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Buttons and Bones (A Needlecraft Mystery, #14)
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Buttons and Bones (A Needlecraft Mystery #14)

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  1,137 Ratings  ·  128 Reviews
A new Needlecraft mystery from the USA Today bestselling author of Blackwork.

Owner of the Crewel World needlework shop and part-time sleuth Betsy Devonshire heads for the Minnesota north woods to renovate an old cabin. But beneath the awful linoleum is something even uglier- the skeleton of a Nazi. Betsy's investigation yields the site of a former German POW camp, a mys
Hardcover, 261 pages
Published December 7th 2010 by Berkley Hardcover (first published October 25th 2010)
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Jul 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 stelle e mezza
Confessione: stavo cercando un libro per la sfida mensile, quando ho visto che una delle partecipanti aveva scelto questo. Non trovavo nulla fra i miei, quindi avrei dovuto comprarne uno: visto che avevo comunque adocchiato questa serie, mi sono decisa a leggerlo, sebbene sia ben avanti nella serie (e a me piace leggere le serie in ordine). Non mi sono pentita della scelta, anzi! Senza ombra di dubbio è stato il migliore dei cinque letti per la sfida.
Nonostante sia ben avanti nel
May 18, 2017 rated it liked it
really a 3.5 , I'm not sure why, the lack of urgency, maybe? (if you read the blurb, the murder happened 45+years ago)

I know that shouldn't matter, but if I'm not in the thick of it with the murderer hot on my- ahem, the sleuth's heels, no intensity on my part-- not that I look for intensity in a cozy, far from it! ;] (Yes, I AM an enigma wrapped in a puzzle!)

Judy Iliff
Dec 13, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I do like this series of books. (And, yes, I know I've said the same thing many times before!)I always feel like I need to get back to my counted cross-stitching after I finish one of these.

Betsy and her friend Jill discover a skeleton in the root cellar under the cabin Jill and her husband have recently purchased. Trying to discover not only who the skeleton was but who killed this person leads the two friends on an interesting part of WWII history. (I did not know the US held German prisons in
May 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Larsons have brought a cabin in Northern Minnesota. On a trip there Jill and Lars planned to cleanup the cabin and Betsy went along to hear the loons call. The old linoleum floor is removed showing a trapdoor. The group found a skeleton that appeared to be murder. Jill wants to know who and how skeleton was placed in the cellar. Betsy agrees to help in Jill's investigation. They soon find that body might be that of a German POW that escape from the concentration camp during World War Two. Th ...more
Jeannie and Louis Rigod
Dec 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This was an excellent look into the lives of persons outside the normal daily lives in Minnesota during the Second World War. German POW's are billeted in the Mid-West during 1944. However, what does that bit of history have to do with a skeleton found beneath a log cabin decades later?

Since Jill and Lars are the new owners of this log cabin and since Bess is feeling shaken about her new means a mystery to be solved.

The history was fascinating and taught me about the times prior
Surprisingly good. A strong 3 1/2 stars. The mystery is interesting, the research is not given in spurs of infodumps but is an integral and organic part of the story. This is a really good one in the series where Monica Ferris succeeded in mixing crafts, plot points and character history together and create something interesting and clever. Her secondary new characters she introduces are interesting, clever and not paper thin (I'm thinking about Peg for instance or Violet). Here's hoping this is ...more
Beth - ;)
I have read all of the needlecraft mysteries to date and this one was one of the better ones. Although I did figure out who the skeleton was about halfway through and before Betsy did and also what had basically happened. It was still a good story with most of the usual accompanying characters. A small bit of trivia - I was checking my list of books read in 2010 and the first one on the list was also by Monica Ferris. So, unless I manage to finish my next start before Friday midnight Betsy will ...more
Mar 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, mystery
A new mystery series for me. This one is set in Minnesota and the major character owns a needlework shop, Crewel World. It's a well written and paced book that includes a new man in the main character's life, a dark history of the owners of a cabin, and a mystery that takes enough twists and turns without being gory or creepy.

