Our dessert tonight was thanks to the recipe at the back of Betty Hechtman's Hooked on Murder, a Crochet Mystery. It's the first in the series featuring Molly Pink, a late 40's widow/ bookstore events coordinator/murder suspect, and my 9th entry in the 2010 Thriller and Suspense Reading Challenge, hosted by Book Chick City.
This particular series is set in Tarzana, California, surrounded by movie, and television stars, and including a handsome police detective, who also happens to be the boyfriend of the heroine, or at least he'd like to be. And, of course, as the title suggests, there's also a good deal of crochet going on, as Molly joins the crochet group, at the bookstore where she works, that was headed up by the woman she's suspected of killing.
I enjoyed the slightly more mature heroine. Her struggle between wanting to be in a relationship, and wanting to explore her new found independence as a widow, rang true to me. I watched my own mother sort through similar emotions, when she was widowed at 48. I also really liked the fact, that Molly struggles with real problems - trying to do well at work, trying to get along with coworkers, finding her place without her husband, and learning to make a granny square.
The writing is in an informal, first person tense, that puts you right inside the heroines head, with all her hopes, fears, insecurities, and short comings. I only noticed two typos in the book, which I'm beginning to think is good for the cozy mystery genre. As always with these books, there is a recipe at the back, for the pound cake, pictured above (there's also a recipe for butter cream frosting, but with a pound of butter, and a pound of sugar in the cake, I decided to pass), and a crochet pattern, for a granny square wash cloth.
The squares might not have been overly challenging, but the mystery was. Although I knew what the pivotal clue would be, I had no idea who the murderer was until very near to the end.
The only complaint I have, is that God's name was misused a number of times throughout the dialogue. Each time was an offensive slap in the face, that pretty well ruined, an otherwise pleasant story. It did seem to taper off in the later chapters, so I might give the second book in the series a chance, but given the setting of the stories, I don't hold out a lot of hope.
It's great to be a homeschooler.