Sunday, September 25, 2005

Another Review: Crewel Yule

I was going to hold off reading this one until Christmas, but I caved. I have had a head cold and didn't feel like stitching last Sunday, so I read this instead. This is my favorite of the Monica Ferris stitching series. The absolute best.

Setting this book at the International Retailers Needlework Guild annual meeting was genius. We got to see "famous" needlework designers, and I have to say she describes them pretty well: there's Frank and Judy Bielec (Mosey N Me), Terrence Nolan (Dimples Designs), Betsy Stinner (Earth Threads), and Doug Krienik (duh, from Krienik). I am still researching to see if there really is a man with a needlework shop in Philadelphia. I hope so! It really felt like a "needlework" mystery because of the setting, even though, in the end, there's probably not much needlework in the mystery. (The only craft mystery I've read where the solution is in the craft was the collage mystery in Murder Most Crafty.)

It was fun to see "market" from the inside. Much more fun, incidentally, than the only other mystery that I have read that is set at an annual meeting: Murder at the MLA. (For those not in the know the MLA is the Modern Languages Association the organization for academics who study, you know, English and stuff. I mention English not only because it was my subject, but because it sort of dominated the association. The MLA meeting is held the week between Christmas and New Years which has to be the Dumbest Time Ever to hold a meeting. It is also where graduate students go to supplicate interview for jobs. It is hugely crowded--something like 10,000 people show up--and fraught with anxiety, jockeying, and ass-kissing. In short, it's horrible and I'd rather kill myself than go back there again.) Murder at the MLA was an awful book, despite being a very accurate account of the meeting.

In addition, the mystery was the tightest ever. There were three plausible suspects and we all--reader and characters--kept boucing back and forth about who it could be. The solution hinges on the kind of conversation that no one would really remember, but I was okay with that.

Of course, it was again marred by editing oversights. Betsey Stinner shows up as "Susan Stinner" once and another word has two a's in it when it should just have one. And the first time Doug Krienik is mentioned, he's just called "Krienik." Am I the only editor reading these things?

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