ARC Review: Crewel and Unusual


SERIES: A Haunted Yarn Shop Mystery #6

Crewel and Unusual (A Haunted Yarn Shop Mystery)Yarn shop owner Kath Rutledge is looking forward to the grand opening of the Blue Plum Vault, a co-op of small shops on Main Street. But in the week before the grand opening, Kath and her needlework group, TGIF (Thank Goodness It’s Fiber), hear rumors of an unpleasant rivalry developing between two of the new shopkeepers. Nervie Bales and Belinda Moyer declare each other’s embroidery patterns and antique embroidered linens fakes, copies—and stolen goods. Kath is caught in the middle when she’s asked to use her textile expertise to decide if there’s any truth to the accusations.

Then, the day before the grand opening, an exquisite tablecloth that Kath has fallen in love with—the pride of Belinda’s shop—is found cut to shreds. Belinda accuses Nervie of the outrage, but Nervie has an airtight alibi: she was at Kath’s shop, the Weaver’s Cat, teaching a crewel embroidery class.

Despite worries over the rivalry and vandalism, the opening is a success—until Belinda is found dead, stabbed in the back with a pair of scissors from the Weaver’s Cat. Geneva, the ghost who haunts Kath’s store, claims she saw the murderer leaving the scene of the crime. But the ghost is the ultimate unreliable witness—only Kath and her shop manager can see or hear her. That means it’s up to Kath, TGIF, and especially Geneva the ghost to solve the crime before the killer cuts another life short.


I was devastated when I reached the fifth and final book in the Haunted Yarn Shop Mystery series. It’s one of my all-time top (and absolute favourite mystery) series and the perfect cozy read.


However, great news! After a change of publisher, the series is back!

The sixth book Crewel and Unusual is another great instalment. It’s a perfect place to start the series if you haven’t read it before as MacRae make sure to catch you up with all the relevant details as we go. At the same time, for returning readers, it doesn’t feel like a huge infodump and smoothly continues the series along from the last book.

I loved the addition of the Vault arts-and-craft space to the little town of Blue Plum. It lets us meet a whole new set of town residents and sets the perfect scene for murder with plenty of suspects and motives.

As always with these books, I live for the characters.

Kath, Ardis and the whole crew of TGIF knitting sleuths are back and as charming as ever. I love the subtle romance between Kath and Joe, the comfortable, old-friends dynamic amongst the team and their animosity-turned-grudging-respect with Deputy Dunbar. I also really liked how crucial the shop’s resident ghost–Geneva–was to the plot this time around.

I absolutely loved Crewel and Unusual and it lived up to all my expectations.  This is a brilliant series to try if you like cozy mysteries and amateur sleuths –combining baking, crafts and just a touch of paranormal–and this instalment would be a good place for new readers to start.

I love this book, and the whole series. I really hope MacRae is able to carry on writing it for a very long time and I highly recommend picking it up.




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