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Hanging by a Thread

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"Monica Ferris has a talent for vivid detail," raves the Old Book Barn Gazette. And her heroine, needlecraft shop owner Betsy Devonshire, is "a great character" says Midwest Book Review. Now it's up to Betsy to unravel a five-year-old murder case that refuses to die... Betsy is still new enough to Excelsior, Minnesota, to not know a scandal when she causes one. So, when she "Monica Ferris has a talent for vivid detail," raves the Old Book Barn Gazette. And her heroine, needlecraft shop owner Betsy Devonshire, is "a great character" says Midwest Book Review. Now it's up to Betsy to unravel a five-year-old murder case that refuses to die... Betsy is still new enough to Excelsior, Minnesota, to not know a scandal when she causes one. So, when she hires Foster Johns to fix her roof, the resulting uproar has her needled. The whole town has pinned a five-year-old unsolved double murder on him. Betsy believes Johns when he says he isn't guilty. But she'll have to use every stitch of her sleuthing skills to tie up all the loose ends that will prove his innocence once and for all.


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"Monica Ferris has a talent for vivid detail," raves the Old Book Barn Gazette. And her heroine, needlecraft shop owner Betsy Devonshire, is "a great character" says Midwest Book Review. Now it's up to Betsy to unravel a five-year-old murder case that refuses to die... Betsy is still new enough to Excelsior, Minnesota, to not know a scandal when she causes one. So, when she "Monica Ferris has a talent for vivid detail," raves the Old Book Barn Gazette. And her heroine, needlecraft shop owner Betsy Devonshire, is "a great character" says Midwest Book Review. Now it's up to Betsy to unravel a five-year-old murder case that refuses to die... Betsy is still new enough to Excelsior, Minnesota, to not know a scandal when she causes one. So, when she hires Foster Johns to fix her roof, the resulting uproar has her needled. The whole town has pinned a five-year-old unsolved double murder on him. Betsy believes Johns when he says he isn't guilty. But she'll have to use every stitch of her sleuthing skills to tie up all the loose ends that will prove his innocence once and for all.

30 review for Hanging by a Thread

  1. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    I enjoyed this book. It was a little different since the whole case in this one was a cold case, no ties to any current day murder. I do continue to like Betsy more as the series goes on.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    Love this series!!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Lain

    Monica Ferris is doing a great job of keeping this series fresh. It could get old quickly, with the troubles Betsy faces as a new-ish needlecrafter and a newer business owner. But I really enjoy how her characters continue to flesh out, and how Ferris disproves the "Minnesota Nice" by giving her recurring characters edges. Not everyone is sweet and simple -- they have prejudices, challenges, and troubles of their own. In this "episode," Betsy is taken to task for employing a "known" murderer. Sh Monica Ferris is doing a great job of keeping this series fresh. It could get old quickly, with the troubles Betsy faces as a new-ish needlecrafter and a newer business owner. But I really enjoy how her characters continue to flesh out, and how Ferris disproves the "Minnesota Nice" by giving her recurring characters edges. Not everyone is sweet and simple -- they have prejudices, challenges, and troubles of their own. In this "episode," Betsy is taken to task for employing a "known" murderer. She lashes back at the Monday Bunch and sets out to prove what happened, once and for all, in a five-year-old double murder. The resolution is unique and the book kept my attention all the way through. Criticisms -- by taking on a five-year-old murder, in which she knew neither of the victims and isn't particularly well acquainted with the accused, Betsy loses some of our interest. Why should we really care about this couple, or Foster Johns? In the previous books, the need to find out "what really happened" was more critical. But all in all, a well-written addition to the series.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    The 6th book in the Needlecraft Mystery Series. In this episode of As the Needle Turns - Betsy befriends the towns pariah - the man that the town thinks got away with killing his mistress and her husband. Betsy - being new to town and not knowing his reputation - cannot believe the stories her friends tell her and decides to look into the murders and clear the mess up once and for all. Problem is - the murders happened five years ago. Is Betsy up to the task? You Betcha she is!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Marina Sinelnikova

