Despite a chaotic feel to the first section of this latest Betsy Devonshire needlework adventure, the plot is absorbing enough to keep readers turning the pages. This time, Betsy has left her needlework shop in Milwaukee for a convention in Nashville.
Unexpected and unseasonable snow keeps her and the other conventioneers inside the vast hotel, part of which has
been transformed into wholesale stores for needlework buyers. Unfortunately, the lobby also holds the dead body of a much-hated needlewoman who is thought to have fallen from a ninth-floor balcony. Intrepid Betsy, however, collects convincing evidence to show that the "accident" was really murder.
Needlework fans will delight in the plethora of sewing details, and Ferris cleverly uses pattern-making as a possible motive for the crime. Too many time shifts, however, make the beginning of this novel a challenge to read. (Oct., 256 pp., $19.95)