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Hems & Homicide

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Member Reviews

I love reading a new cozy series with so much potential. Hems & Homicide, book one of the Apron Shop Series by Elizabeth Penney, introduces us to Iris Buckley and Blueberry Cove, Maine. She is slightly awkward with a retro-style all of her own.  With the help of her recently widowed grandmother Anne, she is expanding her online apron business to a downtown storefront.  At least, she will if she can ever get the store renovated and open to the public. The discovery of a decades-old skeleton in the basement of her new store slows things down a bit. Recognition of the murdered woman opens old wounds around the town and Iris immediately begins to get threats not to look into the murder. However, when a second body shows up and her grandmother is implicated, Iris and her best friend Madison pull out all the research stops to get to the bottom of the new murder and its tie to a woman who died in 1972.

Iris, her cat Quincy, their circle of friends are going to be fun to get to know as future books roll out. There is already the perfect hint of romance around the main characters and the mystery has proven to be layered and well crafted. The funny thing is I guessed the murderer, but got hung up on small details and second-guessed myself. Turns out I was right all around, twists and all. That is loads of fun in mystery. I enjoyed meeting the multigenerational inhabitants of Blueberry Cove. They all are wonderfully ‘small town’ colorful and very relatable. I give a cozy high marks if, in the end, I would love to move to town just to get to know its characters.
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After the passing of her grandfather, Iris Buckley decides to make her online business one with a storefront and open up a business with her grandmother in their hometown in Maine. The downtown is undergoing a revitalization of sorts, and a lot of work still needs to be done before the store opens. After Iris stumbles down some unsafe basement stairs and unearths a decades old skeleton, the fun begins. Anne recognizes that the skeleton may belong to a young woman named Star, who disappeared in the early 70's. There were a handful of commune types areas nearby and many people adopted different names to be free of their past life. The investigation into the cold case of who Star was and how she died was well done. Plenty happens in the present time too, as Iris's grandmother Anne is both a suspect and eye witness to the time. Pretty good overall.
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I love the characters in this book! Iris and her grandmother are such an amazing pair. If there was nothing else good about this book I’d recommend it based solely on them. The mystery is well rounded and kept me guessing which is a bonus. I can’t wait to read more from this cast of characters and their charming lives!

I received a free review copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest unedited feedback.
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I enjoyed Hems & Homicide so much and am glad to start on the ground floor of what promises to be a highly entertaining new series. The illness of her grandfather brings Iris back to her hometown of Blueberry Cove, Maine, and she stays on after his death to open a shop with her grandmother, Anne. Hems & Homicide has that perfect blend of appealing setting, vocational theme, engaging characters, and well-crafted storyline. From beginning to end, I thoroughly enjoyed this story and look forward to future releases in the series.

Iris and Anne are easily relatable characters and I love the close relationship between these two. I’m always drawn to books with New England settings and relished the vividly conveyed images of the coastal town of Blueberry Cove and its quaint stores. A shop featuring Iris’s homemade apron and other linen designs is refreshing and stands out in the field of cozy mysteries. I loved how the close-knit community and the Ruffles & Bows shop are woven throughout the story.

The mystery itself is well developed and complex. And there’s two mystery themes actually– a cold case from 1972 of Annie’s friend, Star Moonshine, and the present-day murder of their landlord, Elliot Parker. But are they connected? Of course, they are, and discovering how steadily propels the action. Star’s skeleton is uncovered as the clean up and remodeling begins in the new shop, and a scarf triggers Anne’s recognition of Anne. An old photo is later found, one that features Star, Anne, and others still living in the community. This story especially resonated with me because the hippie movement was a big part of the culture that I experienced as a young adult. 

I especially appreciated that Hems & Homicide is completely clean, no profanity or graphic scenes. A great read for all who enjoy cozy mysteries. Recommended.

I received a copy of this book through Great Escapes Tours. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
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It checked all of the boxes i except from a cozy. It's a quick, fun, light read. I would buy it for myself or others. If you like cozies, this is the book for you.
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Title:  Hems and Homicide 

Author: Elizabeth Penney 

Series: Apron Shop # 1


Genre: cozy mystery 

Rating: 4 stars 

Publisher: St. martin's Press 

Hems and Homicide by Elizabeth Penney is the first book in the Apron shop mystery series. Iris Buckley moves back to her Maine hometown after the death of her grandfather to help her grandmother out and to bring her online apron business to life.  But instead, they find a skeleton in the basement that leads to a modern murder.  It's up to Iris, her friend Madison and handyman Ian to find two killers before it's too late. 

I am a sucker for cozy mysteries and cozy mysteries with a grandma granddaughter duo especially those dealing with the loss of the grandfather as they are easy to relate to. This one was fast-paced and a quick read.  I look forward to the next one in the series. 

