Hems & Homicide, by Elizabeth Penney (St. Martin’s, 2020)
Iris Buckley and her recently-widowed grandmother, Anne, are a good team. Add Quincy, a marmalade cat who thinks he’s the real boss, and their Ruffles & Bows shop could be a hit. If the skeleton they find in the cellar of their building doesn’t stop their grand opening plans.
Welcome to Blueberry Cove, Maine: a quiet, tourist town where everyone knows everyone’s business. Or at least they thought they did—someone may be a secret murderer.
Iris is a skilled seamstress with a special interest in vintage linens and designs. (Be prepared, “vintage” can mean 1960’s!) I appreciate how it’s her grandmother, Anne, who’s the more knowledgeable about online security.
Iris has been back in town for a few months and has reconnected with good friends from school. Also back is her high school crush, Ian Stewart, who’ll be doing the renovations on the new shop.
Hems & Homicide is book 1 in the Apron Shop Series, and it’s a clean cozy mystery in a charming setting. I enjoyed the descriptions of the rural landscape outside of town. As you’d expect with a main character who’s skilled with fabrics, descriptions often focus on colours and textiles. And as Iris and Anne investigate the long-ago death, Iris gets a peek at Anne’s life as a young woman.
This is a fun read, and a good start to a new series. Book 2, Thread and Dread, releases later in 2020. For more about Elizabeth Penney, visit elizabethpenneyauthor.com.
[Review copy from the public library.]