Thursday, March 20, 2014


Publisher:  Berkley
Published:   June 5, 2012
Genre:   Cozy Mystery
Format:  Paperback
Obtained via:  Publisher
Reviewed by name and email address:  Gina

Four Hearts

Willow Vanderling’s embroidery shop, In Stitches, has been selected as the store to present a Chandler Champion embroidery machine to the winner of its nationwide contest.  Local Mom of the Year, Darlene Coddlefield is that lucky winner.  On the day of the presentation Chandler representative Felicity Ranquels has some definite ideas about how the event should go including how Willow should rearrange her shop.  Not one to be easily satisfied Felicity finds fault from lights to other in house displays.  All is finally ready and the winner arrives with her children, all six of them, in tow.  Each child wears a beautifully made dress or shirt and Darlene is one proud mama and seamstress. 

But then something goes wrong, very wrong, because Darlene is found dead—killed by her brand new sewing machine.  At first her death is ruled an accident but soon Willow begins to notice some things that just don’t add up.  When she and best friend Halley begin training to become volunteer fire fighters she is disturbed by how some of the recruits behave and then there is that mysterious fireman who keeps showing up at odd places along with a number of mysterious fires. 

Are the fires related to each other?  And what about the killer sewing machine?  Does it really have a mind of its own?  And let us know forget Felicity and her ideas of perfection—would she, could she, kill something less than perfect?

I wasn’t too sure about continuing on with Janet Bolin’s Threadville mystery series because rather than quirky, some of her characters were annoying, especially the Chief of Police.  I was delightfully surprised with book 2, THREADED FOR TROUBLE because not only did she move characters I didn’t care for on but honed and enhanced those that were solid parts of the story.  They are still a tad quirky, which is one of the reasons I enjoy cozy mysteries.  There is more substance to them and a wonderful progression in their development.  Relationships begun in book 1 have moved along nicely with no sudden, unrealistic leaps.

The mystery of who killed Darlene is well done with a solid twist.  I didn’t see the killer or the reason why coming.  I’m looking forward to book 3, THREAD AND BURIED.  .

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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