    A good way to make Betsy's cases more varied! However, I found the scenes with the fishing guy to be a bit pointless (unless it's to remind us all that good-looking heterosexual guys also do needlework). Also, I was a bit surprised by the Monday Bunch almost as a whole (I love Alice, btw) believing Foster was guilty - and that after seeing Betsy's previous cases, eagerly believing in Betsy's talent and for some (like Martha) being even accused of murder themselves. A good way to make Betsy's cases more varied! However, I found the scenes with the fishing guy to be a bit pointless (unless it's to remind us all that good-looking heterosexual guys also do needlework). Also, I was a bit surprised by the Monday Bunch almost as a whole (I love Alice, btw) believing Foster was guilty - and that after seeing Betsy's previous cases, eagerly believing in Betsy's talent and for some (like Martha) being even accused of murder themselves.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    Betsy hires Foster Johns to fix her roof and she finds out the whole town thinks he murdered a woman and got away with it. Foster Johns asks Betsy to look into the 5 year old murder. As Betsy starts asking questions, she finds that the woman was abused by her controlling husband. Her husband is diabolical and evil. He puts brother against brother. He tries to frame Foster for Angela's murder. But, Betsy figures it out and she finds the murder weapon up the chimney! Another good read! Betsy hires Foster Johns to fix her roof and she finds out the whole town thinks he murdered a woman and got away with it. Foster Johns asks Betsy to look into the 5 year old murder. As Betsy starts asking questions, she finds that the woman was abused by her controlling husband. Her husband is diabolical and evil. He puts brother against brother. He tries to frame Foster for Angela's murder. But, Betsy figures it out and she finds the murder weapon up the chimney! Another good read!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jeanne

    This is a cute, light-hearted mystery set in Excelsior, Minnesota, a suburb of Minneapolis. It's always fun reading about a place that's familiar to me and this was no exception. The characters are a very diverse group brought together by their love for needle crafts. The main character owns the local needle craft store and fancies herself an amateur sleuth. This is a cute, light-hearted mystery set in Excelsior, Minnesota, a suburb of Minneapolis. It's always fun reading about a place that's familiar to me and this was no exception. The characters are a very diverse group brought together by their love for needle crafts. The main character owns the local needle craft store and fancies herself an amateur sleuth.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lena H.

    Significantly better than the first books in this series. Betsy is still kind of a bully in how she treats Godwin and some of her customers but in this book she did a lot of actual investigating. A lot of the pointless description of random things was gone and in it's place dialogue that was actually interesting to read. Significantly better than the first books in this series. Betsy is still kind of a bully in how she treats Godwin and some of her customers but in this book she did a lot of actual investigating. A lot of the pointless description of random things was gone and in it's place dialogue that was actually interesting to read.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Karina Reyes

    I’m getting hooked. So far this one left me guessing. It seems like a simple murder-suicide but how Devonshire solves it is quite compelling. One question not related to the mystery: what is a Gibson girl? There are some references like this that I don’t know and am too lazy to google.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Casey

    Very repetitive descriptions - JIll always has a 'gibson girl face' and the bell is 'annoying chime' EVERY time the door opens and the writer seems to take pride in and thinks having an obese pet is cute and to be encouraged Very repetitive descriptions - JIll always has a 'gibson girl face' and the bell is 'annoying chime' EVERY time the door opens and the writer seems to take pride in and thinks having an obese pet is cute and to be encouraged

  11. 4 out of 5

    Tevilla

    Easy read--bright and believable conversation. And, the author knows her stitchery.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Vonnie Jeffers

    I am really enjoying this series.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Susan Forsgren

    A marvelous, unpredictable mystery, filled with interesting characters and insights.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    My favourite one so far...

