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And Then You Dye (A Needlecraft Mystery) by…

And Then You Dye (A Needlecraft Mystery) (edition 2012)

by Monica Ferris

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653183,505 (3.18)12
Title:And Then You Dye (A Needlecraft Mystery)
Authors:Monica Ferris
Info:Berkley Hardcover (2012), Hardcover, 304 pages
Collections:Read but unowned

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And Then You Dye by Monica Ferris



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Betsy Devonshire, owner of Crewel World needleshop, has invited Hailey Brent to demonstrate her methods of fiber dyeing using natural vegetable dyes. Not long after the demonstration, Hailey is murdered in her basement workshop. Suspicion has fallen on Marge Schultz, Hailey's neighbor, who owns a local gardening center. An exchange during the dyeing demonstration revealed some bad blood between them – enough to put Marge at the top of the police's list of suspects. Marge asks Betsy to look into Hailey's murder, knowing that Betsy has successfully proved the innocence of several individuals who were falsely accused of murder.

Once again, Betsy's knowledge of the materials of her trade (needlecraft) helps her to spot clues that the police don't see as such. Betsy puts to good use what she learned about dyeing from Hailey's workshop and from one of Hailey's colleagues. All of the clues and information that Betsy gathered kept pointing to Marge as the killer. As the end of the book approached without any other viable suspects, I decided that this must be the equivalent of a case where Matlock's client was really guilty of murder. The supporting cast is part of the charm of this series, and for the most part Ferris makes good use of them in this series entry. The thread about Godwin's lover Rafael's foray into coin dealing doesn't tie in well to the rest of the book. Unless Ferris is setting the stage for the plot of a future novel, it would have been better to leave this part out. ( )
  cbl_tn | Aug 30, 2015 |
And Then You Dye is the latest installment in a series of cozy mysteries featuring Betsy Devonshire. Betsy runs a needlework shop in Excelsior, Minnesota. However, the work in her shop often gets interrupted by Betsy's sleuthing habits. This time she is asked to find the murderer of Hailey Brent. Hailey spun and dyed wool which Betsy sold in her shop ... until Hailey is found shot in her house.

This is the first book by Monica Ferris that I read. It took me some time to get into the story and the narrator. While the story itself does not depend on knowing the first books in the series, I would probably have had an easier time in getting into the story had I known the first parts. I'm certain that most of the characters appearing here were introduced earlier in the series, which would have given them more depth and background.
Considering this I was surprised at how fast I was drawn into the story. I might have needed two or three chapters, but after that I was really beginning to enjoy this cozy mystery. Betsy has a nice way of dealing with the case. She might ask around to get information, but she doesn't pry or overstep the border between legal and illegal actions. In spite of her sleuthing she recognizes the police as being the responsible body for apprehending the murderer. She rather sees herself as a person helping the police in gathering evidence and information that the police might not be able to get in their official capacity. This makes her a very amiable sleuth.

The mystery itself was well-written, with appropriate hints dropped in the right places. While I actually guessed right as to who might be the murderer, I wasn't quite certain until the person was revealed. It has been a while since I read a mystery where I found the hints so well-placed in the story. Not too obvious but still there.
Some small side-stories (like Godwin and his friend Rafael and their excursion into the world of coin collecting) provided a nice background to the story to give it life. Even though these parts did not actually belong to the mystery, I didn't find them superfluous and enjoyed them just as much as the rest of the book.

Susan Boyce does a decent job on her narration. For the first few chapters I needed some time to get accustomed to her voice. One reason for this might be that before And Then You Dye I listened to an audiobook narrated by a male narrator and for some reason I always find it easier to listen to a male voice than a female one. However, Susan Boyce's voice soon felt comfortable to my ears and her narrating a book won't keep me from listening to it in the future.

All in all this is a nice cozy mystery and I'll probably get the first fifteen books in the series as well (not all at once, but whenever I feel the need for some cozy entertainment), starting with the first. ( )
  Zurpel | Sep 22, 2013 |
Betsy Devonshire is asked by a woman who owns a garden center to prove that she did not murder the woman next door. Betsy is not all that comfortable with the investigation because she doesn't really know most of the players. Meanwhile, Goddy's lover wants him to go into business with him selling coins, and Jill contemplates getting a private investigator's license although Lars is opposed to it. This series has lost some of its charm for me. I'm not really all that interested in some of the side things such as numismatics and really don't want them littering the plot of a book that I expect to be mainly about needlework. It seems that the author has perhaps lost her passion for needlework and is more interested in the other topics she explores which really have little to do with the murder at hand. While the dyes did have a bearing on needlework, the overall novel didn't quite hold together as well as her earliest novels in the series where cross stitch was the star. ( )
  thornton37814 | Jun 3, 2013 |
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Book description
Betsy Devonshire, full-time owner of the Crewel World needlework shop and part-time sleuth, has hooked more than a few crooks in the USA Today bestselling Needlecraft Mysteries. Now Betsy learns the hard way that a murder is still murder, any way you color it…

Betsy is a natural-born yarnsmith—so it’s only fitting that some of her favorite items to stock come from the dye-works of Hailey Brent. Hailey makes hand-dyed knitting wool, silk, soy, and corn yarns. She uses only natural vegetable dyes, creating soft and beautiful colors. Which means her yarns are expensive, but well worth it.

Unfortunately, someone thinks they’re worth killing for.

When Hailey’s body is discovered shot dead in her workshop, Betsy discovers that there was a lot about Hailey she would have never guessed. Like her penchant for stealing other’s property for her own use. Her use of dangerous additives to create her so-called all-natural fibers. And a scheming mind that had made her more than one enemy.

Now, Betsy must wring the truth from a bevy of colorful suspects. Because the truth just might mean the difference between living—and dyeing…

[retrieved 5/23/2013 from Amazon.com]
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Betsy Devonshire, full-time owner of the Crewel World needlework shop and part-time sleuth, investigates the murder of yarn maker Hailey Brent who had a penchant for stealing other's property for her own use.

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