Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Wreath of Deception by Mary Ellen Hughes

This is the second book I took along on our recent vacation.

“Wreath of Deception” is the first book in the Craft Corner Mystery series featuring female-sleuth Jo McAllister.

Jo is recently widowed and has moved from New York City to a small town in Maryland named Abbotsville. Her childhood best friend Carrie and Carrie’s husband Dan help Jo pick up the pieces of her life after a tragic accident killed Jo’s husband. Jo has pooled all her financial resources to open up her retail store called Jo’s Craft Corner.

Jo is a jewelry maker by trade and Carrie is very good with needlework. Together this forms the basis of their business selling craft supplies and holding crafting workshops.

Finally after all the long months of planning, Jo and Carrie hold their grand-opening. For entertainment she hires a clown named “Cuddles”. His real name is Kyle Sandborn and he is an aspiring actor working for the local community theater.

The grand-opening of Jo’s Craft Corner is a success, all but for one thing - Cuddles the clown (AKA Kyle) is found dead in her storeroom, stabbed with one of Jo’s knitting needles. Police Lieutenant Russ Morgan suspects Jo of the murder and she must work to clear herself.

I liked this book and I thought it was well written. I like the characters that Jo teaches in her workshops, especially Ina Mae and Loralee. They are no-nonsense, but friendly and caring friends.

And I do like crafting, but for those who don’t that part of the story-line isn’t overpowering. Front and center in the book are Jo’s efforts to uncover the real killer.

Unlike some other female-sleuths Jo is not hyper or an over-achiever: she is a practical gal who is simply trying to heal and survive. She is smart and helps Carrie and Dan bridge a gap with their uncommunicative teenage son, Charlie.

OH - and I almost forgot - the ending is pretty suspenseful too!

Included with the paperback are instructions on how to make a woodland wreath and a recipe for Carrie’s chili. Mmmm!

I'm looking forward to the next book in this series.

You can buy Wreath of Deception here:


Anonymous said...

I liked your synopsis and comments on my book! Glad you enjoyed Wreath of Deception, and I hope you'll like String of Lies and Paper-thin Alibi, too.

Mary Ellen Hughes

LadyPI said...

Thank you Mary Ellen - I'm sure I will enjoy those books too. There are so many books on my 'To Be Read' list now, but I'll add String of Lies and Paper-thin Alibi.


Lady PI - Diane