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Crewel World (A Needlecraft Mystery #1)

3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  2,539 ratings  ·  196 reviews
When Betsy's sister is murdered in her own needlecraft store, Betsy takes over the shop and the investigation.But to find the murderer, she'll have to put together a list of motives and suspects to figure out this killer's pattern of crime...Includes a beautiful embroidery pattern!
ebook, 256 pages
Published March 1st 1999 by Berkley Books
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Sarah Sammis
Crewel World is the first in the Needlecraft Mystery series and probably the last one I'll read. It's supposedly a cozy mystery but I found it one of the most depressing books I've read this year. Usually in a cozy the death of a character isn't the focus of the book except to provide impetus for the main character to solve the crime. Here, though, the tragedy of the death was the central focus for a large chunk of the novel.

Roughly speaking, Crewel World is divided into thirds. The first third
Dec 15, 2008 Jennifer rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mn-Wi crafters who like a PG mystery.
I picked up this book because I am a knitter who likes mystery's - so it seemed like a good fit. Oh - And it is by a local author which made it a triple threat to my wallet. Had to get it!

The story is set in Excelsior, MN at Margot Berglund's needlework shop Crewel World. She is a widow in her 50's and she has a pretty nice life. Her sister Betsy decides to come and stay with her when her second marriage hits the rocks. Betsy seems somewhat aimless and it seemed like she came to be with her si
This is the first book in a series that's being shared around in my church choir. I like cozy mysteries and I was pretty well stalled on my other reading and falling behind on my goal of a book a month for the year. So... I picked it up and started reading it.

It was an excellent read and went quickly. I did not read that blurb on the back, so I was just a bit surprised (but only a bit) when Margot was killed.

The characters were likeable and engaging, also believable. I really felt for Betsy when
Laurel Bradshaw
Review from Literary Times
Margot Berglund owns a needlework and wool store called Crewel World [set in Excelsior, MN]. She's fifty-three, a widow and an expert in her field. Her store does very well for a small town, and she is able to support two part time staff as well as other casual workers. Her husband Aaron had been a wealthy man but despite this she lives a simple life, causing speculation among the town's people. Margot's older sister, Betsy, comes to live with her. When Betsy was young
Lee Miller
"Library Journal" reported that this was one of the best current mystery series, so I picked up the first volume just to satisfy my curiosity. I was completely charmed. Cozies are usually light on characterization or real mystery, but Monica Ferris wonderfully combines the American small town cozy with diverse, interesting, fully-formed characters. She also crafted an actual mystery that was hard to put down.

The needlecraft angle was also surprisingly enjoyable. I knew nothing about needlecrafts
Apr 02, 2011 Almeta rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Almeta by: Cozy Mystery Group Read
Shelves: dying2read
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Barbara Bruneau
This might have been a 4 if I had read it in print rather than listened to the audiobook. The reader (Susan Boyce) had a somewhat unusual cadence to her voice that I found a bit distracting. But that was nothing compared to her mangling of the pronunciation of place names. As a 30+ year resident of the Twin Cities, it the reader's mispronunciation of Edina, Wayzata, Navarre, and more was like fingernails on a chalkboard for me. Wouldn't you think that a contract to read an entire novel would be ...more
I think the target demographic for this book is a little older than myself, but I still liked it.
Sonia Ashby
A friend suggested I would like reading Monica Ferris' mystery books since I enjoy reading Charlaine Harris' books. "Crewel World" seemed a little slow to draw me in, and since I am not big on needlepoint or knitting I found myself glossing over details having to do with needlework. It ended up being a good mystery book, and the needlepoint played a huge part in solving the mystery. I will try a couple more books in the series and see if I want to keep reading her books.
Betsy comes from BigCity, California to visit her sister, Margot in SmallCity, Minnesota. Margot runs a needlework shop and lives upstairs in an apartment. She hires Betsy and shares her apartment with her. Betsy has been invited to go to the opera with one of Margot's girlfriends because Margot has a prior commitment. When Betsy returns, she notices the door to the shop is open and it's dark inside. Betsy hurries upstairs to call the police from their apartment. After the police arrive and have ...more
Apr 24, 2011 Stephanie rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Stephanie by: goodreads cozy mystery group
Monica Ferris was an author of the month at the Goodreads Cozy Mystery group, this is the first book I've read by her.

