeehouse right down the street from Marcy’s shop, the Seven-Year Stitch; and Detective Ted Nash always has her back. Gayle/Amanda lives in Virginia when she’s not inhabiting the fictional world of Tallulah Falls.
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(Disclosure: I received a print copy of this book from the author and publisher via GEBT in exchange for my honest and unbiased review).