A couple buys a cabin in Northern Minnesota and, while remodeling, discover the skeleton of a Nazi prisoner of war buried in the cellar. There were German POW camps in Min
Susan Webb
Mar 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I love this series. The very first book I felt sorry for Betsy Devonshire, but enjoyed watching her come into herself, at a late age. She has tried to make her sister proud of her and to do right by her with what she left. She has a knack for solving murders and she does it in unorthodox ways. I love her relationship with Goddy and this story went back to 1945. How they managed to solve it was interesting and all in who you know. Worked out pretty good for her.
Becky Tatar
Aug 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
When Lars and Jill purchase a cabin by a lake, they ask Betsy to go with them, and their two children. As they start tearing up carpet and tile, they find a trap door, and when Jill goes down the stairs from the trap door, a mystery starts, that goes back to the end days of WWII and a local POW camp that held German soldiers. Betsy and Jill combine their skills to find out the ins and outs of hte mystery.
Jun 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
As always I enjoyed this book. It was a weird experience however. I knew the entire story about the German POW, all of it. None of the rest seemed familiar tho. Nothing about Jill and Lars buying a cabin or Betsy and Connor and his daughter. Could I have read it before and totally forgotten all but the murder mystery? Or has another book had the same murder? Just too weird......
Jul 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bought-it
One of my favorite Cozy Mystery authors!
Jan 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
When Betsy's best friend Jill Larson invites Betsy to spend the weekend with her family at their lakeside cabin Betsy decides to go. Her romance isn't going as smoothly as she would like and with Godwin's encouragement decides a weekend away might do her some good. The Larson's have been slowly remodeling the cabin and decide to rip out the carpeting. After pulling up the carpeting and two layers of linoleum they discover a trap door that leads to a tiny root cellar. When Jill goes down to inves ...more
Jodie Hill
Betsy Devonshire goes to her best friends Jill and Lars Larson's new lake cabin to check it out and help with some initial clean up. Guess what? Betsy discovers a skeleton in the cellar... and thus starts another search for answers because Jill (a former cop) wants to know what happened in the cabin before they start spending a lot of time there with their small children. Add in Betsy's new love interest with the spoiled brat daughter and it was just ehh...

Considering I normally LOVE Monica's b
Feb 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Perhaps my favorite of the series to date....for example, I knew Minnesota had a huge Scandinavian population. I had no idea that CCC camps were used at German POW camps during WW II. Add in an Irish biological have to read the book to find out!
Oct 05, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
After a couple of meh thriller-mysteries, I needed something solid, dependable, and well, cozy. Monica Ferris's Needlecraft mysteries fits this requirement to a T. Kinda a Murder She Wrote type series, it features a vibrant woman over 60, who's found herself transplanted from California to Excelsior MN, running her deceased sisters needlepoint and yarn shop (Crewel World) and solving mysteries on the side. She's methodical, talks to people, makes mistakes, and calls the cops when she should call ...more
May 02, 2016 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 02, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, historical
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 14, 2013 rated it liked it
Betsy Devonshire, the owner of Crewel World Embroidery Shop, is invited to visit the new cabin that her best friend Jill and her husband Lars have purchased on the lake. The cabin has been empty for years and needs a lot of work. When they pull up the old carpet and linoleum that covered the floor, they find a trapdoor. When they open it up, there is a skeleton that appears to have been there for a very long time. When Jill and Betsy look up the history of the cabin, they find that there is a my ...more
Dec 30, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
Buttons and Bones was not as strong as Ferris's other books. The setting was interesting - Excelsior MN and northern MN by Thunder Lake (Walker/Remer Area). The historical aspect of POW camps for German soldiers in Northern MN was also interesting. I felt like there was alot of repetition when Lars, Jill, and Betsy keep having to introduce themselves and explain what they found in the cabin. Also, the reader could almost immediately solve the mystery but had to wait till the last few pages for t ...more
Kathleen Hagen
Buttons and Bones, by Monica Ferris, b-plus, narrated by Susan Boyce, produced by Audiogo, downloaded from

