Sunday, February 8, 2009

Hooked on Murder: A Crochet Mystery Hooked on Murder: A Crochet Mystery by Betty Hechtman

My review

rating: 3 of 5 stars
If you want a perfectly lovely, cozy murder mystery on the level of a MacMillan and Wife TV episode, then Hooked on Murder is your cup of tea. Molly is a 40-something widow who is working in a bookstore running the events schedule. She is also the one who set up the Tarzana Hookers crochet club to begin meeting in the bookstore. So when the fouding Tarzana Hooker ends up dead, found by Molly, and Molly becomes the main suspect, of course she is going to learn how to crochet and become an amateur sleuth.

It is a pleasant read, lots of red herrings, but there is a little something missing for me: depth. As a crocheter, I did laugh at the knitters who slammed crochet and got their wrists slapped. That all rang true, but I wanted to know more about the characters. Why were Dinah and Molly friends? Why won't Molly commit? There were sparks with her and Barry, but not like Morelli and Stephanie (The Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovitch). The lawyer at the end seems to provide an intriguing chance at a love triangle, but Molly seems too sad and confused to really carry it off. Perhaps giving her only a year after her husband's death was not enough time. There need to be more emotional connections, more small, graphic details and not just descriptions of what people are wearing. Adele is annoying, but in a two-dimensional way. She has a moment with Molly when it really seems we are about to see into her in a more detailed way, but Hechtman takes the easy road by having Adele go back to her usual self at the end of the conversation. When Dinah is in the yarn store and finds herself with a bag of yarn she just bought and doesn't understand why, it is easy for the author to have Adele say that all crocheters find them selves buying yarn all the time. But it didn't really describe that sense of longing for the yarn, so the touch and texture and being drawn to that particular shade and knowing that somewhere there is a pattern out there that you will use to create the perfect gift or the perfect scarf or the perfect, whatever. That sense of yarn addiction was missing. And if it is a crochet murder mystery, the yarn addiction is going to need to get more pronounced.

There is a lot to like about this series, and if you want just a cozy mystery, this will do just fine.

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