DEATH AMONG THE DOILIES by Mollie Cox Bryan
The First Cora Crafts Mystery
Cora Chevalier decided she needed a major change in her life and, leaving her job as a counselor at a women's shelter, moved to the small town of Indigo Gap. Now she's converted a Victorian property into a craft retreat center and she's preparing to welcome her first guests. What she's not prepared for is the police taking her best friend in for questioning for the murder of the school librarian!
DEATH AMONG THE DOILIES touches on some serious issues; Cora was a counselor at a women's shelter and seeing some of the atrocities those women had to face left her suffering from panic attacks, hence the desire to move and start a new life. Characters here have dark secrets and troubled pasts and newcomers aren't always welcomed. These are themes not often seen in cozies, but are a welcome addition that creates a more realistic story. The concept of a retreat also helps with realism in that new characters will be coming and going providing new and unique victims and suspects on a regular basis.
Bryan uses an interesting writing technique in DEATH AMONG THE DOILIES. Though the book is written in the third person, the point of view shifts back and forth between Cora and her best friend, Jane. By doing so readers are able to gain more insight into one of the suspects (Jane) and a more well rounded view of the events going on. Although it may sound disconcerting, and at first it gave me pause, Bryan uses the technique adroitly and it reads as a natural progression.
Mollie Cox Bryan creates a new environment in DEATH AMONG THE DOILIES. I can easily picture that gorgeous Victorian with all it's outbuildings being lovingly restored. I want to attend one of Cora's retreats to get away from my reality and learn new crafts. I suppose I"ll just have to console myself with the fact that I can enjoy the activities vicariously from the comfort of my own home as I read. While I won't get a real vacation, odds are much less likely that I'll get involved in a murder investigation!
Crafting Tips Included.