I received a copy of this book from the publisher through netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.
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The first book in a new series and off to a good start  i really enjoyed this book and can't wait to read more.
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Fantastic! I am a reluctant cozy reader so it was with surprise and pleasure that I found myself being drawn into Hems & Homicide right away. Iris and Grammie and her crew were delightful and the mystery was a perfect accompaniment to our introduction to blueberry cove. I look forward to more in this series!
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I'm normally a bit hesitant about the first book in a series as the background is set with new characters.  However, this book was able to make this read like a part of an on-going story.  The characters were interesting and a couple were just quirky enough to make you like them a little more.  

The mystery was handled well and I'm looking forward to the next one in the well-written series.
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It always makes me happy when I discover a new cozy mystery series/author that I love from the beginning! Hems & Homicide, book 1 of Elizabeth Penney’s new Apron Shop series, is one such example.

For starters, the concept is so unique – Iris & Anne’s apron shop is exactly the type of vintage-y, etsy-ish shop I would buy from… despite the fact that I have never owned or worn an apron as a general rule lol! The initial murder Iris stumbles upon (quite literally) is decades old and has a personal connection to Iris’s grandparents, which adds multiple layers to the plot. Combined with the current murder – which also has a personal connection – there are plenty of twists, turns, and red herrings to keep you guessing.

Blueberry Cove is the typical cozy mystery town, and the author does a great job of introducing us to the town & its people … without seeming like we’re following her around with a map. It’s populated by an intriguing cast of quirky characters and a swoony handyman-type love interest (though the blossoming romance with Ian is kept to a mild level & doesn’t take over the story), and I especially fell in love with Iris, her friends, her cat Quincy and her grandmother Anne. And of course Ian.

Bottom Line: Well-written, charming, and layered, Hems & Homicide is the perfect start to this new cozy mystery series! The coastal New England small town setting is delightfully drawn, its characters drawing you in and ensuring you’ll be eagerly waiting for the next book so you can catch up with everyone. The murders that Iris stumbles into & her subsequent amateur sleuthing are well-plotted and keep you engaged from beginning to end. Can’t wait for Thread and Dead to release in August!

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book)
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Unfortunately, I was unable to read the book in its entirety before expiring. The opening of the work indicates a good start to a new series. I would recommend to readers of Melissa Bourbon's A Magical Dressmaking Mystery Series.
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A fun cast of characters...and I do mean characters...that had me laughing out loud at times.  And this is a murder mystery!!!!  Elizabeth Penney has now joined my list of favorites.  
A granddaughter decides her grandmother needs cheering up after the death of her grandfather...lots of grands there???  She...the granddaughter...moves back to her hometown to help open an apron shop.  The comedy of errors stop when they find a body inside a wall.  As they work with police, another, more recent body shows up in the shop.  Is Grandma a killer?  Is Grandma the next target?  Have fun and read it for yourself!!!
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Princess Fuzzypants here:  Iris and her grandmother have a lot of work ahead of them before they can open the apron store that evolved from Iris’ on-line business.  The place is a mess but the rent was cheap.  What they did not expect to find was a skeleton hidden behind a false wall.  Nor did they expect the corpse to be one of Grannie’s friends who had disappeared in 1972.  Iris learns quickly her grandparents had a rather colourful youth but it is clear one of their “gang” is a murderer.
Then when their unpleasant landlord who was part of the group is murdered in their shop suspicion falls up her grandmother.  But as more information about the relationships in the 70’s comes to light more of the old friends might have had reason to cause the victim harm.  In fact, there might even be a reason that could put a serious cramp in Iris’ possibility for romance.
Iris is definitely not a candidate for the Darwin Award.  She is pretty careful as she investigates and she never puts herself in careless harm’s way.  She’s got a cadre of interesting friends and her grandmother is really “groovy”.  It was a quick and entertaining read and a solid start for a new series.  Plus she has an awesome cat.
Four purrs and two paws up.
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First in a new series!!

Iris Buckley decides to return to her hometown, Blueberry Cove, Maine, to help out her grandmother after her grandfather's death.  She is ready to bring her online hand-made apron designs to a real store, Ruffles & Bows.  Finding a store front was difficult so there was no shock in finding the space in poor condition with a lot of work to do.  What was shocking, finding a skeleton in the basement.

With help of her best friend and her granny, Iris wants to find out what happened to the person and lay these old bones to rest.  Iris finds out that digging up the past can bring plenty of problems to the future.  

This book has many twists, all the way to the end.  I enjoyed the author's character development.  The relationship between Iris and her granny felt real.  I also enjoyed the budding romances.  

I am looking forward to continuing on with the series and learning more about all the characters.

