Kath Rutledge rushes to Tennessee to the burial of her grandmother, Ivy McClellan, who owned The Weaver’s Cat, a special fabric shop in which a group of women who love all kinds of fabric work, from spinning wool to knitting to all other forms of fabric work in Last Wool and Testament by Molly MacRae. Arriving in the small town, Kath finds all manner of surprises. For one thing, she learns that her grandmother’s house, which Ivy has owned for years, belongs to someone else and the locks have been changed. Yet Kath must get clean out the whole house for the new tenants in just a few days. So since she can’t get into her grandmother’s house in order to sleep, her grandmother’s friend sets her up in another house. The only problem is that Kath learns that the owner of that house, Emmett Cobb, was recently murdered with a nasty poison. And the deputy seems to think that her grandmother is responsible.
That night, Kath opens a letter left for her from her grandmother, to feel shock as she reads Ivy’s message that she has a special gift, that she is “a bit of a witch” with special gifts and has now passed that gift down to Kath. Suddenly given a hint to the source of the nickname “Crazy Ivy,” Kath thinks this are bad enough when she sees a ghost sobbing her non-heart out at the kitchen table. Not believing her eyes, Kath goes to bed, but the next night she meets up again with this ghost, who thinks she has killed Emmett, her one true love, until Kath points out the impossibility of such an action. Now Ms. Ghost urges Kath to take matters into her own hands and solve the murder of Emmett, which may have implications for Kath because it was he who took ownership of Ivy’s house, and she suspects the presence of blackmail.
This book has a really creative mystery to it, with all sorts of elements of intrigue. The plot takes different directions and threads to it. The local cop refuses to take seriously any of the little details that seem strange and out of place. So Kath forms a posse of Ivy’s textile friends to look into the situation and keep their ears open.
The characters in this book are well-written. I found myself becoming very invested in several of the people, including Kath, Ms. Ghost, the cop, the lawyer, and Ivy’s friends.
At first I was hesitant to read this book because I don’t generally like anything related to paranormal books. However, at the advice of others who like this book, I began to consider it, since I really loved MacRae’s Plaid and Plagiarism. But I’m glad I gave the book a chance. As MacRae explained to me, the book is a light paranormal, with only Kath’s being able to see the ghost, who does not come across as creepy or anything.
The audio book is performed by Emily Durante, who does an excellent job. She does great voices for each character, including having some different accents. Not being familiar with Tennessee accents, I can’t say whether they are authentic, but they come across as believable. She suits this book, and I look forward to more books narrated by her.
As a bonus feature to this book, Audible listeners are given a link and a code in which to get recipes and fabric patterns based upon the book. Those getting the book on CD will have those in an insert, and I’m sure visual copies of the book have the recipes and patterns in them too.
Last Wool and Testament was a gamble of a read that really paid off for me. I loved the way the conclusion compares the threads of the mystery to the details of the tapestry that Ivy is weaving and how her plans for her tapestry give clues to the murder itself, even before it is committed. I give this book five stars and look forward to the next in the series.
And for those who already love the series, you’ll be happy to hear that Molly MacRae has signed a contract for another two books in this series!
To purchase this book for yourself, click here on Amazon.