In Dyeing Wishes by Molly MacRae, the TGIF (Thank Goodness It’s Fiber) club takes a field trip to Cloud Hollow Farm to learn the skills of dying wool. Debbie, the farm’s owner, goes out to show all the baby lambs to Kath, who has inherited her grandmother’s store, Weaver’s Cat, and thus is a new full-time resident of Blue Plum. But when the two women get to the sheep, they find the body of a man cradling a woman, both shot dead and with a gun lying next to the man’s body in an apparent murder/suicide. Recognizing the bodies in horror, Debbie identifies the man as Will, a local environmentalist activist who went into hiding in the mountains two years earlier after being accused of murder. But it is the woman whose death brings shock to Debbie, as Shannon is the daughter of Bonnie, one of the members of the TGIF group. Because of Kath’s experience helping to solve a previous murder, Debbie begs her to figure out this crime, certain that Will, with whom she had gone to school, would never murder this woman he loved. It doesn’t take too long before Kath brings together “The Posse,” comprised of the TGIF club and Joe, the one-time house-breaker who seems sweet on Kath. In addition, the group contains Geneva, the ghost Kath had inherited from her grandmother and whom only Kath can see.
Kath ends up leading her own and Geneva’s investigation, to the great disapproval of the police officer, Joe’s brother whom Kath privately calls “Clod” as a good descriptor of this man’s mental acuity. Geneva in particular enjoys her chance to help investigate as a secret agent who can spy on others without their knowledge. The book concludes in a creative touch.
This book was very well-written and highly enjoyable to read. The second book in the Haunted Yarn Shoppe series, after Last Wool and Testament, the book does not require a reader to have read the first book, though you will probably enjoy the book better if you read the first. The mystery itself was clean and cozy, but it is the whole experience of the book that blends together to create a clever, fun book.
Even though I don’t usually like the appearance of ghosts in my books, I not only enjoyed the book in general but loved the character of Geneva. This delightful ghost suffers from boredom because she loves television but cannot pick up anything, meaning she can’t turn on or off the TV or change the channels. She enjoys reading but can’t turn the pages so is thrilled when Kath introduces her to audio books. But Kath still has to change the CD every hour, something she can’t always do if she is helping a customer at the Weaver’s Cat. And Geneva shows a lot of impatience, often urging Kath to do something in the midst of questioning a potential witness, leading to Kath’s need to figure out creative ways to answer both the witness and Kath at the same time.
Emily Durante reads the audio version of this book, making it really enjoyable. She especially plays the part of Geneva in a creative manner. The ghost shifts from depressive to manic phases, going from babbling in a sky-high manner one minute to sobbing over her miserable life the next. Durante handles these wild phase changes aptly and performs this book especially well.
Dyeing Wishes is a book I highly recommend to anyone who likes cozy mysteries. Don’t be put off by the ghost in the book, as she serves as yet another fun character in the book. I have really come to enjoy the writing of MacRae, and this book doesn’t disappoint. I give this book five stars!
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