I had this book in both digital format from NetGalley and audio format from Audible.  The narratoe,  Kim Niemi, did a great job.
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Hems & Homicide (Apron Shop #1)
Author:  Elizabeth Penney
Publisher:  St. Martin’s Press
Publication Date:  December 31, 2019
4 Stars

Iris Buckley and her Grammie (Anne) have decided to open a store called Ruffles and Bows in Blueberry Cove, Maine.  The store is set to sell all sorts of household linens including new and vintage items.  Iris and Grammie go to the store to meet a contractor about work that needs to be done before the store can open.  But while stumbling along in the basement after the lights go out, Iris bumps into a skeleton.  Grammie comes down and immediately recognizes the scarf on the skull’s head as belonging to Star Moonshine, a friend of hers from the seventies.  Iris and Grammie wonder how successful the investigation will go, given the case is over 50 years old and the fact that nobody knows Star’s real name, and they wonder if they can do anything to help.  Not long afterwards, another body is found in the store.  This time it is a man named Elliot who was the landlord of the building.  Grammie had a long standing conflict with Elliot over land she owned, and he wanted.  She seems to have the greatest motive for killing him and becomes the prime suspect.  Can Iris help clear her grandmother’s name before she is charged?  And can she do it in time to make sure their store opens by Memorial Day, the ever important beginning of tourist season.

I’m going to start with a small critique I have with the story.  I thought it was rather strange that the ladies were almost run off the road and received threatening messages even before the investigation really gets under way.  This is somewhat explained in the conclusion, but it seemed to me that someone was looking for trouble, before trouble was to be had.

Other than that, I thought the author laid out an amazing story.  The plot is complex and exciting.  With the deaths forty years apart the author gives a great peek at what life was like in this small town in both the 70s and today.  As a reader we have to follow all the exciting climbs and sudden drops to figure who the culprit or culprits are and why the crimes were committed.

The characters also really help to make this a strong story.  Iris and her Grammie are very relatable and likable.  Iris’s girlfriends are also great secondary characters.  They are each unique and bring something special into her life.  Iris and her one friend in particular, Madison, do a good job of looking into the case without being a nuisance to the police.  We are also introduced to other town characters which help us gain an understanding of how this small town fits together, even as far back as to the 70s.

This story was fun and well sewn together, and it makes a great addition to the cozy mystery genre.

Thanks to Net Galley and St. Martin’s Press for an ARC of this book.
#NetGalley   #HemsAndHomicide
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Welcome to the first in the Apron Shop mystery series by Elizabeth Penney, set in the quaint village of Blueberry Cove, Maine where an expert seamstress turned amateur sleuth is getting measured for murder. . .

Iris Buckley is sew ready for a change. After the death of her beloved grandfather, Iris decides to stay in her Maine hometown to help out her widowed grandmother, Anne—and bring her online hand-made apron designs to real-time retail life. Her and Anne’s shop, Ruffles & Bows, is set to include all the latest and vintage linen fashions, a studio for sewing groups and classes, and a friendly orange cat. The only thing that they were not planning to have on the property? A skeleton in the basement.

Anne recognizes the remains of an old friend, and when a second body shows up in the apron shop—this time their corrupt landlord, whom Anne had been feuding with for decades—she becomes a prime suspect. Now, it’s up to Iris to help clear her name. Enlisting the help of her old high-school crush Ian Stewart who, like certain fabrics, has only gotten better-looking with age and her plucky BFF Madison Morris, Iris must piece together an investigation to find out who the real killer is. . .and find a way to keep her brand-new business from being scrapped in the process.

In Hems & Homicide, main character Iris Buckley is trying to open a shop despite her irritating landlord, an over-zealous building inspector, and a murdered skeleton in the shop’s basement. At first, I found it unlikely that anyone could earn a living by selling aprons and linens in a coastal shop. But then I realized that was untrue. 

I had bought a table runner, designed and printed by a local artist, from a local shop on Hatteras Island, where I live. Her biography was attached to the sales tag. Her background was nearly identical to Iris’s. After graduating from a design school, she created linens for a large home goods store and then went out on her own, designing and selling her own creations to the public. Yes, it surely can be done, well done, in fact. I love my table runner. 

Hems & Homicide is the first book in The Apron Shop Mystery Series. Although I identified more closely to Iris’s grandmother, I found Iris a likeable and logical character. The discovery of a skeleton in the basement of Iris’s shop, Ruffles & Bows, begins the mystery of a missing woman from the early 1970s. I love when an old mystery leads to a new one. Iris’s grandmother’s memories felt like a nostalgic journey. Iris takes chances to solve the mystery, even risking a possible romance. She’s got pluck and good priorities.

Please welcome Elizabeth Penney to WWK.				        	                     E. B. Davis

Please describe Blueberry Cove, Maine, your setting, to our readers. Do you live in a place like Blueberry Cove?

