Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Review and Giveaway: Cross Stitch Before Dying

Cross Stitch Before Dying (Embroidery Mystery - Book 6) by Amanda Lee

Publication Date: 08/06/2013
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Obsidian Mystery
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Pages: 320
ISBN-10: 0451240073
ISBN-13: 978-0451240071

(Received for an honest review from Obsidian Mystery)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, IndieBound

Amanda Lee (aka. Gayle Trent) on the WEB: Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads

Books in the series:

The Quick and the Thread (2010), Stitch Me Deadly (2011), Thread Reckoning (2011), The Long Stitch Good Night (2012), Thread on Arrival (2012), Cross Stitch Before Dying (2013)

Coverart: Click the image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.

Excerpt from Cross Stitch Before Dying, courtesy of Amazon's Look Inside feature.


Embroidery shop owner Marcy Singer is about to find out that show biz and sew biz don't mix! 

Marcy's mom Beverly is the costume designer for a lavish, Bollywood-style production...and she suggests Tallulah Falls as a great place to shoot part of the film. Everyone at the embroidery shop, and around town, is in a flutter that a glamorous movie production is taking place in their midst. But when the star of the film is found murdered, the police suspect Marcy’s mom, who made it no secret she did not care for the diva’s attitude regarding her wardrobe.

Marcy might as well issue an open call for suspects, because the star had a long list of enemies. To save her mom’s career and keep her from accessorizing with handcuffs, Marcy and her friends will need to stitch together the clues to catch one crafty killer who may have designs on Marcy next…


Author Amanda Lee continues her Embroidery Mystery series with the sixth book, Cross Stitch Before Dying. Readers who love this series enjoy the natural wit and personality of lead character, Marcy Singer. Lee writes this character with a dash of attitude and a healthy dose of curiosity. Fans will also love an appearance from Marcy's intrepid mother, Beverly, a San Francisco costume designer. The Bollywood theme and emphasis on Indian embroidery techniques make this cozy mystery unique and full of surprises!

Cross Stitch Before Dying is easily my favorite of this series. As many of you know I am an avid crafter and really enjoy cozy mysteries that focus on a crafting theme. I learned to cross stitch at an early age and truly love the art. I have advanced into some of the more difficult stitches and patterns and found this book extremely interesting. The Indian embroidery techniques discussed in the novel were treated with great care. Amanda Lee has obviously done her homework for this one. I loved the way the whole Bollywood theme took this cozy in such a unique and different direction.

The combination of sewing and show biz has always been a subject I've enjoyed reading about and seeing. I love watching movies and seeing the elaborate and beautiful costumes. This book indulged me in that way. It allowed readers to see a different side of embroidery and how it can be used. Embroidery has evolved as a wonderful craft and there are so many ways it can be used whether for pleasure and beauty or as a career. I liked that aspect of this book a lot.

Main character Marcy Singer (love the nod to sewing with the name) is of course the star of this book. Marcy's quirky attitudes and her curiosity sometimes get her into trouble, but this time her mom's life and her career are on the line. I loved the way that Marcy charges right in and starts trying to figure out who could have killed the star of the movie her mother is designing costumes for. It was believable and entertaining reading about everyone who this woman had wronged. The suspects were many and the motives were varied. It was a great cozy read!

The secondary characters like Marcy's mom Beverly, her love interest, Ted and of course her friend Reggie add a lot of different things to the book, including witty banter,comic relief, and a little romance. I love the way Lee makes her books lighter, but they still carry the urgency and angst associated with a good mystery. If it doesn't matter that a murder has occurred, how can it matter who did it?

Cross Stitch Before Dying is a great addition to this series and I look forward to where Lee will take us next with the Seven Year Stitch embroidery shop!

Cross Stitch Before Dying is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

About the Author:

Amanda Lee is the lady next to you in the grocery line or car pool. She has twins: one boy and one girl; she's a baseball fan, she likes to decorate cakes, she rocks at Guitar Hero... Oh, and she likes to think about murder. But it's okay! She only writes about murder...a lot!

Amanda Lee is also a pen name for Gayle Trent.

Giveaway Details:

The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of Cross Stitch Before Dying by Amanda Lee.

~ You must be an email subscriber to participate.
~ US Addresses only.
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST, August 27th.

