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Blackwork (Needlecraft Mystery) Hardcover – October 6, 2009


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Product Details

  • Series: Needlecraft Mystery (Book 13)
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Hardcover; 1 edition (October 6, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425229904
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425229903
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,692,939 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Ferris's spooky 13th needlecraft mystery (after 2008's Thai Die) finds Betsy Devonshire, owner of the Crewel World needlework shop, preparing for the upcoming Halloween festivities in Excelsior, Minn., along with a host of other locals, including Leona Cunningham, a Wiccan and senior partner in a microbrewery pub, who's mixing a new brew called Don't Be Afraid of the Dark Ale. When Ryan McMurphy, an auto mechanic who's offered his restored antique fire truck for the parade, turns up dead in a friend's basement sewing room, Betsy once again puts on her sleuthing cap. Some of the stitchers, who serve as a sort of friendly Greek chorus, are into blackwork, an intricate reversible form of embroidery. Instructions for a blackwork pattern, Witchwork, appear at the end. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Monica Ferris is the USA Today bestselling author of several mystery series under various pseudonyms.

More About the Author

Monica Ferris is the USA Today bestselling author of several mystery series under various pseudonyms.

Customer Reviews

I find this series a great read and look forward to reading the next installment.
Brenda Casto
Unfortunately, the characters were so generic I kept having to refer back to the blurb to remember who the main character was supposed to be...ugh!
J. Copeland
Story line moved fast enough to keep the reader's interest without being confusing.
maryn

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Edie VINE VOICE on October 17, 2009
Format: Hardcover
It is Halloween and the owner of the Crewel World needlework shop and part-time sleuth Betsy Devonshire has so far unraveled a number of mysteries.

This time of year, when the goblins and witches are out in full force, people are easily spooked. Leona Cunningham is the owner of a popular microbrewery called The Barleywine, and a practitioner of Wicca.

Leona is troubled by the accusations of alcoholic Ryan McMurphy as he tells everyone around town that she is a real witch. He is starting to have an affect on her business.

As the Monday Bunch meet for their weekly get-together at Crewel World to work on their respective projects, the news and views of the small town are thoroughly discussed, including a recent destructive attack on Leona's property.

When Ryan is found dead in a locked room without any marks on his body, Leona becomes the main suspect.

Although reluctant to become involved, Betsy is soon on the case and the killer is in trouble as a growing number of clues lead Betsy through a series of suspects to the unexpected culprit.

Monica Ferris has constructed another interesting mystery that will keep most readers guessing to the end. Those who are not comfortable with reading about the practice of Wicca may not enjoy this book as much as the other books in the series.

As is usual with any theme cozy mystery, there is much talk about the main topic - in this case, crewelwork and its themes, patterns, and stitches. At the end of the book, a crewel pattern of a witch's hat is included. Directions are provided as well as a website address for further information.

The novel's theme fits into the Halloween season and could become a popular yearly fall read.

Blackwork (Needlecraft Mystery)
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By B Squared on October 15, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Monica Ferris is at it again with her lively sleuth and shop-owner, Betsy Devonshire.

This time, the prime suspect is a member of the Wicca religion - many people blame her because the murder is not easily explained and her religion not understood. So what they don't understand, they condemn.

But the careful reader can see what's going on. There are no real twists and turns and sudden surprising revelations. (I guessed the murderer - but it's not easy). If you pay attention to the details, everything makes a lot of sense - extremely satisfying.

The new characters are both believable and likable. Personally, I'd like to see more of the shop and less of the surrounding village politics. But the mystery is straight forward and an ideal entertainment for the Halloween season.
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14 of 19 people found the following review helpful By no one of consequence on November 4, 2009
Format: Hardcover
The charm of this series has worn off. While I appreciate the research done into beer brewing, it's inserted so clumsily into the storyline that I wonder if whole sections weren't just copied from email correspondence the author had with Field experts.

In addition, the way the author writes the character of Godwin is condescending. He is a gay man, who when he's excited, speaks in italics. She writes him as a young, naive, histrionic person (going so far as to have his new boyfriend nickname him, "Little Sparrow"). It's a simpering stereotype and a little bit goes a VERY long way.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By T Reader on March 12, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Betsy Devonshire, the main character, is the owner of needlecraft store Crewel World.

When a man dies after taunting a Wiccan (who after all, must have cast a spell on the poor man), ta-da!, Betsy must investigate.

Now, there is absolutely no reason for Betsy to become involved in the crime. However, Betsy and the townspeople (and it seems, some of the local police, rather frightening), feel that Betsy is The Only One who can solve the crime. Betsy goes around asking people for alibis, and people talk to her instead of telling her to get lost. What's up with that?

In addition to the unappealing smugness that Betsy is the Only One who can solve the crime, Betsy is a rather bland character. The characters surrounding her are rather bland. There really is nothing to this series. I don't think I'll be eagerly awaiting the next installment. Hopefully the Wiccan won't put a curse on me for saying that :)
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J. Copeland on February 23, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is my first, and last, foray into this series. I was so excited when I read the blurb. Ohh...needlework...oh...wicca... oh ... brewing. All right!! Bring it on! Unfortunately, the characters were so generic I kept having to refer back to the blurb to remember who the main character was supposed to be...ugh!

It didn't help that I didn't care for her writing style. It is more literary in that she kept telling the reader what was going on rather than showing it to them. Even that wasn't in an interesting enough fashion to keep me reading.

Thankfully, I got this from the library.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By B. Baldwin on July 10, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I dolike Monica Ferris' mysteries.Yet sometimes she tries to put all of her characters into her stories & they don't need to be. This mystery was very easy to figure out. I'll continue to read her books but hope the next book is more interesting.
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Format: Hardcover
Monica Ferris does it again. I love her needlework/murder mystery series. In the latest installment we find Excelsor getting ready for a Halloween parade. There is a local wiccan that creates her own microbrews and her newest brew is called Not afraid of the Dark Brew. There is also a superstitious alcholic that winds up dead after taunting the wiccan at her restraunt. Now the mystery is who done it? The wiccan asks Betsy, who owns Crewel World Needlework shop and also is a part time sleuth, to help solve the murder because all of the talk about her possibly putting a curse on the dead man is hurting her business. The author throws in several subtle clues as to who the murderer is.I had it figured out long before the author reveals it in the book. I find this series a great read and look forward to reading the next installment.
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