Reading these reminds me that, even though I try to keep my readers abreast of the latest publications, there were good books published before 2000.
Framed in Lace by Monica Ferris A quick little cozy mystery, again borrowed from my mother. It’s the Needlecraft Series, so all the books in the series include details on some form of handicraft, with a pattern. This particular novel focuses on bobbin lace, but I guess figures that not that many people can do bobbin lace, so the pattern is for cross-stitch instead. But again, digressing. Betsy Devonshire, still in Minnesota running her murdered sister’s needlecraft shop, is starting to settle in and getting to know the locals. They’re all excited about the raising of an old ferryboat, sunk in the forties, which is to be restored and put back in service. But when the boat is raised, there’s a skeleton on it – and an old lace handkerchief. Once again, Betsy finds herself drawn into the search to find out whose the body was, and who killed her. It’s a fun little world, with lots (maybe too many) of colorful village people and details of everyone’s current projects. Read if your interests include fibers and comfy mysteries.
The Little Country by Charles DeLint Loaned from yet another friend, as I really like DeLint. The are two storylines, both set in a small village in Cornwall, one at the turn of the last century, the other in the late 1980s (which would have been the present when the book was written.) Janey Little is a piper, contemplating her next tour, when she finds an old book in her grandfather’s attic. It’s a book she’s never heard of, written by her favorite author. As she reads it, strange things start to happen. In the corresponding story – which might be the one that Janey is reading – Jody is working for her uncle, a scientist, when the Widow transforms her into a Small, only a few inches tall. Music is woven throughout the book, with the chapters named after traditional tunes. I have always loved DeLint’s ability to intertwine magic, suspense, and the everyday world. For me, this book was no exception, though putting the two stories together does slow the action down somewhat.