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This debut novel was a finalist for the 1998 Barry and Arthur Ellis Awards for Best First Novel.
Janet Bolin Dire Threads (Berkley Prime Crime 2011) introduces Willow Vanderling, who left a corporate job to open a machine embroidery shop in Elderberry Bay, Pennsylvania, known as “Threadville” because of the many textile arts shops in the village.
Willow hopes to rent the renovated cottage during the summer season, but Zoning Commissioner Mike Krawbach is determined to condemn the cottage, which he claims has slid onto town land, and build an ATV track where it stands.
When someone releases Willow’s two rescued border collies from of her back yard, she is sure it was Mike, and angrily threatens his life.
Willow’s best friend Kaylee and three others have already opened textile boutiques in Threadville, to the dismay of some of the locals, who are concerned that women will soon vastly outnumber the men.
Worried about making ends meet in her new endeavor, Willow applies for a building permit to renovate the tiny cottage at the back of her property next to the creek.
Now that her mother’s remaining savings have been consumed by the fees at Dryden Manor, Robyn finds herself confronted by the prospect of moving her mother from the home she has come to love, or somehow finding enough money to afford the 00 monthly fee.
When Yevgeney disappears, his over-bearing mother is sure he is kidnapped, but Gianni suspects the young man has simply snatched a bit of freedom for himself before returning to his grueling practice and concert schedule.
A budding romance with the builder Willow hires to renovate the cottage and a sense of humor about women eager to embroider everything in sight enliven this debut cosy mystery. Robyn’s mother Lizzie nearly died of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease two years earlier, and both mother and daughter thought she had only a few months to live.