Finished May 29
Stitch Me Deadly by Amanda Lee
This book is the second in the series featuring embroidery supply store owner Marcy Singer, but the first that I've read of hers. It is set in the small Oregon town of Tallulah Falls. Marcy recently moved here from San Francisco, leaving a career as an accountant to open her own store.
On a rainy morning, Marcy is coming down with a cold and popped out to the local cafe to get a camomile tea. As she returns, she sees an older woman approaching her store and hurries back to usher her in. The woman identifies herself as Louise Ralston, shows her an old family sampler, and asks for her help in finding ivy before falling ill. Marcy calls for an ambulance, but finds that the woman has died at the hospital.
As Marcy herself comes under suspicion in Mrs. Ralston's death, she decides to try to find out what Mrs. Ralston meant when she referred to ivy, and who might have stood to gain from her death.
There is lots going on here, with Marcy herself only recently out of a serious relationship and attracted to two local men, but not wanting to get serious with either one too quickly. Marcy's mom, Beverly Singer, a San Francisco-based costume designer, arrives early in the story to provide moral support and explain one of the pieces of evidence against Marcy.
As Marcy becomes acquainted with Mrs. Ralston's extended family, more questions are raised about behaviour and motives, and Marcy finds herself asking more questions.
The dog on the cover is Marcy's large and friendly dog Angus who is a comfort and happy companion. Marcy not only runs her shop but also offers classes several evenings a week in different needlework techniques and is constantly working on her own needlework projects. Her growing friendships with the local people in Tallulah Falls provide a community, and the small town itself provides a cosy setting for the mysterious deaths at the heart of this novel series. An enjoyable, light mystery series.