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Monica Ferris: Embroidered Truths

 

Crescent Blues Book Views Berkley Prime Crime (Hardcover), ISBN 0-425-20301-8

Book: monica ferris, embroidered truths
Craft shop owner Betsy Devonshire finds herself thrust into yet another mystery. This time, the police believe her shop manager -- sweet, flirtatious and very gay Godwin DuLac -- killed his longtime lover, John Nye. True, the pair recently argued and John tossed Godwin out. But after fighting before, they always made up.

This time they didn't get a chance to. A phone call from John's office clues Betsy and Godwin in that John didn't show up from work. They go to his house to check on him and find him dead on the floor. The police arrest Godwin, believing he killed John for the rich lawyer's inheritance, and Betsy gets on the case.

A search of the house indicates someone visited John the day of his death -- another lover, it appears. As she digs a little deeper with the help of John's brother Charlie and a teenage computer whiz named Gary, Betsy eventually discovers that John set up a whole new identity -- one with a significant bank account. John also recently argued with coworker David Shaker -- the office pit bull, according to one fellow lawyer and craft shop customer. When Betsy's spy in the law firm winds up in the hospital after falling out of the trunk of a car, Betsy realizes who killed John.

On the whole, Embroidered Truths makes for an OK mystery. The plot comes across as sound, but Betsy's solution seems outlandish. One quick "A-ha" moment, and suddenly she and a police officer arrest the killer. The police officer doesn't ask too many questions; he just blindly accepts her assertions.

In addition, some of the scenes just fall flat. Betsy goes to hire an attorney for Godwin and only asks three or four questions, which seems entirely strange. Surely she needed to ask about the attorney's experience, background, case record, personal philosophy, etc. But no, she took a mere five minutes to decide on one over the other. And I found it difficult to believe an attorney would let her continue investigating the crime as an unofficial private investigator. Still, the book made for a fairly entertaining, if pretty predictable, read.

Jen Foote

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