There are mysteries of all kinds, covering all sorts of interests, for all different readers. There are hard-boiled mysteries, Noir, urban fantasy, cozy mysteries and all sorts of combinations. There are mysteries for readers who like to cook, who like to read, who like scrap booking, tea drinking, falconry, needlepoint, collecting antiques. You get the idea. How about for collectors of teddy bears and knitters? You bet!
DIED IN THE WOOL: A Knitting Mystery by Mary Kruger is the first in a series of cozy myteries. Ariadne Evans is the proud owner of her very own knitting shop. She enters her store one day to find longtime customer Edith Perry strangled to death with homespun yarn. Now Edith wasn’t the easiest person to get along with so there is a long list of suspects. Detective Joshua Pierce, may or may not have designs on Ariadne (a little romance never hurts in a cozy mystery). Ariadne decides to do some sleuthing of her own. Hopefully, the killer isn’t as crafty as she.
I’m behind the times as this book was first published as a paperback in 2007. I thought it was well done and I like the characters -- something that is very important in cozy mysteries -- and I’d like to visit Ariadne in her shop. I do love yarn and the description of the purple heather hand spun, hand dyed yarn used to kill Edith really sounds lovely! There are several more books in this series and I’m looking forward to getting to know Ariadne and her friends better.
THE CRAFTY TEDDY: A Bear Collector’s Mystery by John J. Lamb is the third book in this “sort of cozy” police procedural. I say sort of because Mr. Lamb is a retired homicide detective and hostage negotiator. He has all the police procedural part of the books down to a science. He and his wife collect teddy bears (at last count had over 600), so he also knows the teddy bear business. Definitely an interesting combination and one I have really enjoyed.
From the back of the book:
“Retired San Francisco cop Brad Lyon is settling into a quieter life with his wife, Ashleigh, in Virginia’s mountain country, where they collect and create teddy bears. But even here, stuff happens...
The peace of the Shenandoah Valley is shattered when an intruder breaks into the Lyon home and makes off with the antique Farnell Alpha teddy bear -- one of the most celebrated stuffed animals in history, and also Brad’s gift to Ash on their twentieth wedding anniversary.
Afterward, life seems to be getting back to normal -- until a trio of Japanese gangsters inexplicably shows up in town, and then the local museum director is found dead. Even though it all seems a bit fur-fetched, Brad knows he’s got a 187 on his hands -- that’s California penal code for murder ...”
These are fun books. Well written and fast paced. Not too cozy or too hard-boiled. Brad and Ash, Tina Barron the County Sheriff and Sergei Zubatov (Brad’s best friend and the owner of Pinckney’s Brick Pit barbecue restaurant and former Soviet military attache -- or, in other words, spy) are all wonderful characters. Add the great information about bears (there are always ideas about where to buy bears and usually a bear artist or two are featured in the books) and a well written mystery -- well -- it’s the perfect brain candy for a rainy afternoon. I’m glad I have two more in my stack!
Even a rainy day brings JOY!