• Crewel World

  • By: Monica Ferris
  • Narrated by: Susan Boyce
  • Length: 7 hrs and 46 mins
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (883 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

When Betsy Devonshire arrived in Excelsior, Minnesota, all she wanted was to visit her sister Margot and get her life in order. She never dreamed her sister would give her a place to stay and a job at her needlecraft shop. In fact, things had never looked so good - until Margot was murdered. In a town this friendly, it's hard to imagine who could have committed such a horrible act, but Betsy has a few ideas. There's an ex-employee who wants to start her own needlework store. And there's the landlord who wanted Margot out. Now Betsy's putting together a list of motives and suspects to figure out this killer's pattern of crime….

©1999 Monica Ferris (P)2011 AudioGO

What listeners say about Crewel World

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

British style mystery set in America

Any additional comments?

I liked this book about a small town murder mystery with a twist of needlework shop thrown in. The depiction of knitting, counted work and embroidery are all accurate. The discussion of design drawn from objects in an art museum, color and fiber snobbery are spot on. The story kept my interest and if it is a series (which I think it is) I will probably give the next book a try. The character development was good and made it an engaging story. Be aware that having a needlework hobby probably would add to the enjoyment level for the reader-- but this isn't a must.

41 people found this helpful

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Nice little cozy

The only time I buy books this short are when I'm spending a bonus gift card, so frequently I end up with a book written by an author I don't know, a book whose chief asset was that it didn't cost more than the value of the gift card. This was one of those, and a lucky buy.

I like a good cozy now and then -- at least to intersperse with some of the more violent or hard-boiled thrillers -- and this one was exceptionally good. It starts very differently, that's for sure. The woman you think is going to be the protagonist isn't -- its her sister instead, Betsy, who turns out to be a more interesting person than her goody-two-shoes, civic-minded sister would have been -- something about the lure of that 'sadder but wiser' girl that Prof. Harold Hill lusted after in 'Music Man'. Betsy has a bit of history behind her, which makes her all that much more interesting.

The first part of the book deals with Betsy's stepping into her new role, so we get an unusually long 'introduction'. No doubt some listeners will be screaming to get on with the detection part, but I liked this more gradual entry. And besides, it makes you think: What if you arrived in a brand new town, and within a day, found yourself entirely responsibly for planning -- and paying for -- a funeral? Good stuff -- I'll be looking for more books by this author, and I'm glad to know how it all began.

I don't think any knowledge or interest in knitting or crafting of any kind is required -- nor is it gender-specific. Male crewel artists appear, too -- it's ART, and not just for women any more, which this book proves beyond a doubt.

The narrator was new to me as well -- there's a faint trace of Brooklyn or maybe LonGuyland in her voice, even though the story is set in small-town Minnesota. Didn't matter -- she probably wouldn't know what to do with lutefisk or lefse, but she did a fine job reading.

Good book! Now I just wish it had been longer....

15 people found this helpful

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"So round, so firm, so fully packed"

Having read almost the whole series, mostly in print version, I recommend it highly. This is the first book in the series and it is well worth reading. You are gradually introduced to the characters that will be around for a while and a few who won't be, but since the dirty deed doesn't happen right off the bat, you don't know who's going to get it or "who dun it" for a while. This does build tension, but it isn't obvious. This book is not gimmiky or gadgety. You feel these are real people who are having the same troubles and delights as the rest of us. The author takes the time to flesh out the characters, so when there is a tragedy, it doesn't fit. And it shouldn't, most people don't experience this, except on TV etc. In fact the true nature of the crime doesn't get exposed until gradually as they are putting their lives back together it emerges as something else. It brings it all home more than most "who dun it's."
The only thing you don't get in the audio version is the stitching pattern at the back. And there may be a way!

7 people found this helpful

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So-So

The story was pleasant enough and I might have bought others (on sale) in this series as I am a fibre enthusiast but not with this narrator. I found that she enunciated each word, especially in the dialogue, so much so that I kept thinking she was targeting her reading to a 2 year old. However, I did finish the book so it certainly wasn't the worst narration I've endured.

6 people found this helpful

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Needlecrafts, Murder, and New Beginnings

This audio book was an unexpected fun and fresh listen for me . . . I love quilting books that mostly focus on the relationships of the people in the small towns and particularly the women who form close friendships while they learn to quilt. Well, this series is similar, but with a different twist . . . MURDER!!! I like that it is family friendly, interesting, and features cross stitch, crewel, needlepoint and all levels of crafters from expert to beginners. I enjoy many, many different kinds of books . . . and this one is a great change of pace . . . not too serious, not too dreary, just the right amount of "who done it" mixed in with small town life . . .

4 people found this helpful

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Perfect for me

As Peter's wife, I have knitted & needleworked for most of my life, this is a perfect series for me to listen to while driving. It's amusing but not distracting, the characters are believeable as well as the story lines.

3 people found this helpful

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Good Start

This is a good beginning to a new series. The characters are likeable and the story is believable.

3 people found this helpful

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Very enjoyable

I enjoyed this book. The mystery was entertaining and the narration excellent. I didn't want to stop listening once I started.

3 people found this helpful

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Nice start for Cozy Mystery Series

In this first book of Monica Ferris' Needlecraft Mystery Series, big-city gal, Betsy Devonshire's life comes crashing down around her.

An almost penniless Betsy, loads up her middle-aged, high-flying self and heads to stay with her widowed, sister Margot. Margot, is a successful, needlecraft shop owner in small town, Excelsior, Minnesota.

