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Thai Die: A Needlecraft Mystery
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
#1 HALL OF FAMEon December 4, 2008
As the owner of a building containing three apartments, one of which she lives in, and where the Crewel World needlework shop is located, Betsy Devonshire is once again in the middle of a murder case. When Doris Valentine returned from Thailand, she is eager to show Betsy and the Monday Bunch all the beautiful things she found in Bangkok especially silk.

Doris also promised an American living in Bangkok that she would deliver a package to an antiquities dealer who has a buyer. She opens the box to find a stone Buddha wrapped inside bubble plastic and a filthy cloth. She throws the cloth out but Betsy sees a beautiful design on it and saves it. The dealer is unhappy that she opened his package; when Doris returns to her apartment she finds it ransacked. Needing to get away, she and a few friends stay at an inn only to have a person with a gun demanding she give up the Thai silk. With the antiques dealer murdered and Doris' life threatened, Betsy turns amateur sleuth to uncover who is behind the crime wave and why.

Monica Ferris consistently writes delightful cozies with her latest being another fun bloodless tale. Readers are treated to a wonderful cerebral whodunit with clues out in the open so that audience has a chance to solve the case. Betsy (and the audience) is dealing with a difficult inquiry because of the numerous red herrings, false leads, and the threat to her friend. Doris is glad to have her in her corner.

Harriet Klausner
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
I have read the series since the first and for the most part enjoyed it. I think that Betsy Devonshire is a fun sleuth to follow not to mention I enjoy learning about the various needlecrafts. This one though was too easy to solve - since so many folks had been killed off it was easy to figure out who the bad guy was.

I think it was nice to see the characters away from the shop - the trip to the natural wool store etc but it was too little of Betsy in this one. I listened to the audio version of the book - usually makes my long commute more pleasurable BUT alas not only did the plot have holes and was not much of a mind tangler but the woman that read this book was horrible. The cover of the audio case was loaded with accolades for her reading prowess but I have to wonder how hard the publisher had to twist the arms of the reviewers to get these glowing reviews.

This is the 3rd book of Ferris that has been done as an audio book and I wish they had been able to get the lady that read the first two. This one read like every character was over the age of 97 with those light wispy voices of the aged and she seemed to add in a healthy dose of whining in he dialogue. Since the woman reader seemed to have a deeper natural voice she did a better job with giving character to the men in the book but for any woman it was almost painful to listen to - Betsy never really got a "voice" since each paragraph of dialogue for Betsy had a different range - so Betsy either has a voice like a strangled soprano or bordering on being a deep bass male. It was so distracting to listen to this reading that I think that may have taken away from my enjoyment of the text. I did love the scenes in the book with Doris and Phil since I think it is warming to think that love is still fun when you are over 70 ! Here's hoping that book 13 will be a better mystery and that the publishers find a better narrator - and please bring back Jill I love her personality.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on December 8, 2008
The Monday Bunch needlwork group meets weekly at Betsy Davenport's Crewel World in Excelsior, Minnesota. They are anxious to brighten January's gloom with member Doris Valentine's stories about her recent trip to Thailand. They love the exotic silks, are excited by Doris' gifts of silk threads for each of them and impressed by the statue of Buddha that Doris, as a favor, has brought back for an antique dealer in nearby St. Paul. No one pays much attention to the tatty piece of silk wrapping, but Betsy doesn't throw it away.

Shortly after Doris makes her delivery, the dealer is found dead and the Buddha is not to be found at all. The mystery deepens and focuses on the piece of silk that Betsy rescued. Now Betsy, with some help for Sergeant Mike Malloy, uses her sleuthing skills to unravel the mystery.

This is the twelfth in Monica Ferris's series featuring the adventures of Betsy and the stitching gang at the shop. The book is well-crafted. As the plot unfolds, the reader can work alongside Betsy. All the clues are there for solving the mystery. Ferris has a great sense of place--she captures the Minnesota winter so realistically that the reader may find herself reaching for a sweater and a steamy cup of tea. While the emphasis on stitching will make this book especially interesting to those who share the hobby, it should also appeal to the general reader.

by Patricia Nordyke Pando
for Story Circle Book Reviews
reviewing books by, for, and about women
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 12, 2009
Monica Ferris writes her first "international" flavored mystery in the needle craft series. This is a good addition to the others in the series. I am sad to say though, I was distracted by the editor's mistakes. Several words were miss used (they instead of that, or "been" written twice). That may seem a little petty but an author of this talent should have a more thorough editor, in my opinion. With that being said, I read this book in one day--wanting to find out who the "Killer" was. Monica Ferris writes a very nice "bloodless" murder mystery with small town charm!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 23, 2009
There are twists and turns in all of the Ferris books, and the casts of characters are always interesting. Ferris always adds information on subjects in her stories that educate the reader, and Thai Die is no exception. I didn't realize I knew so little about silk until I read this book. Well worth reading, and I truly look forward to her next book.
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I've read several (but not all) in the Crewel World series--it's never the first set I think of when browsing a bookstore looking for a quick mystery but is one I've enjoyed in the past. This installment is no different.

The mystery is not outstanding--the clues are not obvious enough to be caught the first time through and the killer is not particularly well fleshed out. But that's pretty much what you expect in these books--a good stable of regulars (who have been detailed in the past and continue to grow with this book) and some cardboard cut-out types who apear only in the current installment.

The background information on needle crafts and, in this case, Asian silks, make for fascinating reading and help carry the plot along.

All in all, this book is worth the price of a paperback and the few short hours that you will spend in the Minnesota setting.
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on December 27, 2014
This is the 12th book in the Needlecraft Mystery series. Betsy’s friend Doris has just returned from a trip to Thailand and comes to the shop to show off some souvenirs. She has also brought an unusual Buddha statue that she was asked to deliver to an antique shop in town. Her return is documented in the local paper. Doris is shocked to find out that her apartment has been ransacked with many of the items from Thailand stolen. Things get worse when the antique shop owner is found murdered. Betsy gets involved and it is clear that things are more complex than they appear and Doris’ life is in danger if they don’t figure out what the killer is looking for and why it is so valuable. While this one is at times a bit overdramatic, it is still a fun story taken in the spirit of a cozy mystery. A needlework pattern is included at the end of the book.
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on February 14, 2009
Monica Ferris' THAI DIE tells of one Betsy, who runs a needlework shop and is a store-owner and part-time sleuth. Just back from a trip to Thailand, Doris is eager to show her needlework friends some special souvenirs. When a burglary results and some of her things are taken, murder enters the picture and Betsy is drawn to wonder about Doris' foreign treasures in this excellent novel of needlework intrigue. Excelling in unusual settings and plots that go above and beyond your usual 'whodunnit', this is a highly recommended pick for any discriminating mystery library.
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on April 19, 2012
This is the only time I've had trouble receiving a book from Amazon. I had to contact the company to have them send another copy since the first one never arrived. I finally received my copy the second week in April. I love Monica Ferris mysteries, and this one was in a series that needed to be read in order. The book is fun and interesting, but I'll think twice before ordering from that company again.
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on August 28, 2012
Monica Ferris weaves another page turning mystery featuring Needlework shop owner Betsy Devonshire. It is an enjoyable cozy mystery that exercises the mind 'just enough'. Keeping all of the characters straight was a little bit of a challenge, but she tied together all of the threads of the story well.
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