Friday, June 21, 2019

Book Review and Giveaway - A Crafter Hooks a Killer: A Handcrafted Mystery by Holly Quinn

Book Synopsis
Community Craft proprietor Sammy Kane suspects that a tantalizing thread links the deaths of her best friend and a bestselling author. But can she weave together the clues?

Samantha “Sammy” Kane is settling into her new life in idyllic Heartsford, Wisconsin, running her late friend Kate Allen’s craft shop, Community Craft when one early June day, bestselling crochet author Jane Johnson visits Heartsford. Captivated by Community Craft, Jane devotes a chapter in her new book, Behind the Seams, to the store. Sammy is honored, though satisfaction quickly turns to shock when she finds Jane strangled to death—her cold hands clutching a copy of her most recently published book, with the words “THE END” raggedly scratched into the cover.

Heavens to Etsy! Not only must Sammy contend with the author’s inauspicious demise, she has to untie some knotty details from her own past. It turns out Kate’s death was not what it seemed, and instead somehow hooked to Jane Johnson’s demise. Handsome Detective Liam Nash is on the “skein”, more than happy to see the shop owner again, if less than enamored by her sleuthing interventions. But this was Sammy’s best friend—she has to know.

Fortunately, Sammy has a “lace” in the hole. As a child, she formed the S.H.E. detective team with her cousin, Heidi, and her sister, Ellie. Having already reconstituted their partnership, the S.H.E. team searches for a pattern behind the latest death. As the case starts to unravel, will Sammy and team be able to sidestep Liam quick enough to stitch together the clues?

My Review
Sammy Kane owns a small craft shop in Heartsford, Wisconsin;  she took over the business for her best friend, Kate, who died suddenly.  She is excited about a famous crafter, Jane Johnson, visiting the shop.  When she meets Jane, the famous author suggests that she has news about Kate's death. Then Sammy discovers Jane's body, and she works with her sister and cousin - and her almost-boyfriend, police detective Liam Nash - to solve the mystery.

This is the second book in the Handcrafted Mystery series.  I have read both books and thoroughly enjoyed them.  Holly Quinn does an especially good job at capturing the small, Midwestern town atmosphere.  

I really like Sammy, her cousin Heidi, and sister Ellie.  They created a play detective group called S.H.E. (for their first names) as young girls, and they still work together to solve mysteries.  I liked this description of one of their S.H.E. meetings:

"The fireflies were just starting to pop their neon glows of brilliance in the blackening sky.  The luminosity bounced around the backyard grass and bushes as if the fireflies were putting on a private light show for them.  The three S.H.E.s huddled together around Sammy's backyard picnic table with the pages of the manuscript spread between them.  Remnants of dried coagulated cheese and corn chip crumbs littered the bottom of the baking dish, evidence of a well-eaten nacho platter" (Kindle location 2784).

Sammy can be impulsive at times and does not take the precautions for her safety that an experienced detective would take.  I think this is part of her character though, and her approach to amateur sleuthing.

Detective Liam Nash is as charming as ever, and I enjoyed his scenes with Sammy.

Of course, I also loved Sammy's dog (who often visits her shop), Bara!  (I consider all cozy mysteries more interesting if a lovable pet is part of the story.)

The mystery was well done.  I suspected the murderer but enjoyed seeing the details unravel.  The book is fast paced and I read it in just a few days because I was eager to see what happened!

I recommend A Crafter Hooks a Killer and the Handcrafted Mystery series.  Readers who are interested in crafting or small town settings will especially enjoy this book.

Author Bio
Holly Quinn has published two stand-alone fiction novels in another persona. She graduated from Carroll University in Wisconsin with a Bachelor of Science in business and a minor in marketing. This is her second Handcrafted mystery. Visit her @

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Author Bio

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Author Holly Quinn said...

Thanks for hosting me today and your lovely review! :)

Lynne said...

I love cozies, and went to grade school and high school in a small town - this sounds like a great addition to my summer reading list! Thanks for the great review, and helping me learn about a new author to enjoy.