source: free ARC via NetGalley / Crooked Lane Books
title: A Crafter Quilts a Crime: A Handcrafted Mystery
author: Holly Quinn
published: Crooked Lane Books (February 11, 2020)
genre: cozy mystery
first line: Sammy Kane clutched the navy scarf closer to her neck, hoping to rebuff the frigid air threatening to penetrate any air pocket in her winter coat.
Perfect for fans of Betty Hechtman and Maggie Sefton, Holly Quinn’s third Handcrafted mystery aspires to wrap you in its warmth.
Community Craft proprietor Sammy Kane must piece together a patchwork of clues when a “live” mannequin ends up stone-cold dead.
Snowcapped pines and glittery dusted sidewalks adorn tranquil Heartsford, Wisconsin, while residents cuddle beneath heirloom quilts in front of cozy wood fires. But come the next day, the below-zero temperatures won’t keep the locals away from Heartsford’s annual Fire & Ice event. To boost customer traffic at Community Craft’s one-night-only sale, Samantha “Sammy” Kane persuades a few of the craftspeople who sell their wares at the store to participate in a live mannequin window display contest.
Local quilter Wanda Wadsworth emerges as a favorite to win the contest, as she manages to not move a muscle for an unusual amount of time. Onlookers outside the window try everything to get her to crack–tapping on the glass and making funny faces–but nothing disrupts Wanda’s stillness. When the eagle-eyed spectators realize Wanda isn’t breathing, a blanket of grief and fear descends upon the wintry town.
Detective Liam Nash can’t seem to piece the clues together. Fortunately, Sammy’s cousin, Heidi, and her sister, Ellie, are on hand to reconvene their detective team, S.H.E. They set out to solve Wanda’s untimely death before the case grows as icy as a sub-zero Wisconsin winter. But they are all too aware that the killer is too close for comfort.
In this installment Sammy Kane sets up a live mannequin display in her shop for the annual Fire & Ice event in her town. The event is a big deal and all the shop owners participate and the townspeople come out to see. Sammy sets up a live window display contest but one of the contestants, a quilter named Wanda Wadsworth, winds up dead in the display after being poisoned. Soon enough police discover Wanda’s husband is missing and this makes him a prime suspect in her murder. Sammy decides to do some investigating along with her sister Ellie and her cousin Heidi.
I have to say, I liked the cozy setting here and the author did a great job at giving the story a wintry feel. I crochet often so I enjoy reading stories about crafting. I liked following along as the clues began to unfold and different characters and possibilities are introduced into the story. Wanda herself left behind a quilt that may hold clues to help solve her murder and Sammy, Ellie and Heidi begin trying to piece the puzzle together.
However, I found the story moved along a slow pace. The book picks up the pace towards the latter half as the mystery is close to being solved but by then I was irritated with some of the silly decisions Sammy was making. Also in the mix is Sam’s love interest Detective Nash who is working the case and wants Sam to stop trying to solve the murder herself. The ending wraps it all up and I didn’t guess who did it until the author shared that. Overall, this was a good read but I wish it moved a little bit faster. Don’t let my review deter you from trying this one, it has some good reviews on Goodreads.
About the Author
Holly Quinn has published two stand-alone fiction novels in another persona. She graduated from Carroll University in Wisconsin with a Bachelor of Science in business and a minor in marketing. This is her third Handcrafted mystery.
Disclaimer: This review is my honest opinion. I did not receive any kind of compensation for reading and reviewing this book. I am under no obligation to write a positive review. My free ARC of A Crafter Quilts a Crime: A Handcrafted Mystery arrived via NetGalley / Crooked Lane Books. Some of these links are affiliate links.