Seams Deadly (A Measure Twice Sewing Mystery)
1st in Series
Setting – Georgia
Crooked Lane Books (September 5, 2023) TODAY!
Hardcover : 272 pages
ISBN-10 : 1639104690
ISBN-13 : 978-1639104697
Kindle ASIN : B0BP66LW34
When sewist Lydia Barnes finds a dead body soon after moving to a new town, she will need more than shear luck to find the killer, in this novel perfect for fans of Molly MacRae and Anna Gerard.
Lydia Barnes is excited for a fresh start when she moves to the quaint mountain town of Peridot, Georgia. Her friend, Fran, offers her a job at the Measure Twice fabric store and even sets her up on a date with the handsome Brandon Ivey, who also happens to be Lydia’s new next-door neighbor. Finally, things are looking up. But after a disaster first date that ends with a fist bump instead of a kiss, Lydia doesn’t think her night can get any worse. She’s soon proven wrong when she later stumbles upon Brandon’s dead body.
Considered the prime suspect by the police, Lydia calls on her friends to help her hunt for the truth and prove her innocence. But when another body is soon found inside the Measure Twice store, Lydia knows that the killer must be close by and that this town has more than its fair share of secrets. Who would want to frame the newest addition to Peridot for these terrible murders—and why?
Lydia may discover that while sewing might have a pattern, killing rarely does. Will she be able to stitch together the clues and clear her own name before the killer strikes again?
Lydia Barnes needs a fresh start after finding her husband in bed with another woman and her friend Fran has the perfect way to do that. She invites Lydia and her dog Charlie to move to Peridot where she has an apartment and a job just waiting for her. Fran owns the Measure Twice Fabric store and Lydia loves to sew so she is excited to work there. The apartment is right upstairs too. Fran may have gone too far though in setting Lydia up on a date with her new neighbor Brandon Ivey. The date was pretty awful and didn’t end with a kiss. It ended with a fist bump. Since she still has to live next to the guy she decides to take him some brownies she had baked. That didn’t go as planned either. She finds Brandon dead and the weapon links her to his murder.
She hopes her new friends can help her stitch together some clues to get her off the list of suspects. But before they do another body is found inside the fabric store.
Why is the killer framing Lydia for their crimes? Has she been in town long enough to make a real enemy? Is she going to be the next victim?
Lydia Barnes was an unlikable main character at the start. She came off to me as much younger than the 40 years she is supposed to be. She was sure to tell everyone she met about her cheating ex and was very querulous at times. I had a hard time believing she was a former middle school teacher with her escaping into her head so much and her daydreaming about the clothes she would make. I also didn’t like the way she wanted to change her friend’s store from the start and why didn’t the woman have a car? Soon I adjusted my thinking to just let her be because the characters the author surrounded her with really caught my interest.
I really like Fran. The woman had a huge heart and really opened doors for Lydia and others. One of my dreams that was never fulfilled was to own my own fabric store so living vicariously through Fran was fun even when she was dealing with the pitfalls of owning a business. Heather, Fran’s assistant was interesting too. She really wasn’t happy about all the attention Fran was giving Lydia and if I had been her I would have been upset too. Lydia’s new friend Cynde, a court stenographer and a shop regular, was an interesting character as well. The whole supporting cast, aside from the creepy neighbor who lived on the other side of Lydia, developed so well over the course of the story while leaving room for them to grow as the series continues.
The mystery was well-plotted. I enjoyed the way the friends all gathered to discuss the case and their theories. I was able to pin down the killer before the scary reveal but I needed to have the motive spelled out for me and it was surprising.
One subplot stole my heart. Lydia rescued a kitty from a shelter that had been there a long time. I was so happy that Baby Lobster found a home.
Peridot, Georgia is a charming little Southern town full of some delightful residents even the long-winded Clark but he grew on me pretty fast. I enjoyed the way the group came together in the end at the donut shop to show their support for Lydia going forward. It was also a time for any loose threads to be explained.
I was drawn to this series because of the sewing theme. Prior to an accident in 2001 I was what I guess you would call now quite a “sewist” making most of my and my family’s clothes and I loved everything about constructing a quilt. I loved most of the sewing references but sometimes they were a little too detailed and I felt that may detract non-“sewists” from enjoying the story. I did understand fully the way we who sew care about our sewing sheers and that they are only used for cutting fabric and nothing else including paper. All these years later my children still remember the lessons and the punishment they received if they were caught using my sheers.
Seams Deadly had a few hiccups but it has set this series off to a satisfactory start. The ending has set up a real twist for the series and I am very intrigued to see what Ms. Bailey has planned for her characters. I hope we learn why Lydia wasn’t awarded a car in her divorce settlement, in this day and age there has to be a reason. I am rounding my rating up to 4 starfish.
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About the Author
Maggie Bailey, an enthusiastic sewist and maker, is a graduate of Stanford, Oxford, Brown, and Sewanee Universities, Maggie Bailey has previously published two volumes of poetry. She lives in Atlanta with her husband, two young children, her dogs, and a growing fabric stash she can’t help but add to on a regular basis.
My print copy of the book has been delayed.
I hope to offer a giveaway at a later date.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”