This started out great, but bogged down about half way through. The story didn't have the momentum needed to keep the plot going, the tension a good mystery needs to keep the reader hooked or the character strength needed to make you feel connected to their lives. The author did pull it together somewhat with the last few chapters, adding some much needed tension, but it wasn't enough to redeem the story completely. The main flaw, I think, is that the murderer was very obvious from the start so there was never any wondering who it was and how it would turn out. Too bad as it could of been a great read, but ended up being a lackluster one instead.
I found this book to be a very good start on a new series. This cozy reminded me of Monica Ferris' Needlework series. A good story line, she's developing her characters well, and the main character is not one of those "I could hear breathing down in the dark cellar, I knew I shouldn't go down there, but I couldn't help myself....." types. :)
I actually read book three before this one (I usually try to read series in order) and I loved it so much, I decided this will be a keeper series for me. Not only are the characters well-written and believable but the craft ideas are simple to execute.
Each mystery in the series focuses on a different craft also, which makes for variety even as we delve deeper into the relationships between the characters.
I thought this was a good start for the series and will look for the others in the series. It is a cozy so its not as spine tingling or taut as "mysteries/thrillers" would be, but it's well written, with good characters: unlike with other cozies, I do want to see what happens to them in the next book. Enjoyable read.
Nice start to a good series of mysteries. Never heard of the writer before but she is very good and keeps you reading and before you know it, the book is finished leaving you wanting more and more of this series. You will enjoy it and the others to come.
From the back cover:
"Recently widowed, Jo McAllister is setting up shop in Abbotsville, Maryland. She hopes Jo's Craft Corner will take her mind off her troubles. But no town is too small for secrets, scandal, -- even murder....