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Lye in Wait (Home Crafting Mystery, #1)
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Lye in Wait

(Home Crafting Mystery #1)

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  1,708 ratings  ·  192 reviews
Cocoa butter soap, check. Lemon lip balm, check. A dead body? That's just what Sophie Mae Reynolds finds in her workroom: the corpse of Walter Hanover, the neighborhood handyman. He died from drinking lye, something she has in good supply. But the police don't suspect Sophie Mae, a thirty-something widow who makes and sells beauty products. Instead they call it a suicide. ...more
Paperback, 324 pages
Published 2008 by Midnight Ink (first published October 1st 2007)
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Average rating 3.61  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,708 ratings  ·  192 reviews

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Jul 15, 2011 rated it liked it
With two kids, a husband, a full-time job, it's not often that I read a book in under a week anymore. Which I think says a lot for both the tone of this book and how engaging it was. I found it straddled that fine line between being light, and breezy, but also having a nice amount of suspense and mystery to it. There were definitely moments when I would have advised Sophie Mae to be more careful, but I was also able to read it one evening when my husband was away on a trip without getting the he ...more
Aug 01, 2012 rated it it was ok
Really bad. Starts off with no introduction of characters, just a murder of someone no one knows or cares about. Then the protagonist, soap maker Sophie, inserts herself into the investigation with absolutely no reason. She makes two middle of the night trips to an abandoned house and we're not even on page 50. I couldn't go on. Will not finish.
Sep 30, 2008 rated it liked it
With zero expectations for this one, I picked it off the bookshelf and was pleasantly surprised. It reminded me of an old Agatha Christie story - of which I was a huge fan as a kid... Fun, easy, entertaining.
Sep 26, 2018 rated it liked it
3 1/2 star rating.

Would you believe....the discovery of the dead body happens in the first sentence on the first page of the book!

Sophie Mae (widowed) lives with her best friend (Meghan) and best friend's daughter (Erin) and runs a business making soaps, balms, lotions and the like. She goes into the workroom and discovers the local handyman dead on the workroom floor. The smell of lye is obvious...and it looks like he brought it himself. Did he commit suicide in her work
Jul 10, 2012 rated it did not like it
This was meant as a cozy book but it crosses over the fine line dividing coziness and dull grayness. I simply can't recommend this book. It's far from being a mess, it's competently written, but not well written. I predicted every single twist that mattered, without even trying hard enough to do so. Someone who hasn't read much mystery shouldn't start with this book. Wherever it sits on a shelf anywhere in the world, Lye in wait will not be cherished. It's hard to imagine someone liking or valui ...more
Anne Hawn Smith
I have mixed feelings about this book. The writing is very uneven and the story simplistic, but there is something there with a lot of promise. Maybe a course in writing would help. I liked the characters, but the love interest with the detective is not going to go anywhere until he is fleshed out. He is, literally and figuratively, too flat. Having said that, I did enjoy it because I needed something light and easy to follow.
I did enjoy the parts about soap making and running a home business.
Colleen Anderson
Feb 16, 2016 rated it did not like it
Here's a typical line from this book:

"The image of the bent form among the shadows in the half-light was spare, desolate, lonely as a scratchy record playing through tinny speakers at two a.m." (page 40)

Just awful. Totally contrived. Not my cup of tea.
Jul 09, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: cozy-mysteries
A solid 3.5, maybe even 3.75 stars. I really liked Sophie Mae, Meghan, and Detective Ambrose. A well-crafted mystery (pun intended) with some interesting tidbits about soap and lotion making. I'll definitely check out more in this series. I especially want to find out if the Sophie Mae / Ambrose relationship is going anywhere.
I've had this book on my shelf for ages, mainly because my favorite series is by the same author (under a different name), but I never got to it because Crafting is my least favorite subgenre. However, McRae/Cates didn't disappoint and I'm glad I pulled this one for BINGO. The characters in the book were well-drawn and likable, and I enjoyed being invited into their world. The pace of the action was good and I was a good ways in before I knew who and what, but why eluded me until the climax. I l ...more
Karen Holman
Jul 06, 2017 rated it liked it
This is an entertaining mystery. The characters are a group of women, a child, a detective, plus others that make the story interesting. The setting is in a small town in Washington and an ending that clues the reader that more stories in this series will be coming.
Jul 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
A few really good plot twists.
Jan 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed this first book in the series. Ready to start book 2
Jan 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As usual this author didn’t disappoint and I can’t wait to try the lotion bar recipe.
May 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Good story, easy read. Guilty pleasure.
Nov 09, 2018 rated it liked it
decent cozy mystery. recipes for lotion bar, lip balm and bath salts included.,
Feb 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Loved it. I debated between 4-5 stars, but since I recently read one that was 5+ stars, I decided to go with 4. It was a very entertaining read. I'm looking forward to more in this series.
Jan 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Light mystery. A good story.
Sep 01, 2009 rated it liked it
#1 Sophie Mae Reynolds "Home Crafting" mystery, this one featuring soapmaking, which is what attracted me to the book, given that I'm a soapmaker myself. Sophie Mae enters her soapmaking workshop--in the basement of the home she shares with her housemate and friend Meghan and Meghan's daughter Erin--one morning to discover the body of the neighborhood handyman on the floor--and it's apparent that he died by drinking a lye solution. She knows that all her lye was locked up, and she hadn't made co ...more
May 31, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2008
Soap maker Sophie Mae Reynolds is devastated when she finds the body of neighborhood handyman Walter Hanover on her workroom floor. The police think he committed suicide by drinking lye but Sophie Mae isn't convinced and begins looking into Walter's death herself much to the annoyance of Detective Barr Ambrose. The more Sophie Mae digs, the more complicated the case becomes. Sophie Mae doesn't seem to have a clue about Walter's death, but someone thinks she does and soon her life and the lives o ...more
Magic Shop
Jan 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: People who like mystery books.
Recommended to Magic Shop by: public library,
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Brittany (The Book Addict's Guide/Novelly Yours)
Wow, I enjoyed this a lot more than I thought I would! I really had no clue who killed Walter until the very end of the book when it was revealed. There were a ton of twists and turns, new ideas, new branches of the story line, and new hypotheses introduced that it made for a really clever book. I really enjoyed this a lot!

