In Dead Men Don’t Crochet by Betty Hechtman, the Tarzana Hookers, the crochet group that makes items for charity, is finally having another meeting after a long hiatus. Sheila appears unusually upset and finally confides in her friends that money has been very tight. Until now, Sheila has been surviving by selling fancy shawls that she makes on consignment at The Cottage Shop. But Anne, the original owner, died, and her sons, led by Kevin Brooks, have been paying Sheila significantly less than her shawls are worth. The whole group of the Tarzana Hookers goes with Sheila to The Cottage Shop to give their moral support to their friend as she once again confronts Kevin. But Kevin erupts in anger, refusing to give Sheila the balance of the money owed to her.
The next day the group returns to the store to insist on Sheila’s being paid, but Kevin keeps claiming to be too busy for her. In a little while, they all hear a loud scream from one of the store employees, and racing to the office, they find Kevin with his face in his soup, having drowned in it after having been hit on the back of his head with a paperweight. This time, though Detective Heather Gilmore would still dearly like to pin a murder on Molly since Det. Heather has a major crush on Molly’s detective boyfriend, Barry, she becomes determined to get a confession from Sheila.
Against all the disapproval of her older son, Peter; Barry; and others in Molly’s life, Molly finds herself in the middle of strong expectations of the members of the Tarzana Hookers for her to solve the case for Sheila. Her natural inclination to investigate takes her all over her part of the San Fernando Valley to detect.
Dead Men Don’t Crochet had a fun plot and relatable characters. It spent more time with investigation than the previous book, Hooked on Murder, giving more suspects and drawing out the clues throughout. The conclusion to the mystery was fun and creative.
I also appreciated the way the characters show more of their real lives and the effect of circumstances on their actions. For fun in particular, Dinah gets stuck with her ex- husband’s young twins whom he has with his second wife, who has left him. The ex keeps showing up but then leaving, sticking Dinah with the abominable twins. Ceecee has gotten a popular new television show to host called Making Amends, yet though she is always alert to the presence of paparazzi, she still is down to earth with her friends and eager to crochet to volunteer.
Margaret Strom performs the audiobook of Dead Men Don’t Crochet and helps this book to build up all the flavor of the characters and yarn work in the plot. Strom uses clever irony and creative expressions as she brings this book to life. I appreciated the excitement with which Strom performs this book.
I enjoyed Dead Men Don’t Crochet and found it clever and fun with both a creative plot and a bunch of interesting and fun characters. The book made me interested in crocheting and the idea of making items for charity. This time they make shawls for women in a domestic violence shelter, so the women can feel the hug of a friend when they wear the shawls. This book definitely is an improvement on the previous book and I give it five stars!
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