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Friday, October 24, 2014

Buttons and Bones by Monica Ferris (Needlecraft Mystery #14)

Buttons and Bones (A Needlecraft Mystery, #14)Buttons and Bones by Monica Ferris

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Jacket Blurb: Owner of the Crewel World needlework shop and part-time sleuth Betsy Devonshire heads for the Minnesota north woods to renovate an old cabin. But beneath the awful linoleum is something even uglier- the skeleton of a Nazi. Betsy's investigation yields the site of a former German POW camp, a mysterious crocheted rug, and an intricately designed pattern of clues to a decades-old crime.

After a couple of meh thriller-mysteries,  I needed something solid, dependable, and well, cozy.  Monica Ferris's Needlecraft mysteries fits this requirement to a T.  Kinda a Murder She Wrote type series, it features a vibrant woman over 60, who's found herself transplanted from California to Excelsior MN, running her deceased sisters needlepoint and yarn shop (Crewel World) and solving mysteries on the side.  She's methodical,  talks to people, makes mistakes, and calls the cops when she should call the cops, and makes no claims to being anything more than an amateur sleuth.  No hysterics, no moodiness, no running off by herself. 

In this current book, Betsy helps her best friend Jan solve the question of whose bones were found in the root cellar of Jan and Lars newly purchased Northwoods cabin.  The mystery takes the reader back to the 1940's in World War I embroiled country.  I applaud Ms Ferris for taking the "murders" away from Excelsior and for creating mysteries that revolve around people long since deceased.   Not every "Mystery" has to be someone recently dead.

The book is by no means perfect; there are more loose threads than an unraveling rug (which was one of the loose threads), a bit of dialog repetition and lots of unnecessary driving.  I also question the quick "forensics" decision of the deceased's body.  Seemed...unlikely.  Just sayin'. 

What I like about these books is they are light, faced paced, engaging, and perfect for a quiet weekend, a beach read, or travel.   Recommended.  Can be read as a stand alone, but I do suggest starting at the beginning of the series for the most enjoyment.

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