I liked the characters, was slightly surprised at who the victim was. I found the mystery to be fairly easy to solve, was about at that point of wanting to yell at the characters -- "come on, don't you see it?" but I ended up enjoying how the author wrapped it all up.

I will read more in this series.
Really liked this first book in this series. If you like female sleuths such as Hannah Swenson, Lucy Stone, Goldy Schulz, or Jacobia Tiptree, I think that you'll really enjoy this mystery. This book revolves around a small Minnesota town's needlework shop and its owner. It made me look forward to reading more books in this series.
I enjoyed the setting of an embroidery/yarn store in a small suburban Minnesota town, but I didn't get too pulled in by the characters, and the story wasn't all that suspenseful. I will read more in this series, though, because I did like the setting.
A cozy mystery series that revolves around a needlework shop. If you're into needlework, it's a cute, not-too-heavy, murder mystery series. Start with this one, even if you don't read the others in order, as it introduces the characters.
Good Mystery - I liked the characters - understated mystery, not intense - a fun read
I really loved this book- it is not a typical mystery and I can't wait to
I wish that the other sister had been murdered. It was too annoying to read about Betsy's incompetence and poor judgement for the rest of the book after the murder. However, I suppose that Betsy's thickheadedness was necessary - the murder wouldn't have been much of a mystery to anybody else. Some parts of the book were okay though, and Betsy did manage to pick up the pieces of both Margot's and her own life by the end, which made me like her a little more. I doubt I'll pick up the next one unle ...more
As a knitter, I was drawn to this sweet mystery series immediately. I read this one out of order, so had already been introduced to the characters. Love how each mystery evolves uniquely, rather than a formulaic start (many tv episodes are like that). Also enjoy the character development through the series as well as the interpersonal relationships cultivated over time. I appreciated the span of seasons that occurs between stories and casual referral of past murders, without spoiling the solutio ...more
Kathleen Hagen
Crewel World, by Monica Ferris, b-plus, Narrated by Susan Boyce, produced by Audiogo, downloaded from

This is the first in the Betsy Devonshire series which takes place in Excelsior, Minnesota in a needlecraft shop started by Betsy’s sister, called Crewel World. Betsy comes to visit her sister Margot, and they are getting along well. Betsy is deciding whether or not she wants to move to this rather small town when she has lived in some of the largest cities in the past. Then her sist
Katie Kenig
This was an okay read. If you know me, you know that I'm a needlecraft fiend. I even have a series of videos on youtube - check out CraftyDivaKat some time over there if you're so inclined. And so, after seeing my mom give this book a good review, along with others in the series, I thought I'd pick it up and give it a go.

Betsy is newly divorced from her cheater of a husband, and has sold all her worldly possessions to restart her life. The first step on that journey is a visit to her sister, so
This author and story line have potential, but the story was a little weak or "fluffy". The action was a bit slow and the investigation was light. Most of the evidence came from witness testimony which everyone was willing to share...eventually. There was no real sleuthing, mostly pestering questions and a little stumbling over clues. I hope that as the series progresses the main character will become more bold and practiced in her sleuthing skills. I liked the characters, some of which I liked ...more
I adore this series. One of the main reasons is the books are consistently good and I always know what to expect, and I am never disappointed. I don't feel there's one bad book in the bunch, despite how surprisingly long the series has gone on.

I do many needle crafts, so that aspect is fun for me to read, but I think they'd be enjoyable for anyone who likes a mystery series and it certainly doesn't dominate it in a bothersome way.

