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Hanging by a Thread (A Needlecraft Mystery #6)

3.76  ·  Rating Details ·  1,162 Ratings  ·  75 Reviews
“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 h
Paperback, 272 pages
Published January 7th 2003 by Berkley
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Nov 30, 2007 Lain rated it liked it
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
Sep 01, 2014 Rebecca rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
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 ...more
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!
May 22, 2016 Jovdb rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook
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
Jun 09, 2014 Ruth rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
I do so love this series. Sure, they aren't the most intricate mysteries of all time. And if you want soul-wrenching dysfunctionality you should look elsewhere. But I have enough intricacies at work every day and enough dysfunctional terror there too-- so when I'm reading I want an escape, solutions, and the bad guy to get his due. Therefore, Ferris' needlecraft mysteries are perfect. This story of a town that "knows" exactly who murdered who years before is the perfect way to forget board meeti ...more
Jan 19, 2016 scherzo♫ rated it did not like it
Shelves: mys-tepids
A smidgen of mystery buried in product placement: brand name patterns over and over, brand name floss over and over, brand name yarn over and over, ad after ad.
Domestic violence in the Twin Cities area in the 21st century and no one questions why she didn't go to the police or a shelter?
In 1994, Congress enacted the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (VAWA) as part of the Violence Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act.
Minnesota Center Against Violence and Abuse founded
Emily Cullen
May 06, 2016 Emily Cullen rated it really liked it
Needlecraft store owner Betsy Devonshire gets a lot of funny looks when she hires Foster Johns to fix her roof. Foster was blamed for a double murder five years ago but there was never enough evidence to arrest him. Foster has heard of Betsy's reputation for solving a few murders and he asks her to help prove him innocent. I just love the Needlecraft cozy mystery series. Middle-aged Betsy is such a likable character and so are her fellow needleworkers. I'm definitely going to get the next book i ...more
Kathleen Hagen
Hanging by a Thread, by Monica Ferris, b-plus, narrated by Susan Boyce produced by audiogo, downloaded from

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
Claudia Cheyne
Nov 20, 2015 Claudia Cheyne rated it really liked it
Betsy Devonshire is asked to solve a five-year-old crime which has been weighing very heavily on one of Excelsior's citizens. He was suspected of murdering a local husband and wife. He claims he is innocent, but to everyone else he is guilty. Betsy uncovers truths about the victims by talking to former school teachers, relatives and friends. She draws once again on her ability to notice clues which others have missed. It's a good series. Each story is unique and a quick read.
Aug 22, 2016 Kirsti rated it really liked it
Ooooh, good mystery! Did not see that coming, at least not exactly that. I guessed the innocent party, despite a few curve balls, so I greatly enjoyed the end reveal. What I really loved about this one was the mystery was old, long before Betsy had even arrived in town, and she STILL found enough clues to piece it together. Fantastic!

Another day, another book in the series finished. Where to next?
Linda Lou
Apr 03, 2015 Linda Lou rated it really liked it
Ah ha! I finally figured out the mystery before Betsy. She is quite the sleuth but this time I could see the murder in my mind as she described her day to day antics. I love her little slip ups in life that help point her the right way. This time it was a fall from a shelf with a coffee urn on it. Shelves can be found in shops, back rooms and storage areas. But are they found in murder stories? Now it's your turn.
Jan 28, 2016 April rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, audiobook
Betsy investigates a five year old double murder for her general contractor Foster Johns. The residents of Excelsior think that Foster Johns is responsible, but he says he is innocent. Betsy sets out to find the truth.
I like this one and it is kind of fun that no current murder took place. Betsy was able to piece old clues together.
Susan Belau
Aug 28, 2015 Susan Belau rated it liked it
the one where the contractor asks her to find the real killer in a murder that took place 4 years earlier. It was suicide and the guy connected the gun to a bungee cord so that it would disappear up the chimney when he shot himself. He was trying to frame the contractor for his murder and that of his wife a few weeks earlier.
Sep 07, 2014 Mary rated it liked it
I don't read mysteries exclusively but when I do, I want something good and satisfying. If all of Monica Ferris' books are like this one, she is my new go-to author for a mystery fix! I will definitely be reading another selection in her collection of yarns!!
Nov 25, 2013 Amy rated it liked it
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 ...more
Feb 12, 2013 Kathy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle, paperback
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
Oct 24, 2008 Mary rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Mary by: found on library shelves
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Susan Webb
May 24, 2016 Susan Webb rated it it was amazing
I love the character of Betsy Devonshire. She is trying so hard to honor her sisters memory and keep the business afloat. Now if she could just stop finding dead bodies and being nosy enough to want to solve them. Lol she is a great heroine. I like reading about how she is growing, changing and struggling., All while solving a murder.
Mar 03, 2015 Kara rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery-thriller
The books in this series are simple stories, but pleasant and easy to read. Nothing is particularly shocking or upsetting--or surprising. But they are a nice, quick break from heavy reading.
Oct 08, 2014 Pat rated it really liked it
Pleasantly intriguing. This starts with the crime in the beginning, and the whole book is piecing together how the murder actually occurred. Very interesting and as usual, very good.
Julia Wilson
Jun 02, 2014 Julia Wilson rated it liked it
Another case for Betsy to solve...this involves a 5 year old double murder...who is innocent? Who is guilty? And will Betsy get to the truth?
Jun 03, 2014 Charleen rated it liked it
The first I have read of this series, actually I listened to it. Easy to follow. I will try another book of hers.
Feb 03, 2014 Fanny rated it really liked it
A nice and quick book. I enjoyed the scenario and love that Betsy is finally an official "unofficial investigator"
May 13, 2015 Isabel rated it it was ok
Shelves: abandoned
athol library. oh, my reading tastes have changed so much!
Jan 31, 2014 Pat rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Enjoy this series.
Betsy solves a 5 year old murder.
The town thinks a contractor is the murderer. Of course, he isn't.
May 05, 2010 Jennifer rated it liked it
I enjoy the needlecraft mystery series by Monica Ferris. They are light, quick and easy reads. Perfect for when you don't have a lot of time, but need a brief escape from the rest of the world. The grammar and sentence structure in these books isn't the best, but I'm a die-hard needleworker and I enjoy mysteries, as well. Monica winds up the mystery enough to let you form your own theories while slowly unraveling the facts and piecing them into an answer. Yes, it's fluff, but it's fluff that rev ...more
Aug 13, 2016 Peggy rated it it was amazing
good cozy mystery, it keeps you reading to find out what happens at the end.
Aug 18, 2008 Terri rated it really liked it
Betsy just had roofwork done and is getting ready to pay her contractor when her stitching group informs her that he was never convicted, but is suspected of killing his lover and her husband. He asks Betsy to investigate the crime, insisting on his innocence. She agrees to ask questions but points out that she COULD prove his guilt as well. So she does her sleuthing and finds out the clever truth behind the crime.

I always enjoy these books, the characters, the stitching tidbits, etc... This was
Jul 19, 2016 Mary rated it it was amazing
Good mystery
Sep 13, 2016 Michele rated it really liked it
I love the Crewel World series...the employees, the great descriptions of the needle arts people complete, and the revealing of the Who Dunnit.
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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)
  • Crewel World (A Needlecraft Mystery, #1)
  • 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)
  • 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)

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