  15. 5 out of 5

    Rebekah Schardt

    This is my guilty pleasure genre. Yes, there is a murder (or two) but the crafters work together to solve the case!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jan

    These can be a little wooden, but the plots are quite interesting.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Margaret

    Well written, by a skilled and entertaining author.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    These mysteries are enjoyable, the sleuth is a nice, nosy woman, and the motives are the usual: greed, jealousy, and anger.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Joan Bennett

    Good in audio version for sewers multitasking.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jan

    These always are a fun read. I actually didn’t have this one figured out.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Harold Walters

    A pleasing murder mystery that Agatha Christie would enjoy reading, eh b'ys? A pleasing murder mystery that Agatha Christie would enjoy reading, eh b'ys?

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lyn Soulia-Smith

    What a good out come. Love how Betsy was able to make out the happenings of the murder(s). Pretty good.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    Still enjoying the stories. I'm bing read this series. Still enjoying the stories. I'm bing read this series.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jane Leslie

    Another Winner I love this series of Needlecraft Mysteries, not only because I love needlework myself, but also because the plots are so clever! It's just too bad that Excelsior and its inhabitants don't exist in real life because I would be a part of the "Monday Bunch" and enjoy, not only these vividly three dimensional characters, but also the ambience of a shop devoted to more than one or two areas of the needle arts. Another Winner I love this series of Needlecraft Mysteries, not only because I love needlework myself, but also because the plots are so clever! It's just too bad that Excelsior and its inhabitants don't exist in real life because I would be a part of the "Monday Bunch" and enjoy, not only these vividly three dimensional characters, but also the ambience of a shop devoted to more than one or two areas of the needle arts.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Betsy Devonshire, owner of the Crewel World needlecraft store, is still fairly new in Excelsior, MN. That explains why she didn't know that the contractor she hired for her new roof--Foster Johns--is reviled around town as a murderer who got away with killing his lover and her husband five years previously. Foster, who has heard of Betsy's penchant for solving crimes, begs her to look into his case to find out the truth, and get him out of the hell his life has become. As Betsy investigates, she Betsy Devonshire, owner of the Crewel World needlecraft store, is still fairly new in Excelsior, MN. That explains why she didn't know that the contractor she hired for her new roof--Foster Johns--is reviled around town as a murderer who got away with killing his lover and her husband five years previously. Foster, who has heard of Betsy's penchant for solving crimes, begs her to look into his case to find out the truth, and get him out of the hell his life has become. As Betsy investigates, she finds out a lot of unsavory details about the husband, but the method of the crime is still unclear--can she solve a five-year-old murder? I liked this entry in the series, even if I sort of figured things out before Betsy. I like the world-building with all the details about the town and the shop and the needlecraft, even if I don't do needlecraft myself. Basically I just like small-town cozies! I thought the characters were well set up, too, and all-too believable. I do wish the audiobook narrator would stop making Godwin sound so stereotypically gay--he comes off as a laughable caricature rather than a real person, which really isn't fair to him.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen Hagen

    Hanging by a Thread, by Monica Ferris, b-plus, narrated by Susan Boyce produced by audiogo, downloaded from audible.com. This is a Betsy Devonshire series book, the sixth one. In this book, Betsy hires a general contractor to replace the roof on her store. His work is very good, and when it is completed, and he comes in to be paid, all the people in the Monday knitting group suddenly go silent. After he leaves, they inform her that everyone is sure that he killed his mistress and her husband five Hanging by a Thread, by Monica Ferris, b-plus, narrated by Susan Boyce produced by audiogo, downloaded from audible.com. This is a Betsy Devonshire series book, the sixth one. In this book, Betsy hires a general contractor to replace the roof on her store. His work is very good, and when it is completed, and he comes in to be paid, all the people in the Monday knitting group suddenly go silent. After he leaves, they inform her that everyone is sure that he killed his mistress and her husband five years ago and got away with the murder. He has been persona non grata in the town since. He asked Betsy to do some sleuthing and prove that he was innocent of the murders. She begins her investigation and ultimately finds out the truth. I like these books for the characters involved and for the detailed descriptions of needlecraft work and designs. But this one, because it began on Halloween day, had a sub-theme of ghost stories that I found a little tedious. All in all, it was a fast read and entertaining.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jovdb

