Crafting for Murder, by Barbara Emodi (C & T Publishing, 2023)
Secrets and schemes and small-town murder.
Empty-nester Valerie Rankin has returned to the tight-knit—and tiny—community of Gasper’s Cove on Nova Scotia’s Atlantic coast. She’s housesitting for her vacationing aunt and teaching sewing classes and trying to set up a crafter’s co-op to boost tourism.
But home isn’t the stable, unchanging place she remembers. Suddenly, she’s trying to save the family store and investigate a murder. The locals she’s known all her life aren’t who she thinks they are. At least one is a killer.
I really enjoyed this book and will definitely read the next one. The town feels like a character in its own right, and I like how ordinary Valerie and her rescue dog, Toby, are. The mystery is solid, but it’s the interpersonal relationships that unfold that make the story stick with me.
This isn’t one of those stories where the amateur sleuth has a knack for quietly finding and piecing together the clues. Valerie is impulsive, she jumps to conclusions, and she antagonizes a lot of people in her quest for justice.
One of the people she accuses says, “Maybe you should slow down on trying to figure people out and maybe notice who they are more.” [p. 157]
In short, Valerie’s a lot like most of us would be in her situation. And she has a good heart. She may be going about this the wrong way, but she’s sure it’s for the right reasons.
Crafting for Murder is sure to appeal to fans of small-town cozy mysteries. You don’t have to be a crafter or a Nova Scotian to engage with this story, but if you are you’ll feel an extra connection.
As well as her mysteries, Barbara Emodi has written instructional books on sewing. To learn about the author and her work, visit babsemodi.com. Book 2 in the Gasper’s Cove Mysteries series, Crafting Deception, is scheduled for release in December 2023.
[Review copy from the public library.]