Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Review and Giveaway: Thread Reckoning

Thread Reckoning (Embroidery Mystery - Book 3) by Amanda Lee

Publication Date: September 2011
Publisher: Penguin Group USA
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Pages: Paperback, 336pp
ISBN-13: 9780451234551
ISBN: 0451234553

(Received for an honest review from Obsidian Mystery)

Purchase: Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, IndieBound

Amanda Lee  (Gayle Trent) on the WEB: website, blog, facebook, twitter


Cupid's arrow is making its way to Tallulah Falls, Oregon, bringing lots of business to Marcy Singer's embroidery specialty shop. But the course of true love never has run smoothly...

St. Valentine's Day is fast approaching, and residents are in a romantic frame of mind. In fact, one blushing bride has commissioned Marcy to embellish her mother's vintage wedding gown with jewels for her Valentine's Day wedding. Marcy is delighted - until she finds that the worst bridezillas have nothing on this bride-to-be...

But when the bride's future mother-in-law is found stabbed to death outside Marcy's shop, matters go from bad to worse. The mother-in-law had the jewels Marcy is to sew on the dress - and some are missing. Now Marcy's the prime suspect, and she's making herself the prime investigator to solve a jewel caper gone deadly wrong...


Thread Reckoning, the third installment in the Embroidery Mystery series by Amanda Lee will have cozy fans glued to their seats. When Marcy Singer came to Tallulah Falls, Oregon she had just been jilted at the altar and now with her Embroidery shop, Seven Year Itch, flourishing she is asked to embellish a vintage gown for a St. Valentine's wedding. The beautiful fake jewels that are to decorate the gown are provided by the bride's future mother-in-law, but when she ends up dead outside Marcy's shop, and the gems are genuine, all eyes turn in Marcy's direction as a person of interest in the murder.

Amanda Lee once again brings readers a cozy mystery set against the backdrop of embroidery. As an embroiderer and cross-stitcher myself, I was interested to see how the author used her craft in the story. The gown on the cover of the book looks absolutely amazing and I found myself contemplating how I would go about embellishing it, but sadly there was not as much discussion in the book about embroidery as I was expecting. Though this is the third book in the series, there are still many techniques and ideas that could have been brought to the forefront. 

I do think the author did a great job of explaining how mistakes sometimes make an embroidery piece more unique and the fact that usually only the person creating the piece ever knows the difference. To me that showed the authenticity of the subject matter. This author is definitely one who stitches herself or has some extensive research to be aware of that. I thought Amanda Lee was able to kind of make up for the lack of embroidery in general, but still found the book a little lacking. 

Another issue that kind of stuck out to me was the fact that most of the suspects in the story didn't seem to have a clear cut motive. The only person that would have benefited from Francesca's death was probably Marcy. Though other motives were addressed they didn't seem to be as plausible as I would have liked. The ending was very clipped and felt rushed. The pacing in the beginning of the novel is just about right, but the last quarter of the book started to ramp up quickly. It was almost as if the author wasn't quite sure where to take it and just sort of stuck an ending on there. 

As most of you know I'm not usually one to write a negative review and though I did have quite a few problems with this cozy, there were also redeeming qualities as well. In any series there are books that don't meet the expectations of the reader quite as well as others. Readers will always have their favorites and those that don't seem as good. Thread Reckoning may seem a little lack luster when compared to other books in the Embroidery Mystery series, but that doesn't mean the next one, won't hit it out of the ball park. 

One of the things that impresses me about the series, is Amanda Lee's ability to create a cast of characters that readers want to know more about. The city of Tallulah Falls is unique and interesting. Marcy is a heroine that readers can relate to and sympathize with and learning more about her in each installment in the series almost makes it worth reading all by itself. In this particular one, Marcys ex-boyfriend David, who jilted her at the altar, shows up and professes his love and the fact that he wants her back. A little too late in my opinion as I really like Marcy's latest love interest Ted, another character that is fun to read about and brings a lot of romantic detail to the series. It will be interesting to see where this goes.

I don't think this one was a complete bomb and some readers may be able overlook the small details I mentioned in favor of viewing the series as whole, which is quite good. I will definitely be reading more books from this series when they come out and I encourage cozy readers to go ahead and give this one a chance because the good outweighs the bad. I recommend it to Amanda Lee fans and cozy mystery enthusiasts as well as embroiderers who love to read books that mention their favorite past time. 

Thread Reckoning is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 3 out of 5 apples from my book bag! Good, but not great!

Amanda Lee lives in southwest Virginia with her husband and two beautiful children, a boy and a girl. She's a full-time writer/editor/mom/wife/and chief cook and bottle washer, and she loves every minute of it. Okay, not the bottle washing so much, bu the rest of it is great. 


The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of Amanda Lee's, Thread Reckoning, here on Debbie's Book Bag!

~ You must be a Google Friend Connect follower to participate.
~ US Addresses only! (Publisher Request)
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST November 5th.

1. Please leave a comment on THIS post in appreciation to the author.
2. Please fill out the FORM.


mamabunny13 said...

After reading your review I'm looking forward to reading this book to see what I make of it :)
mamabunny13 at gmail dot com

Martha Lawson said...

I'd love to be entered for this one. It sounds like a good one.

lag123 said...

Another new series for me. Thanks for the giveaway.

Theresa N. said...

I'm adding it to my reading list, sounds like a very good mystery.
Theresa N

Unknown said...

Thanks for the giveaway. I can't wait to read the book.

Carol N Wong said...

Too bad, sounds like it could be better. I am a cross stitcher and embroiderer myself like you. Glad to hear that the characters are good. So will try to win this one.


In Julie's Opinion said...

I'm a crafter so I love finding cozy mysteries involving crafts! I would love the chance to read this one :)
jwitt33 at live dot com

Karen B said...

I'm reading The Quick and the Thread right now and enjoying it. Looking forward to more books in this series!


Roxanne Rhoads said...

This book keeps popping up- I think it is a sign I should read it. LOL

Dianne11 said...

Always looking for new mystery series and would love to start this one.

ann said...

i like to sew so this will be a good read for me

amhengst at verizon dot net

Sue Farrell said...

Since I'm not very good with a needle, I can probably overlook the lack of reference to the craft part of the book---but I like the idea that the characterization is good and would like to try the book.

Dolly said...

I'm not familiar with this series, I'd like to give it a try.