    A nice, gentle mystery novel set in a small town. Betsy is the owner of a small shop that is frequented by people who sew, knit, embroider or do anything else with a needle. She is also a really good amateur sleuth. Some five years ago there was a double murder committed in the town. Although everyone thought they knew who committed the murders, Foster Johns a local contractor, there was no proof. Betsy, not knowing this, hired Foster Johns to act as the general contractor when she needed her roof A nice, gentle mystery novel set in a small town. Betsy is the owner of a small shop that is frequented by people who sew, knit, embroider or do anything else with a needle. She is also a really good amateur sleuth. Some five years ago there was a double murder committed in the town. Although everyone thought they knew who committed the murders, Foster Johns a local contractor, there was no proof. Betsy, not knowing this, hired Foster Johns to act as the general contractor when she needed her roof fixed. Her group of friends at the sewing table were shocked when they discovered that she had hire this man. Betsy heard the history and the beliefs, but her experience with the man led her to believe he was not guilty. With Foster Johns permission, she set out to discover the truth.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Mary Ann

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. After buying the building she lives and has her business in, Betsy discovers that the roof has to be replaced and soon, but trying to figure out how to do this and the best roofers and all the other things, she decides the best course of action is to hire a competent contractor. But she hires a contractor who has been accused of a double murder, a set of murders that the police could not prove he did. He requests that Betsy look into this, so does Alice who feels responsible for his circumstance After buying the building she lives and has her business in, Betsy discovers that the roof has to be replaced and soon, but trying to figure out how to do this and the best roofers and all the other things, she decides the best course of action is to hire a competent contractor. But she hires a contractor who has been accused of a double murder, a set of murders that the police could not prove he did. He requests that Betsy look into this, so does Alice who feels responsible for his circumstances, but believes that he did not kill anyone. She discovers that he is innocent. The man he was accused of killing actually killed himself and she discovers how he murdered his (whom he abused) and set up his own alibi.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    Betsy is still new enough to Excelsior, Minnesota, to not know a scandal when she causes one. So, when she hires Foster Johns to fix her roof, the resulting uproar has her needled. The whole town has pinned a five-year-old unsolved double murder on him. Betsy believes Johns when he says he isn’t guilty. But she’ll have to use every stitch of her sleuthing skills to tie up all the loose ends that will prove his innocence once and for all. This is one of the best storylines yet for this series! I r Betsy is still new enough to Excelsior, Minnesota, to not know a scandal when she causes one. So, when she hires Foster Johns to fix her roof, the resulting uproar has her needled. The whole town has pinned a five-year-old unsolved double murder on him. Betsy believes Johns when he says he isn’t guilty. But she’ll have to use every stitch of her sleuthing skills to tie up all the loose ends that will prove his innocence once and for all. This is one of the best storylines yet for this series! I really enjoyed this one. Proving John's innocence and maintaining her stance regardless of the scandal and backlash of her decision to help him is a big plus in Betsy's favor. Monica has outdone herself with this one.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    In this book, Betsy Devonshire, an amateur sleuth and owner of a small needlepoint shop in Excelsior MN, investigates a five-year-old unsolved double murder. Five years ago, Angela Schmitt was found murdered in the bookshop where she worked. Her jealous husband was suspected until 2 days later when he also appeared murdered in his home. The town has blamed Foster Johns, Angela's alleged lover, for both murders with no evidence to convict him in a court of law. Johns asks Betsy to investigate the In this book, Betsy Devonshire, an amateur sleuth and owner of a small needlepoint shop in Excelsior MN, investigates a five-year-old unsolved double murder. Five years ago, Angela Schmitt was found murdered in the bookshop where she worked. Her jealous husband was suspected until 2 days later when he also appeared murdered in his home. The town has blamed Foster Johns, Angela's alleged lover, for both murders with no evidence to convict him in a court of law. Johns asks Betsy to investigate these past murders and prove the town wrong. Betsy sets out to find the truth. This was a nice, short, quick read. I'd ike to read other books in the Needecraft Mysteries series. I think they would be nice, quick reads like this one.

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