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Friday, December 6, 2019

Hems and Homicide (Apron Shop #1) by Elizabeth Penney

Hems and Homicide

Paperback, 288 pages
Expected publication: December 31st 2019 by St. Martin's Paperbacks

Goodreads synopsis:
Welcome to 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 return to 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.


4.5 Stars

This is the first book in the Apron Shop mystery series by Elizabeth Penney.

Iris is ready for a new beginning in the town of Blueberry Cove, Maine. She will be helping out her grandmother with a new shop called Ruffles & Bows. The building where they open the shop is a somewhat popular commodity. Everyone seems to want to open a shop there. When Iris falls down the stairs and dislodges an old coal chute, what stares back at them is the dead body of someone her grandmother is immediately familiar with, an old friend. Then their landlord, Elliott ends up dead and Iris’s grandmother, Anne has shot to suspect number one!

This is a pretty inventive series. Iris’s whole store concept seems unusual. I know people buy all sorts of things but I am not certain her type of store/online business would sell like hotcakes. This story has a real vintage vibe and Iris seems to wear vintage inspired clothing. Maybe that is why she is so inspired by linens and aprons. Do people still wear aprons? I could be wrong, but needless to say that has nothing to do with the success or failure of this book. 

This book is great. You get sucked in from the very beginning and feel for their unusual circumstances and the dead body that is unearthed in their new store. Iris stumbles a few times verbally getting herself into hot water and pushing away people she would rather stay close to… like the strapping Ian. The characters are fun and capture your attention, even the dead ones. I would have kind of like to see Star Moonshine on the page just to see who she would have been in flesh and blood form.

If you are looking for a good cozy mystery to read during this chilly weather, definitely give this one a go. You won’t be disappointed. 

I received this as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) in return for an honest review. I thank NetGalley, the publisher and the author for allowing me to read this title.

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