cover image The Drowning Spool

The Drowning Spool

Monica Ferris. Berkley Prime Crime, $24.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-425-27008-0

In Ferris's diverting 17th needlecraft mystery (after 2012's And Then You Dye), intrepid needlework shop owner Betsy Devonshire has to exercise at Watered Silk, a senior living facility near her home in Excelsior, Minn., because the pool at her regular gym is under repair. When the nude body of a young woman turns up in the Watered Silk pool, it raises several questions. Who is she? How did she get in past the five locked doors? And why is there lavender bath salts in her lungs? The realistic needlework details are germane to the investigation, which includes a second death. Readers will readily accept that Betsy is smarter than the cops and that the police welcome her contributions. A tougher sell is her adoring live-in boyfriend, Connor Sullivan, who cooks, cleans, knits, shops for groceries, makes Betsy tea when she's stressed, and sits quietly by while she cogitates on the crime du jour. And pigs fly. Agent: Nancy Yost, Nancy Yost Literary Agency. (Feb.)