You might want to Curl up with a Cuppa Cocoa, because it's gonna be a while, for the murder to occur. Ferris establishes strong characterizations, in the early chapters that evoke an appealing ambiance about the real-life, town of Excelsior.

Margot, gets Betsy working in the shop, to revive her sagging spirits. Betsy learns more about the curious world of needlework, a complicated sub-culture with practices, etiquette, and a language all its own. What she doesn't learn until it's too late is that Margot has an enemy who is willing to kill.

Now, as Margot's grieving heir, Betsy reluctantly takes on not only the responsibility
of a small town business, but the job of finding out who could have murdered her exceedingly, popular, kind-hearted, sister.

Clues to the perpetrator are subtle, and sprinkled throughout the book. The solution to the mystery, when revealed, is intriguing and satisfying. Betsy Devonshire and the other characters grow, through this poignant and harrowing experience. They emerge from the story and feel like old friends, we'll enjoy meeting again, in the future books of the Needlecraft Mystery Series.

I hope Susan Boyce, will be the narrator again, she is perfect! A very enjoyable listen!

3 people found this helpful

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Good story; hated the narrator

The narrator nearly ruined this for me. She was very stilted in her delivery, especially of the main heroine's voice, which made her sound unappealing. But the elements of a good "cozy mystery" were there, especially it you like crafts. If later books in this series have a different narrator, I'd definitely consider them. Otherwise, it's off to the library. Be sure to check out the sample recording and see if you can tolerate the narration.

5 people found this helpful

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  • IAN
  • 05-03-13

This mystery will keep you on your toes guessing.

I read the book many years ago when it first came out in paperback and enjoyed it. So when the audiobook became available here in the UK, I brought it.

This is the second time that I have listened to Crewel World, and it is still an entertaining read/listen. Well plotted and written, with a good set of characters. This mystery will keep you on your toes guessing.

Personally I thought Susan Boyce did a very good job in the narration, and I will be listening to more of this series in the future.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Mrs. A. I. Ilsley
  • 04-01-22

very enjoyable

amongst the knitting and cross stich? which I know nothing about, this cosy murder yarn (forgive the pun!) unravels with aplomb and a well written story. Enjoy.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Andyr
  • 01-20-22

Glad this was free

Couldn't get into it. Story just seems to drift with no direction.
Not sure about the narrator as they didn't really listen enough.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Carôle
  • 06-01-22

Not your usual Cozy.

I started this series at book 6. I’m glad that I did, because on reading some of the customer reviews of this one, I would have been dissuaded from reading this.

Here’s why you should listen to this book:
1. It’s not the cookie cutter ‘Amateur Sleuth’ Cozy, that is now the staple of the genre.

2. There is no ‘Romantic Interest, on the Force Detective’, who’s sole job is telling our protagonist to stop sleuthing.

3. Betsy (our protagonist), asks sensible, relevant questions and makes suitable, reasoned deductions. Rather than having a series of ‘gut’ feelings, with nothing to back them up.

4. Because of 3 above, she INCLUDES the police department and at least one of them listens to her and takes her seriously and she gets backup!

5. In the background and developing the depth of characterisation to the book, is the regular day to day activities that any Regular human being would have to do! Apparently, this part is too pedestrian for some, but it makes a pleasant change for me. It’s not done in a lacklustre or cheesy, ‘fill in the blank spots’ way. It all makes sense.

So, no. It’s not an adrenaline rush, ditzy female, stumbling across clues that perfectly well trained, seasoned detectives don’t see. But a methodical, reasoned, stick with the available information until there’s nothing else to follow determinedness, that the current detective is too lazy to follow.

I enjoyed this. It’s free with the Audible membership, which makes it even more rewarding to read.

Try it for yourself.

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  • NellMcMH
  • 05-12-22

This was included in my membership so...

... I thought I'd give it a go. Sadly the narrator has an oddly robotic voice, which takes away from the story, but I persisted and it's not a bad tale overall. the next 6 in the series are included too, so I may well persist, which shows something!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-23-22

Crewel World

A little slow to start but persevere and allow yourself to be charmed by the characters pace and style. Have just finished the fourth book in this series and am already looking forward to the next. Delightful murder mysteries of the very best kind.

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  • Pixz
  • 03-21-22

Very enjoyable

I've now read three books in this series and enjoyed every one. I found every story fresh and engaging, and yes I've picked up the clues as to who the culprit could be but have enjoyed the red herrings that made me wonder if I was right. The reasons behind why the culprits have done what they've done are surprising too. I've also enjoyed the needlecraft references and haven't been bored by them, even looking them up on the internet to see images. The cast of characters are likeable, and I like the way they develop. The stories are easy to listen to and keep me engaged, and so far, thankfully, with no heart stopping anxiety.

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  • Sarah Lou
  • 03-12-22

Thoroughly Enjoyed It

I sit here binding books in the evening and love a non-taxing story to be read to me. No screaming or car chases. Just enough intrigue to keep me interested. Can't wait to hear the next one.

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  • Troila
  • 01-10-22

Best needlecraft series ever!

I’m listening to this series for the second time, since I have such fond memories of both the stories and the characters. In my search for other craft related books, I never found any as good as these. It pays a good deal of attention to actual crafts, materials and techniques, so as to keep this crafty geek very happy!

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • D. Dolenz
  • 12-13-21

Narrator probably ruined it

I say “probably” because I only got through the first few chapters.

I expect a bit of intonation. Just a bit.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-08-22

Pleasant

Found this to be quite enjoyable story. The story was a little different story line although pleasant to listen to. Narration ok