Full review originally posted on The Book Addict's Guide: Wow, I actually really enjoyed this a lot more than I thought I would! It was a nice, cozy mystery but there were a lot of
Sophie Mae is typically busy concocting and selling her homemade beauty products out of the home she shares with her best friend. However, all of her work is put on hold one day when she walks into her workroom and finds the neighborhood handyman, Walter, dead. It appears that he has consumed lye, but Sophie Mae is the only one convinced that it wasn't a suicide. As she starts to dig into Walter's guarded life for clues, she quickly finds he had a very trouble past full of secrets that surprisin ...more
Aug 25, 2014 rated it liked it
It was good, a fun easy mystery. Not terribly mysterious, and a little awkwardly written at times, but enjoyable nonetheless. I'll probably read more of McRae's books, because I like mysteries and I believe this is her first one so perhaps some of the rough edges of her writing and mystery-crafting get smoothed over time.

The main annoyance I found was the writing was quite uneven. At times it could be totally compelling, and at others the author seemed distracted to the point of rambling. Not a
C.C. Thomas
Aug 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Sophie Mae Reynolds runs a home business making soaps, bath salts, lotions, etc. Should be a cushy life, one far away from murder and mayhem. Yet, when Sophie finds her next-door neighbor and handyman murdered in her studio, crime comes crashing through the back door.

When police determine that Walter, the handyman, died in Sophie's studio after drinking lye, she turns into their number one suspect. Sophie is determined to prove them wrong and clear her name.

I really liked
Apr 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Astoundingly -really good-.

I say this because the first 30% of the book is boooorrriiiiinnnnng. But after that, it picks up, and yes, by the end it's a matter of "Who the dickens is NOT involved in this fiasco?!" but it was cute. And fluffy.

I have to hand it to the author (Goodreads says 'Lynette Eason', though my kindle says 'Cricket McRae', so um....), the characters (while being largely stereotypes - the awesome mom, the asshole ex-husband, the hot cowboy detective, th
Jul 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mysteries
Sophie Mae finds the neighborhood handyman dead in her workroom and office. She smells the unmistakeable (to her) smell of lye mixed with peppermint. She's a soap and cosmetic maker with a growing home business so she knows lye when she smells it. The police think its suicide. Yet Sophie wonders.....

Sophie Mae is curious as the proverbial cat and wonders about the life of an acquaintance and why did he die in her workroom. As she seeks the answers to these questions, she wanders into
Book Wormy
Jan 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2017
This is the first book in the Sophie Mae Home Crafting Mystery series and it is very much a cozy mystery.

The action is set in a little village called Cadyville in Washington and Sophie Mae works from the home she shares with her flatmate and her flatmate's daughter making and selling home made bath products. The book contains several recipes so you can make your own soap, lipbalm or oatmeal body scrubs something I am not ambitious enough to try I will just buy my own "home made" lol.
Jan 23, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, read-2012
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
I purchased this as a Kindle freebie from Amazon. While I've enjoyed the Kindle freebies I've read through the years, but the quality of the writing was evidence of why they were free. This is the first "freebie" that didn't feel like one.
In a nutshell: Sophie Mae Reynolds finds the local handyman dead in the basement of the home she shares with her friend Meghan. Walter's death is ruled a suicide, but Sophie Mae is sure that foul play was involved, so she sets off with Meghan's (sometimes
May 21, 2012 rated it liked it
Interesting storyline and characters. Soaps and lotions maker,Sophie Mae, discovers a body in her home workshop in a house she shares with friend, Meghan, and her daughter, Erin. No one knew much about Walter,the handyman, while he was alive, but he soon proves to have been a complex man as they dig into his life. He was a recovering alcoholic, won lottery but gave all his money to charity, and had a mentally ill fiancé with a creepy brother,Jerome. Lots of nasty secondary characters and a stran ...more
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Cricket McRae enjoys home crafts like food preservation, cheese making, candle making, and fiber arts. She writes the Sophie Mae Reynolds Homecrafting Mystery Series. As Bailey Cates, she also writes the Magical Bakery Mysteries.

For two years Cricket managed her own soap making business, including all product design, manufacturing and marketing. The recipes included in her first book,

Other books in the series

Home Crafting Mystery (6 books)
  • Heaven Preserve Us (Home Crafting Mystery, #2)
  • Spin a Wicked Web (Home Crafting Mystery, #3)
  • Something Borrowed, Something Bleu (Home Crafting Mystery, #4)
  • Wined and Died (Home Crafting Mystery, #5)
  • Deadly Row to Hoe (Home Crafting Mystery #6)