Hooking for Trouble
A Crochet Mystery, Book #11
By Betty Hechtman
Author Website: bettyhechtman.com
Molly Pink can’t help seeing a pattern of trouble in the latest mystery from the national bestselling author of Seams Like Murder.
The Tarzana Hookers’ Yarn University has been a big success, and the classes have drawn in a slew of new crochet devotees. A less welcome arrival is the boxy monstrosity in the yard behind Molly’s house. She hasn’t met her new neighbors, but when she sees a couple struggling on the balcony and later spies what looks like someone lying on the ground, Molly wastes no time calling in her ex, homicide detective Barry Greenberg.
To Molly’s shock, Barry reports that nothing is amiss with her neighbors and asks her to lay off with the amateur detecting. Molly knows she wasn’t just seeing things, but with no body to prove her case she’ll have to unravel the evidence on her own—because someone in Tarzana is tangled up in murder…(Goodreads)
Molly Pink is my kind of protagonist! Number 11 in the Crochet Mystery series, Hooking for Trouble exceeds the expectations I had based on prior novels. It can be read in order with the series or read as a standalone. While the characters may change and grow from one novel to the next, a reader can always count on the author’s sense of humor bringing a LOL fun break to even the most grueling day. The reader can also rely on the author to ‘demonstrate’ a crochet technique and include a new pattern or two.
Molly’s life is never dull. On the night of her surprise birthday party, after everyone left, one of her cats has escaped the yard, going into the not-yet-landscaped yard of a new two story home was built on a hill, taking away Molly’s privacy. While there, she saw what looked like a man and woman fighting and the woman nearly going off the balcony. On another evening it looked as though a dead body was lying in the yard. Both times, she called her ex-boyfriend, Barry, a homicide detective, to check it out. Both times there was a ‘logical explanation’.
Molly is assistant manager at an indie bookstore; among other things, they added a yarn department that coordinates well with the happy hour group, The Tarzana Hookers (uh…crochet type hookers). Their Yarn University classes have successfully increased customers and crochet classes. The latest plan is to bring two girl groups in to sing and bring attention to their music and video department. One is the return of She La Las, a group that split only when husbands and babies came along. Oh…and this group includes Molly’s mother, who still has her beautiful singing voice and each of the ladies can still perform some dance routines!
The second group is one in which the lead-singing sister is well known from reality TV shows, the ChIlLas. There are three sisters, one of whom’s husband is the manager The husband of another is a well-known country-western singer. Oh…and just for fun, the manager, Garrett and his wife Cheyenne, own the recently constructed two story home built up on a hill on the lot behind Molly’s home. The very same home where Molly had seen the unusual occurrences.
Cheyenne loves to crochet, and has joined the class on Tunisian crochet where Molly works. Adele, the drama queen of the bookstore, has another major crisis regarding her upcoming nuptials. Things begin to heat up when Molly has to make sure nobody says a word around Cheyenne that Molly lives behind her and might be the nosy neighbor who kept calling the police. Molly learns one of the children’s nannies left suddenly and seemed to disappear the night Molly had seen the body. She had all good intentions of not doing any more detecting, but some situations just invited her to seek justice.
Molly, through whose eyes we see the events, is the character we get to know the best. The more I get to know Molly, the more I wish she were my neighbor! Her close friend Dinah and co-worker Adele are possibly the next best defined characters. Dinah is often her partner in investigating. Adele is often the reason for frustration or laughter, yet Molly is as kind as possible to her. It will be fun to watch Molly and her parents since their move to the Valley as we don’t know as much about them. Barry, the ex-boyfriend, seems to have never gotten over Molly, while Mason, her current boyfriend, has his ex-wife and daughter staying in his albeit huge home. The Tarzana Hookers are also a delightful group that I would love to have in my neighborhood. What a group of talented, adventurous crafters they are!
This is another novel in the Crochet Mystery series that pulled me in at the beginning and kept my attention throughout. The mysteries and lack of a body certainly made for an interesting plot, one that included the relationships of the ChIlLas and the challenges in Molly’s relationship with Mason. While at times the various situations seemed like a tangled web of yarn, Molly and her friends seem to effortlessly untangle and make something beautiful and even whimsical with it. The plot twists kept changing my point of view regarding who the bad guy or gal might be, and I was a bit surprised at how it all unraveled. The novel ending was almost completely satisfying. There was one minor disappointment in that I don’t like novels to have cliffhangers, but I have enjoyed this series long enough to look forward to the next in series. I highly recommend Hooking for Trouble to crochet enthusiasts and cozy mystery fans who enjoy a little romance and crafting to bring added texture to the suspense.