Hanging by a Thread (A Sewing Studio Mystery)
by Dorothy Howell
About Hanging by a Thread
Hanging by a Thread (A Sewing Studio Mystery)
2nd in Series
Setting – Fictional Town of Hideaway Grove
Kensington Cozies (September 26, 2023)
Hardcover : 304 pages
ISBN-10 : 1496740424
ISBN-13 : 978-1496740427
Digital ASIN : B0BRF14464
The latest novel in a new crafting cozy series in the genre-leading Kensington Cozy Mystery program focusing on the members of a Sewing Studio.
Some of the independent shops in this sleepy town are barely hanging on financially—and that includes Sarah’s Sweets, Abbey’s aunt’s bakery. The shop’s advantage—aside from the deliciousness of its products—is the fact that it’s the only bakery in the area. But it looks like that’s about to change. The second wife of a wealthy businessman wants her own bakery—and money is no object.
When murder unravels the plans for the competing shop, Aunt Sarah is an immediate suspect—and Hideaway Grove’s merchants are on pins and needles about a big upcoming women’s conference, fearing the organization will cancel their booking because of the crime. Abbey’s doing her best to stay optimistic and stitch some custom tote bags for the attendees, but she’s also concerned with patching up Aunt Sarah’s good reputation. And when it comes to sorting through the possible motives of the victim’s family members and associates, she’s got a few tricks up her sleeve . . .
Character Guest Post
Please allow me to introduce myself. I’m Abbey Chandler, age 24, dark hair, blue eyes, and somewhat lost after my relocation from the big city to this small town. Don’t get me wrong. I love it here in Hideaway Grove. But it’s … well, it’s different.
I visited here every summer when I was a child and my university-professor parents headed off to parts unknown to do research. I was welcomed with open arms by Aunt Sarah. She had an adorable bedroom just for me in her storybook-land house on Hummingbird Lane, with its white picket fence and beds of colorful flowers. She’d never married and had no children of her own, but somehow, she knew the right things to do and to say. She made sure my summers here were fantastic.
My one act of rebellion against my academic parents was to get a business degree. Pretty wild, huh? After graduation, I got my dream job at a huge marketing firm in Los Angeles—which fell apart pretty quickly. It was my fault. I admit it. I made a big mistake. Everything might have turned out okay but my supervisor threw a fit and humiliated me in front of the entire department, which was hard enough to bear, but I was also put on administrative leave. In the end, things turned out okay, but no way was I going back to that job.
At my lowest point, I headed for Hideaway Grove and the safety and security of Aunt Sarah. As always, she was happy to have me stay with her.
Hideaway Grove is a small, quaint town that draws tourists from far and wide to shop at our specialty stores, boutiques, and art galleries. There’s a village green with a gazebo, a bandstand, picnic tables, and a playground. Everybody knows most everybody in Hideaway Grove so gossip and rumors abound.
One of the best things about living in Hideaway Grove again was reconnecting with my childhood friend Caitlin. We hit it off as if no time had passed since we’d last seen each other years ago. Aren’t those the best kind of friends?
Deputy Sheriff Zack McKenna works in town, and we’ve sort of connected. He’s quite handsome, especially in his uniform, and can be kind and attentive. Sometimes I think we’ve got a romantic relationship developing. Other times, not so much. Honestly, I don’t know what’s up with him.
Aunt Sarah owns Sarah’s Sweets, the only bakery in town. Her baked goods are beautifully handcrafted and so delicious your knees will weaken just by catching a whiff of the aroma wafting from the kitchen.
Somehow, I got put in charge of a charity project—making pillowcase dresses for girls in Africa. Honestly, my sewing skills are almost nonexistent but I’d agreed to take over the project so what could I do? With Aunt Sarah’s blessing I transformed the storage room in her bakery to a sewing studio where I give pillowcase dress parties. Lots of volunteers show up and we have a great time—for a great cause.
Something very worrisome just happened. Blaine Hutchinson, the wife—the second wife, as everybody in town is quick to point out—of one of the town’s wealthiest businessmen, is planning to open a bakery in Hideaway Grove—just down the street from my aunt’s bakery. Can you believe it? The competition would decimate Aunt Sarah’s business, her income would plummet, her financial future would be jeopardized. Everybody in town is up in arms. Nobody really likes Blaine, which doesn’t help the situation.
Then, believe it or not, things got worse.
Blaine was murdered. Of course, I’m not happy that someone died, but it’s pretty obvious that this is a break for Aunt Sarah—and equally obvious that she’s now the prime suspect in Blaine’s death.
Aunt Sarah is innocent. Everybody in town knows it—except for the sheriff.
I don’t like him.
No way am I going to let Aunt Sarah’s reputation be ruined because of this ridiculous, unfounded accusation, and I’m not waiting around for the sheriff to solve the murder.
Granted, I’ve got a few other things I’m involved with right now. I’m starting a tote bag business that I just know is going to be a huge success. I’m making a welcome video for the town’s website. I’m throwing pillowcase dress parties. Plus, I’m helping the owner of Dottie’s Toys find the culprit who’s stealing her vintage dolls.
I’m determined to clear Aunt Sarah’s name—and take care of everything else—because when it comes to investigations, I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve.
About Dorothy Howell
USA Today Bestselling author Dorothy Howell is the author of 49 novels. Her books have been translated into a dozen languages and sold worldwide. She writes the Sewing Studio mystery series, the Haley Randolph mystery series, and the Hollis Brannigan and Dana Mackenzie mystery series. Dorothy also writes historical romance novels under the pen name Judith Stacy. Dorothy lives in Los Angeles.
Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?