Monday, October 31, 2011

Behind the Seams by Betty Hechtman

book cover

Behind the Seams
by Betty Hechtman

ISBN-13: 9780425241424
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Released: November 1, 2011

Source: Review copy from the publisher.

Book Description from Goodreads (slightly modified):
The crochet group's informal leader, actress CeeCee Collins, has a movie out, and thanks to the Oscar buzz, she's scheduled to appear on the famous Barbara Olive Overton Show. Molly and the others from their crocheting club come to sit in the audience. When CeeCee's niece Nell--a production assistant on the show--is accused of poisoning one of the producers, Molly and the club must set aside their crochet projects to clear Nell's name.

My Review:
Behind the Seams is a cozy mystery with a crochet theme. It's the sixth book in the series, but it can be read as a stand-alone and doesn't spoil the mysteries in the previous books.

The whodunit was on my list of possible suspects from the start, and I was certain of whodunit long before Molly was. However, the clues weren't obvious, so it was believable that Molly and friends didn't suspect. I found it less believable that Molly kept getting arrested because she was near a crime and due to misunderstandings. The being arrested part, maybe, but not the number of times within a matter of days.

The suspense was created by Nell potentially being arrested for murder and the relationship tensions between Molly and her boyfriend. It was clear that Molly wasn't committed to the relationship, though. While it was realistic that she took some time to realize this, it lacked the intended tension and so these sections felt slow to me. It might have been more suspenseful if I'd read the previous books.

There were also several scenes that headed toward a very exciting climax then jumped in time until the scene was over (which was confusing) and then had people discussing what had happened. This also cut down on some of the potential tension and excitement.

While the mystery part of the story was completely wrapped up, the author added a relationship cliff-hanger to the last paragraph of the book. But with the guy I didn't like.

Basically, I was left feeling like it should have been a really exciting, interesting book. It had all the right elements. But due to some of the writing choices, the excitement didn't engage me like it could have.

Kissing and such were only implied. There were no sex scenes. There was no bad language. Overall, it was an interesting cozy mystery with an interesting crochet method described in the story and in more detail in the back.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Excerpt from Chapter One
"Okay, action," I said. "Sorry, I don't have one of those little black chalkboards to click."

"Dear, those are only when you're actually filming. This is just a run-through," CeeCee Collins said. Whatever it was called, CeeCee instantly went into character and gestured toward the setup for a cooking demonstration spread out in front of her. A series of glass bowls with ingredients, a mixing bowl and a nine-by-thirteen pan, along with a assortment of cooking tools, sat on the dark wood trestle table in her dining room.

She looked the picture of domesticity with her apron, and it was obvious she'd gone into character, because the real CeeCee didn't know which end of a wooden spoon was up.

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