Threads of Deceit
Threads of Deceit
by Mae Fox & Jan Fields
(Vineyard Quilt Mysteries)
Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Annie’s (April 1, 2015)
E-Book ASIN: B00Q1UF8X2
The first in a new mystery series—for quilters and mystery lovers alike!
Former antiquities bounty hunter, Julie Ellis, is on the run, trying to stay one stiletto step ahead of her past. She accepts a position as manager of the Quilt Haus Inn in Missouri wine country, thinking it the perfect place to keep a low profile and start a new, less-dangerous career. It is—until Daniel Franklin walks through the door and asks for a room.
What I Thought:
This book kept my attention throughout. It was an okay book, I didn't really connect with the characters very well for some reason. I wanted to find out who was behind the murder and the cover-up, so it kept me turning the pages. This is a quick read, it is possible to read it in one day. I would read more books in this series if given the opportunity. Maybe I could connect with some of the other characters in this series better. Good job, this was a well thought out mystery.
I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.
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Cozy mysteries have something in common with children’s books – they struggle to get much respect in the “literary” world. They’re light and fun and filled with hope, things that tend to make them easy for the lofty world of literature to scorn. Cozies are an escape. They’re entertainment. Dare I say it? Cozies are a bit of fluff, but a wonderful bit.
If you think about any harder edged mystery series, you’ll notice they usually get darker and darker as the series progresses. As the authors “up the stakes” for the characters, they end up raining misery down on them. Since mystery heroes are often heavily flawed people anyway, the pressure of book after book of misery and loss can turn a series pretty bleak. But cozy mysteries usually don’t fall into this trap – so why is that?
For one, a cozy mystery is usually about character relationships as much as it is about the puzzle of the mystery. And for the amateur detective, the relationships might be annoying or frustrating or even a teensy bit dysfunctional, but they’re almost always marked by love. The main character in a cozy mystery nearly always has someone who loves him or her unconditionally – even if it’s just the cat. The character doesn’t have to “go it alone” when things get tough. The mystery is usually set in a tight community and so there are long-term relationships in play. In many of the mysteries I’ve written, THREADS OF DECEIT included, the main character has both a light romantic connection with someone and a strong, platonic bond with someone. These two people then give the character a place to rest emotionally when things get tough. In THREADS OF DECEIT, the character of Hannah isn’t exactly cuddly, but she always has Julie’s back when things get tough.
Also, cozy mysteries are puzzle based, not trauma based. In a harder edged mystery, someone dies horribly and we are usually invited to ponder the horror of the victim’s last hours. In a cozy, all dying takes place off stage, often involves someone we aren’t particularly attached to (or sometimes someone we rather heavily dislike) and the focus is on solving the puzzle. Puzzle solving is fun, and the main character is usually having a good time working out the solution – even when he or she stumbles into trouble. In THREADS OF DECEIT, Julie is just beginning to chafe under the demands of her job when an adventure falls in her lap, and she’s thrilled to pursue it. Even when things get rocky, Julie never considers just dropping the mystery, because she’s not a quitter (and because she loves the thrill of the hunt).
Another element of the cozy mystery is that the main character is almost always whole. Edgier mysteries tend to have main characters who are filled with pain – sorrow or rage or some kind of driving angst. The characters are broken by some horrible event. Now, a cozy character may be dealing with a difficult life situation and with change, but we never get the feeling the person is broken. A cozy amateur detective usually has a busy life filled with non-mystery work or volunteering or passion for some craft – the cozy amateur detective doesn’t usually live solely for the mystery. Instead, the mystery drops into a full life and gives the amateur detective something new and adventurous to do.
All of these things combine to give us mysteries that both entertain and boost our own morale as we read about supportive friends, productive people, and problems that are well able to be solved. They’re a happy pill in book form, an addiction that makes us happier people when we indulge in it. In a world that worries us daily, cozies remind us that they’re always hope. What more could we ask of them?