Book Review: A Case for the Yarn Maker by Candace Havens @CandaceHavens @TulePublishing

 

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Title: A Case For the Yarn Maker
Series: The Ainsley McGregor Series, Book 2
Author: Candace Havens
Publisher: Tule Publishing
Publication Date: April 15, 2020
Genre: Cozy Mystery
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A Case for the Yarn Maker
The Ainsley McGregor Series #2
Candace Havens
Tule Publishing, April 2020
ISBN 978-1-951786-97-7
Trade Paperback
From the publisher—
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Spin a yarn…at your own risk.
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Everyone at Bless Your Art in Sweet River, Texas, is excited about the Yarn Goddess (yes, that’s her real name) coming to town. Ainsley McGregor has set up a special event at the local community center, but when old Mrs. Whedon doesn’t see eye-to-eye with the Goddess about using quality yarn, a fight breaks out. Who knew the octogenarian had ninja moves like that?
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It’s all fun and games until George Clooney, Ainsley’s Great Dane, finds Ms. Yarn’s dead body in a booth at Bless Your Art. Now the prime suspect is Mrs. Whedon, and while she’s not the easiest woman to get along with, there’s no way she’s the killer. At least, Ainsley doesn’t think so. As this yarn unravels, Ainsley and her quirky friends learn some interesting things about the case and the Goddess’s checkered past. But there’s a killer on the loose, and George may be the only thing protecting Ainsley from certain death.
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It’s common these days, if not required, to have an animal of some sort in a cozy series and said animal (or more) has varying levels of participation in solving whatever crime may have occurred. In other series, the animal is just a pleasant part of the storyline, a member of the family. The third kind is the animal who brings comic relief to the tale and I’m always interested to find out what kind of animal character I’m going to see in a series that’s new to me, like this one. Obviously, the animal isn’t the most important factor but, to me, it’s an appealing part of whatever is going on.
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Here we have George Clooney, a Great Dane whose self-appointed mission is to protect his mom, Ainsley, and he does a fine job of it. Sweet River, Texas, should be a completely peaceful little town, practically crime-free, but that’s not exactly the norm in Sweet River. Ainsley has already been involved in one murder investigation—much to the dismay of her brother, Greg, the local sheriff—and, now, here we go again. There’s no doubt that the elderly Mrs. Whedon had “words” with the victim but did she disagree with the woman deeply enough to kill her?
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Because Ainsley, a part-time professor, runs an artisan market, there are plenty of players in the story, any one of whom could be hiding something and, since she knows them all, Ainsley feels she simply must look into things. Call it snooping if you will but both Ainsley and George are pretty good at sniffing out clues and they’re not alone; many of the market vendors and townspeople pitch in here and there.
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A Case for the Yarn Maker is a fun tale and I enjoyed all the characters and their interactions. Yes, George Clooney steals the show more than once and he’s downright lovable but, then, what Great Dane isn’t? I’m going to have to get a copy of the first book to tide me over while I wait for the next one.
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Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, May 2020.

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A Case For the Winemaker
Ainsley McGregor Book 1
The closer she gets to the truth, the more she finds herself drowning in trouble.
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It’s an exciting time in Sweet River, Texas, and the whole town’s talking. Maybe, a little too much. Former English professor Ainsley McGregor has gambled everything on her new business: Bless Your Art, an artisan market where local artists sell their wares and teach classes.
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The bright, white space is filled to the brim with colorful art, yarn, jewelry, pet treats, antiques and even a few medieval weapons. Oh, and there are wine tastings. Everything’s better with wine. Ainsley is surprised by how well things are going–right up until the moment her Great Dane finds a dead body. With her friend accused of the murder, it’s up to Ainsley to find the real killer.
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As the suspect list grows longer, Ainsley has her work cut out for her. The task is made more difficult by the fact her brother, the sheriff, doesn’t seem to want her help. If she doesn’t wrap up the case soon, she might be the next wine, um, one to die.
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Bestselling author Candace Havens has published more than 25 books. Her novels have received nominations for the RITA’s, Holt Medallion, Write Touch Reader Awards and National Readers Choice Awards. She is a Barbara Wilson Award winner. She is the author of the biography Joss Whedon: The Genius Behind Buffy and a contributor to several anthologies. She is also one of the nation’s leading entertainment journalists and has interviewed countless celebrities from George Clooney to Chris Pratt. Candace also runs a free online writing workshop for more than 2000 writers, and teaches comprehensive writing classes. She does film reviews with Hawkeye in the Morning on 96.3 KSCS, and is a former President of the Television Critics Association.
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