1. Please leave a comment describing an experience you've had with sewing or cross stitching.
2. Please fill out the FORM.


traveler said...

When I was young my mother taught me to cross stitch since it was not too complex. I used to cross stitch runners and tablecloths and this was popular at that time. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Book Dragon said...

I do counted cross stitch and sew.

When I first started sewing, I was having trouble with a collar and ended up cutting it in half. Dang, now it doesn't fold in half!

I've gotten better now but am not actively sewing, quilting, or doing counted cross stitch

Linda Kish said...

I used to do cross stitch until upper extremity injuries made it too hard to hold needles or loops for any length of time.

Michelle F. said...

I can only do stamped cross stitch. Somtimes it's hard to find those kits. Counted is too hard.

Angela - Bookaunt said...

I would have to say that my experiences are not good with cross-stitching. I have tried it but just can't do it. I stick to scrapbooking and cardmaking. Thank you for the chance to win

lkleback said...

I cross stitched for years until my eyes got a little weak. Now I do papercrafts.

Unknown said...

I remember learning to cross stick in Home Ec class years ago. I've been wanting to try it again.


ann said...

I used to sew alot but not much other types.
I love reading cozy mysteries - their the best kind

Anonymous said...

I used to cross stitch when I was young , and I wish I still did, I loved it !

Elizabeth Schroedle said...

My Mom sat me down at 7 years of age with a simple sampler and showed me the basics of cross-stitch. She wanted to be able to watch her soap, The Guiding Light, without any interruptions from me. Since that time, I have made bookmarkers, my own designs and all the ornaments for my Christmas tree.

Charlotte said...

I use to sew and did cross stitch. Love doing them. Not able to any more.

Susie R said...

I have really enjoyed this entire series. It has been a long time since I have done any needlework but after reading these books I might be inspired to start again - as long as it doesn't cut too much into my reading time!

My Recent Favorite Books said...

I love cross stitching! I have made a few Cross Stitch Bread Basket Covers for family as gifts, and I was really pleased on how they turned out!

Sue Farrell said...

I'm dangerous to myself and others when I get near a needle so I have no experiences with sewing and cross stitching other than enjoying other's efforts.

Rita Wray said...

When my daughter was young I sewed a lot of her doll clothes. One time I made a tuxedo for her stuffed Bugs Bunny, I even made a bow tie. It was very cute. It was funny because when I went to the fabric store to buy the material the lady asked me how much black fabric I needed and I said I'm not sure, I'm making a tuxedo for Bugs Bunny. lol

Wendy Newcomb said...

When I was in high school, taking home-ec, lol, yes many years ago, lol, I didn't have a sewing machine at home and my project was supposed to be hemmed by machine. Well, since I didn't get in done during class I used a hidden stitch and did it at home. It was so good that the teacher couldn't even see the thread inside or out, but she still gave me a bad grade because it wasn't done by machine.


Mary V said...

This is one of my favorite series. I love to cross stitch and wish I had a shop like Marcy's in my hometown. Can't wait to read this next installment!

bn100 said...

Don't sew or cross-stitch

lag123 said...

I don't cross stitch anymore but I love to sew! I especially love to quilt.

lag110 at mchsi dot com

Carol N Wong said...

I have done crosstitch pictures, framed and hung them. I love the ones which used plenty of colors. I do have one that I haven't started yet of flowers and butterflies. It is so much fun to see the picture come together.


holdenj said...

Pretty much the only time I cross stitched was in school during home ec. I made a very cute Dopey. :)

NoraA said...

I'm not the crafter or stitcher in my family. I leave that to my partner of 41 years who uses it to relax after a tough day at work.

Anonymous said...

My Mom was a child of the depression so she was forced to learn sewing and hated it. She never encouraged me to sew and turns out I hate it to. My only experience is a dress disaster in home class where I had to make a jumper. My Mom and I agonized over that stupid project and laughed a lot over how it looked like a disaster. We did not care and felt sewing was never for us.

Carol M said...

I used to do cross stitching. Maybe reading this book will get me started again. I enjoyed it.

Theresa N. said...

I love to do cross stitch, my biggest problem is I fall in love with the patterns that are very detailed and they take me a long time to finish.
theresa n