I wouldn't call this series fluff, but it's definitely a light rea
I know I read this book years ago but I didn't mind listening to it. The first thing that I noticed was that the characters were not in the first flush of youth and that was appealing (and not only because I'm not either.) It was appealing because maturity is supposed to come with age. It was also interesting that the book did not feel dated until more than three quarters of the way through when the computer came into play and Betsy was excited her sister had Windows 95 on her machine. But the n ...more
I started this series many years ago and still love it! Not only are the mysteries nice, I have learned so much about different styles of needlework. Drove through St. Cloud this past summer and somehow missed going to the biggest craft store--I think hubby deliberately bypasses it! LOL. Betsy and her crew and friends become great friends to revisit in every new book--I have them all. Definitely, start with book 1 and read in order to follow the ongoing backstories as well!
2.5 stars but I'm giving it the benefit of the doubt since it's the first book in the series. I was really disappointed at who the victim was. I do think there was a lot of character growth in Betsy since I did like her more towards the end of the book than I did at the beginning. It did drive me crazy that no one would admit to the victim having any enemy's that might want to kill her and the police department was annoying as well.
Mark Baker
Betsy is trying to get her life back in order and visits her sister. Then her sister is killed. What happened? I'm not a needlework guy, and I'm sure that was part of my problem with this book. But mostly, I found the pacing pretty uneven.

Read my full review at Carstairs Considers.
Fun story. I found a later one and read that first, a while back but thought it would be good to find out what happened in the beginning. The names were different and I am glad I went back to the 1st.
Excellent,and since I have read one further down, I can continue and tell you all that this was a very light, pleasant story. I think I started it late last night, and today I finished it.
Katherine Clark
I read this book for the Cozy Monograph. I'm not sure why it wasn't nominated for an Agatha--i surprised myself by enjoying it. It blurs the lines between traditional and cozy, but I think I would still place it in the cozy category. I figured out quite early who the guilty party was, and that was a disappointment, but in other ways, a pretty good read.
Cute, fast read. Not as good as some cozy mysteries I have read, but definitely better than some! I was sad about the murder that led to the mystery, and I was a little upset, not about who the bad guy was, but rather who it wasn't. I thought I had it all figured out, but was wrong. I definitely enjoyed this book and will read the second one!
Homewood Public Library
Margot loved to knit and was expert in the craft. She also enjoyed teaching others how to knit and plan their projects. Her shop specialized in needlework classes and supplies. When her sister Betsy needed a place to 'collect herself,' Margot welcomed her with open arms and included Betsy in the daily routine and life at the shop. Not long after her arrival, Betsy, was shocked and depressed when Margot was found dead and the shop had been vandalized. Would Betsy keep the shop open? Would the lan ...more
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Has published as
Mary Monica Pulver (real name)
Mary Kuhfeld
Margaret Frazer (with Gail Frazer)

[from the author's own website)

Mary Monica Pulver (her maiden name) is an incidental Hoosier — Terre Haute, Indiana, had the hospital closest to her parents’ home in Marshall, Illinois. She spent the later part of her childhood and early adult life in Wisconsin, graduating from high school in Milwaukee.

More about Monica Ferris...

Other Books in the Series

A Needlecraft Mystery (1 - 10 of 19 books)
  • Framed in Lace (A Needlecraft Mystery, #2)
  • A Stitch in Time (A Needlecraft Mystery, #3)
  • Unraveled Sleeve (A Needlecraft Mystery, #4)
  • A Murderous Yarn (A Needlecraft Mystery, #5)
  • Hanging by a Thread (A Needlecraft Mystery, #6)
  • Cutwork (A Needlecraft Mystery, #7)
  • Crewel Yule (A Needlecraft Mystery, #8)
  • Embroidered Truths (A Needlecraft Mystery, #9)
  • Sins and Needles (A Needlecraft Mystery, #10)
  • Knitting Bones (A Needlecraft Mystery, #11)
A Stitch in Time (A Needlecraft Mystery, #3) Framed in Lace (A Needlecraft Mystery, #2) Sins and Needles (A Needlecraft Mystery, #10) Unraveled Sleeve (A Needlecraft Mystery, #4) A Murderous Yarn (A Needlecraft Mystery, #5)

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