This is the latest in the Needlecraft Series involving Betsy Devonshire and her needle crafts store, Crewel World, in Excelsior, Minnesota, a suburb of Minneapolis. In this book, Betsy goes with her friends Jill and Lorris, and their two children to see the cabin Jill and Lorris have just acquired in northern Minnesota. The flooring looks truly tacky, so Betsy and Jill start pul
Margaret M.
Feb 21, 2013 rated it it was ok
This type of mystery novel is not my cup of tea, but I am aware there is a big following of readers of these mystery "series." These mysteries feature an amateur woman sleuth whose occupation is the theme of each book in the series, i.e. caterer, librarian, or as in this case, the owner of a needle craft shop. There is usually a minor romantic element, but very tame. The writing is third person, and uncomplicated. It has a mid-western setting, and I did learn some facts about the setting of whic ...more
Julie P
Jan 01, 2011 rated it it was ok
Betsy Devonshire is at it again. An unexpected surprise awaits Betsy and the Larson's in the root cellar of their cabin in the woods. Never one to pass up on amateur sleuthing, Betsy and Jill decide to figure out who the skeleton is. If you're looking for a lot of needlework in this book, you won't find it. This book involves a lot of talking and supposition in order to solve a 50 year old mystery. While not one of Monica Ferris' better endeavors, it is still okay entertainment, and features the ...more
Text Addict
Nov 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is one of the cozy mystery series I’ve been following, courtesy of the public library – my goodness, this is the 14th “Needlecraft Mystery.” Anyway, the conceit is that Betsy Devonshire owns a needlework shop in a small Minnesota town, and has a knack for solving mysteries. Not all of the series hits the mark, in my opinion, but this one definitely passes it. Maybe I’m biased because it has a significant historical element – the mystery is about something that happened during or after World ...more
Feb 17, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle, hardback
Owner of the Crewel World needlework shop and part-time sleuth Betsy Devonshire heads for the Minnesota north woods to renovate an old cabin. But beneath the awful linoleum is something even uglier- the skeleton of a Nazi. Betsy's investigation yields the site of a former German POW camp, a mysterious crocheted rug, and an intricately designed pattern of clues to a decades-old crime.

This is another good one from Monica Ferris. This one focuses on Betsy and Jill (along with Lars and the kids) and
Chi Dubinski
Jan 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Betsy Devonshire, owner of a needlework shop, goes with a friend to inspect the lake cabin that she and her husband bought. While pulling up decades-old linoleum , they discover a trap door to a root cellar. In addition to the jars of green beans, there is a skeleton. The police believe that it is what remains of a German prisoner of war, who went missing from the camp. Prisoners of war were held in Minnesota, and did farm labor until the war was over. But there is more to the story, and Betsy i ...more
Jan 18, 2011 rated it it was ok
This is a cozy series I've been reading for years. Takes place in Minnesota and for a change it was the summer season, usually its winter brrrrrr. The main character Betsy owns a needlework, yarn shop and I like when they reference types of yarn and different cross stitch patterns, etc. Being a knitter and needleworker I enjoy reading about the craft. Also, after reading the books I usually get into the mood to work on some project that I have. If you're into cozy's this series, which starts wit ...more
Apr 01, 2011 rated it liked it
Betsy Middleton goes with her friends Jill and Lars to work on the decrepit log cabin they've bought on one of Minnesota's many lakes. Jill finds an unexpected crawl space, complete with skeleton. The local police decide that the bones belong to an escaped German POW (yes, there were camps in Minnesota). Betsy and Jill investigate who used to live in the cabin, and discover another World War II puzzle--this one connected with a major who apparently deserted when given orders to go to the Pacific ...more
Mar 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, audiobook
Jill and Lars Larson buy a cabin on Thunder Lake. Betsy goes to the cabin with them for the weekend. Jill and Lars are remodeling and find a trapdoor under the linoleum in the kitchen. There is a skeleton in the cellar. This begins the mystery of who was the person and what happened to bring about his death? Jill asks Betsy to help her find out these answers because she feels a vested interest since the skeleton was found in her cabin. The mystery leads to the Second World War and German prison ...more
Feb 24, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: craft-fiction
I have to admit this one disappointed me, but I guess after a great string of stories and great characters it was bound to happen sometime. From the beginning the regular characters felt "depressed" to me, like everybody was in a bad mood throughout the whole thing. I just got that sense and it never let up. The storyline was okay, but even Goddy couldn't cheer this one up. I hope the characters get some therapy or something by the next one so they won't be so grouchy and depressed! Maybe the sm ...more
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Madison Mega-Mara...: Buttons and Bones 1 2 Mar 14, 2012 04:46PM  
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  • A Holiday Yarn (A Seaside Knitters Mystery #4)
  • Spinning in Her Grave (A Haunted Yarn Shop Mystery #3)
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)
  • 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)
“Did you know it was from up here they got the word sitting duck? It comes because commercial hunters used to take a live wild duck and put a collar on it and fasten it to a stool—this is also where they got the expression stool pigeon, because they did the same thing with a wild dove—lots of folks couldn’t tell the difference between a pigeon and a dove. They’d put the duck out at the edge of a marsh an’ when the big flocks go over, the fastened-down duck would call and the others would come in for a landing and get shot. Or a dove stuck out in a field would call its friends to help. They used to send barrels full of ducks and pigeons and geese to Chicago restaurants.” 0 likes
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