cover image Darned if You Do

Darned if You Do

Monica Ferris. Berkley Prime Crime, $24.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-425-27010-3

At the start of Ferris’s engaging 18th needlecraft mystery set in Excelsior, Minn. (after 2014’s The Drowning Spool), Tom Riordan, an avid junk collector, is asleep in his bedroom during a thunderstorm when an ancient elm crashes through the roof, injuring him and causing extensive damage to his house. While Tom is in the hospital with a broken leg, his next of kin, cousin Valentina Shipp, arrives from her home in Indiana. While helping to clean up Tom’s house, Valentina is astonished to find valuable collectibles amid all the clutter. When someone kills Tom in his hospital bed, the police suspect Valentina, who was once arrested on suspicion of murder. Betsy Devonshire, the owner of the town’s needlework shop, Crewel World, thinks differently, and sets out to uncover the real killer. Needlecrafting cozy fans will want to try the classic lace crochet pattern at the end. Agent: Nancy Yost, Nancy Yost Literary Agency. (Feb.)