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love letter to Monica Ferris

12 September 2010

I was sad to read the last/latest Betsy Devonshire needlecraft mystery book by Monica Ferris. I found a slew of them at the Saukville Library and checked out the first 5 books for our Door County vacation. And I loved them. they were well-written, well-plotted, well-paced, nicely developed characters. As believable as any other cozy series (so not really, I mean who the hell would even want to be so close to so many murders. But I respect how Ms. Ferris has made Betsy uneasy about the same thing.)

I woke up on vacation, already with that strange sensation of where am I? and I wondered if I was in Excelsior. As much as it would pain the Door. Co. tourism bureau to hear, I wondered if I had ended up in Minnesota.  I have been craving needlecraft. The last time I sewed was Halloween costumes. And the last time I need any needlework, I was making Bella’s Christmas stocking. And now I wonder if maybe I should just give counted cross stitch another try. After all, Betsy improved. I like Betsy’s mind and her maturing as a character.  she would be fun to know. I want to hang out with Godwin, who skates a careful line of not just being your stereotypical gay best friend of pop lit, but is a fleshed out through and trough. Struth!

I was hooked. I scurried around. I checked out the other 8 or so books from three other libraries in our area. Annoying that Cedarburg had none of them. And I read them in order.

And tonight I finished the last one I have. I love how the secondary and tertiary characters slide in and out. Jill and Lars and I can picture Emma and Erik growing. Aww. And Doris went from being a small bit character (although didn’t she have a brother somewhere nearby?) and now she’s one of the gang. And Phil and Alice and Bersheda and Irene and Leona… And even Patricia, that daffy would be murderer who we get to see in redemption. I’ve read some series where all of the side-talking gets in the way of the plot. The mystery is either told as slight of hand and not clever deduction, all luck or random. And crossing my finger, Ms. Ferris has managed to keep the plots on target.

Now I just have to wait until the library gets the new release in December.  Find an independent needlecraft store and pick up a canvas and get to sewing. And stop seeing clever plots that Betsy could solve if there were a murder nearby.

Sigh.

Sarah's Unsolicited Reviews, This and That