And Then You Dye
by Monica Ferris
2012 / 304 pages
read by Susan Boyle 7h. 31m.
Ferris’ 16th novel and I’m all caught up. In this rather traditional “who-done-it” the amateur sleuth Betsy Davenport is doing some investigation into the death of an elderly neighbor, Haily Brent. Ms. Brent was a recluse who created dye colors for fabric from blooms on various plants. She was very good, an artist. But someone apparently had a grudge because she was found in her basement dead of a gunshot wound.
Betsy’s needlework shop, Crewel World, thrives and she continues her romance with Conner, Gaddy and his new love Rafael are interested in Rafael’s coin sales as well as golf, Jill has two children and her hubby wants another and Bonnie has troubles with her son. Life goes on in the quiet town of Excelsior, Minnesota – not too far from Minneapolis.
There’s a lot of cozy in Ferris’ books but with the last few she has ventured into more traditional fare with a bit more crime scene detail. There are contemporary issues such as homelessness, illegal imports, adultery, homosexuality, witch-craft (wicca), alcoholism, and so on. She’s also experimenting with some structural changes in some books – history, back-flashes, points of view and so on but it’s very mild changes – nothing drastically away from a good linear tale. I’m enjoying watching her develop.