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Wreath Of Deception [Mass Market Paperback]

Mary Hughes

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Book Description

Sept. 5 2006 Berkley Prime Crime Mysteries (Book 1)
Recently widowed, Jo McAllister has set up Jo's Craft Corner in the small town she now calls home. But when the clown she's hired for opening day is murdered at the store, Jo realizes that no town is too small for secrets, scandal-even murder.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Prime Crime (MM) (Sept. 5 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425212246
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425212240
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 10.9 x 2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 113 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #149,045 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
The first shaft of sunlight pierced through the hole in her bedroom shade, and Jo, who had been awake and watching for it, jumped out of bed. Read the first page
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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  15 reviews
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well Crafted Cozy Mystery May 7 2007
By drebbles - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
After her husband is killed, Jo McAllister moves from New York back to Maryland where she grew up and opens up her own craft store, Jo's Craft Corner. Having put all her money into the store, Jo needs as many customers as possible and on opening day she hires a clown, Cuddles, to attract customers. But her store gets the wrong kind of attention when someone murders Cuddles in her storeroom using one of her knitting needles. Police Lieutenant Russ Morgan seems to think Jo not only killed Cuddles but also arranged the explosion that killed her husband. Jo is anxious to clear her name and with the encouragement of some of her loyal customers, she begins to investigate the murder with the help of 15 year old Charlie, the son of her best friend Carrie. Jo has plenty of suspects but when there is another murder and someone poisons Jo, causing her to crash her car, she realizes she may be getting too close to the truth.

"Wreath of Deception" is the well-written first book in the Craft Corner Mystery Series. Jo is a sympathetic character as she struggles to rebuild her life after her husband's devastating death. One of the things that made this book so enjoyable is the friendship between Jo and Carrie and Carrie's family. Carrie's family is well developed and the strained relationship between Charlie and his father is well done. Charlie's relationship with his "Aunt" Jo is also well done and he's a great help in solving the mystery as his character grows during the course of the book. Jo's Craft Corner's customers are also well written, especially the ones that take her craft workshops: elderly Ina Mae Kepner, who has the energy of someone half her age; Deirdre Patterson, who is married to a senator and very aware of her image; Loralee Phillips with her large tote which seems to carry everything but the kitchen sink; dentist wife Javonne Barrett; and doting mother to twin toddlers, Mindy Blevins. The craft elements are deftly weaved into the story and figure more into the mystery than first appears. Author Mary Ellen Hughes has a nice way with words that is shown when Jo wonders if she is dragging Charlie into dangerous waters and decides it's okay as long as she swims beside him. The mystery itself is well plotted and the identity of the murderer comes as quite a surprise.

"Wreath of Deception" is a well-done cozy mystery and I look forward to reading more books in this series.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you like Monica Ferris's books you'll like this one too April 17 2007
By Mary H. Lesser - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
The good news and bad news about "Wreath of Deception" is that it follows a pretty standard formula: craftshop owner with loyal employee must set out to find the real murderer, and are assisted by the group of crafters that assemble on a regular basis in the craft shop. That's not necessarily a criticism; if you enjoy the books by Monica Ferris (and I do) you'll like this one too. You'll feel like you're on familiar ground. Good plotting, plausible interconnections among the characters, and some interesting twists at the end. I'd recommend this book and will look to read more by this author.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great new craft series Jan. 4 2007
By Dawn Dowdle - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Jo McAllister is opening Jo's Craft Corner. She was recently widowed and her best friend Carrie has helped her getting the store ready to open. She is also helping her run the store. The grand opening goes great except for Cuddles the Clown. Every time Jo sees him he is grumbling. By the end of the day she is ready to throttle him. But instead she pays him. Last she sees him he is going to the back room to change.

Later that night after celebrating with Carrie and her family, Jo stops by the store. Unfortunately she finds Cuddles the Clown whom she hired dead in her store room. Jo becomes the prime suspect.

The gals in her craft classes and Carrie help her set out to clear her name. Carrie's son Charlie is a great help as well.

Who is feeing the police lieutenant information about Jo's past and encouraging them to look at her as the prime suspect? Can Jo find the real killer before the killer gets to her?

I really enjoyed this book. I've never read anything else by this author, but this will not be the last. I can't wait until the next book is out in this series.

Jo is such a likeable character. Her relationship with her friend Carrie is great, too. I like the craft store setting in the small town. Really lends itself to this fast reading cozy. I highly recommend this book.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars O.k. cozy... Dec 28 2006
By M.V. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I guess I read cozies where the police are a little more involved. It seems they made a brief appearance and then not much else. Our main character seemed to just investigate on her own, which is the whole point right. Pretty good book, I like all the ladies getting together, it would be nice to see them more involved with the investigating instead of just talking about it around craft time. I can see a lot of potential with this series.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wreath of Deception Oct. 5 2011
By Sonya - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed reading Wreath of Deception. It was a well written, comfortable cozy read. Great for curling up with by the fire on a blustry winter day or under a beach umbrella.

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