Hems & Homicide (Apron Shop Series)
by Elizabeth Penney
I received this book free to review; however, all opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may receive compensation at no cost to you.
Hems & Homicide (Apron Shop Series)
1st in Series
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks (December 31, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
Welcome to the first in the Apron Shop mystery series by Elizabeth Penney, set in the quaint village of Blueberry Cove, Maine where an expert seamstress turned amateur sleuth is getting measured for murder. . .
Iris Buckley is sew ready for a change. After the death of her beloved grandfather, Iris decides to stay in her Maine hometown to help out her widowed grandmother, Anne—and bring her online hand-made apron designs to real-time retail life. Her and Anne’s shop, Ruffles & Bows, is set to include all the latest and vintage linen fashions, a studio for sewing groups and classes, and a friendly orange cat. The only thing that they were not planning to have on the property? A skeleton in the basement
Anne recognizes the remains of an old friend, and when a second body shows up in the apron shop—this time their corrupt landlord, whom Anne had been feuding with for decades—she becomes a prime suspect. Now, it’s up to Iris to help clear her name. Enlisting the help of her old high-school crush Ian Stewart who, like certain fabrics, has only gotten better-looking with age and her plucky BFF Madison Morris, Iris must piece together an investigation to find out who the real killer is. . .and find a way to keep her brand-new business from being scrapped in the process.
My review of Hems & Homicide
I loved Hems & Homicide! There are several things that drew me to the book and made me say yes to a review! First of all, that cover is adorable. Yes, I’m that type. I try not to judge a book by its cover, but a good cover does help! Second, I love starting book series with book one. Third, I was always very close to my grandma, so I can relate to Iris’s desire to stay with her.
I used to try to sew. I made some cute jumpers for my daughter when she was a toddler, but let’s face it…it’s cheaper to buy kids’ clothes than to make them. My how things have changed since the old days! Notice I said I “tried” to sew. I wasn’t very good at it, and I hated threading the machine! The bobbin always got messed up! So, the sewing theme didn’t draw me to the book. But, sometimes you’ve just got to step out of your comfort zone and read themed cozy mysteries that aren’t your forte.
Iris really does have a great job. If I were the sewing type, owning a shop like Ruffles & Bows with my grandma would be so much fun. She gets to buy and sell vintage aprons and other textiles. Sure, it’s a bummer that a skeleton turns up in the basement…And then someone’s got to go and get murdered in the store. Thankfully, with some smart sleuthing, both murders are solved, and the store will finally get to open…in the next book!
I really enjoyed the plot in Hems & Homicide. The characters are well-written, and I’m looking forward to seeing how they develop throughout the series. You will love the descriptive settings because they make it so easy to picture yourself watching the scenes unfold. Though I’m not huge on romance in cozy mystery books, it’s okay if they develop slowly over time and remain clean throughout. Otherwise, they feel like the same old same old romances that turn up in some series. I’m crossing my fingers for romances that remain friendships for at least a few books as well as hoping they don’t dominate the plot. So far, so good in Hems & Homicide!
I definitely recommend this to you cozy mystery readers! The Apron Shop Series is off to a great start!
About the author
Elizabeth Penney is an author, entrepreneur, and local food advocate living in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. In addition to writing full-time, she operates a small farm. Elements that often appear in her novels include vintage summer cottages, past/present mysteries, and the arts. She is represented by the fabulous Elizabeth Bewley at Sterling Lord Literistic.
Elizabeth’s writing credits include over twenty mysteries, short stories, and hundreds of business articles. A former consultant and nonprofit executive, she holds a BS and an MBA. She’s also written screenplays with her musician husband.
She loves walking in the woods, kayaking on quiet ponds, trying new recipes, and feeding family and friends.
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