Blueberry Cove is inspired by two real towns, Belfast and Camden, Maine. Like Camden, my fictional town is small, set between rounded hills and a curved bay filled with islands. The Main Street is a mix of brick and clapboard structures filled with interesting small stores and restaurants. Homes are a mix of periods, ranging from classic sea captain’s homes to elegant summer cottages to bungalows and ranches. But while Blueberry Cove resembles Camden a great deal, it isn’t quite as gentrified. There’s still a working harbor and more of a mix of residents, like Belfast.

How did Iris and Grammie Anne come to have such a close relationship?

When Iris was eight, her parents were killed in a car accident, and she came to live with Grammie Annie and Papa Joe. This shared loss forged a strong relationship between Iris and her grandparents. Plus Anne is energetic, open-minded and fun, someone people trust and confide in. Iris and Anne respect each other, acknowledging the strengths each bring to their shared life and new business.

Madison, Iris’s best friend, drives a Mini Cooper. Iris drives a 1963 Ford Falcon. Grammie drives a 1988 Jeep Wagoneer and a Saab 900S. What does each car say about its driver?

Iris adores mid-century design in her clothing—and her cars. The Ford Falcon isn’t flashy but it’s stylish and very cool, like Iris. 

The Mini suits Madison because it is nimble, fast, and fun to drive. Madison is graceful and athletic, a bit of a dare devil, and full of energy. 

As for Grammie, she’s both practical and sophisticated. The Wagoneer is perfect for winter and for hauling big loads. The Saab 900S is good in snow too, but it also hugs curving coastal roads like a dream. Grammie has a bit of a lead foot at times.

When helping Iris open Ruffles & Bows, what marketing strategy does Madison recommend?

Iris already had an online store, and as a designer, she’s pretty savvy about making things look good. But Madison helped Grammie and Iris create a coordinated social media and advertising campaign to announce the store’s opening. She also helped them segment their customers into groups, including serious collectors, nostalgic buyers, and trendy Millennials.

The skeleton of Star Moonshine, a transient girl who disappeared in the early 1970s, is discovered when Iris falls down the stairs of her shop and dislodges it hidden behind shelving. How does Grammie know the identity of the skeleton, and what relationship did she have with Star?

Grammie recognized a bracelet and clothing the skeleton is wearing. She loved Star and considered her a good friend. But in the ‘70s, people came and went freely, and Grammie truly believed that Star had moved on. Plus she was busy falling in love with Joe.

What is a Belgian Benedict?

Glad you asked! It’s a Belgian waffle topped with ham, poached eggs, and hollandaise sauce. Totally decadent and delicious.

What is spoofing?

Spoofing is an email (and phone) trick used by scammers and deceptive people to mask their true identities, using fake addresses. Spam emails claiming to be from legitimate companies (and looking for your personal information) are an example of spoofing.

What types of goods will Iris and grandmother Anne stock in Ruffles & Bows?

The shop stocks a mix of vintage aprons and linens, as well as aprons that Iris and Anne design and sew. They may add other items as they go, for example, vintage-themed kitchenware and decorative accents. 

Most of the shop owners in Blueberry Cove seem to get along. In fact, two of them are close friends. But this isn’t the case with gallery-owner Charlotte Ramsey. Why?

New to town, Charlotte is under the wing of wealthy leading citizens Nancy and Elliot Parker, which makes her feel superior to Iris and her friends.

Ian Stewart graduated from high school with Iris. He’s a good-looking man and a carpenter. She asks him to help her renovate the shop, but she is also attracted to him. Why doesn’t Ian’s mother like Iris?

Iris and Ian’s mother get off on the wrong foot because of complications in the murder case that involve Ian. That’s all I can say, ‘cause spoiler!

Although Madison is outgoing and sociable, she has a terrible dating track record. Why does she find the duds?

It’s more that they find her. Madison is so nice that she gives them a chance—if they are halfway presentable and have something in common with her. But once they reveal their true colors, she ditches them immediately. So she has a lot of one or two date relationships. Don’t we all know women like this, with everything going for them but they can’t find the right guy? I sure do, and have experienced this frustrating situation myself.

Iris’s landlord, Elliot Parker, who was in a rock band with her grandfather during the time of Star’s disappearance, seems to have gone from hippie to an arrogant, materialistic snob. Were they too young to know themselves or do people change as they age?

Elliot was always a materialistic snob, even when he wore long hair and tie-dye. Do people change as they age? Sometimes, if they want to, and try. But too many don’t, which provides lots and lots of plot ideas for my cozy mysteries!

Who are the “cupcake ladies,” and why do they remind me that age and maturity don’t necessarily go together?

Like Anne, they are older members of the Women’s Auxiliary, doers of good deeds around town. They thrive on gossip, which spices up their small town lives.

The next book in The Apron Store Mysteries is titled Thread and Dead. What mystery do Iris and her friends have to solve next?



Iris Buckley is busier than ever in July, with the town’s annual Lobster Festival fast approaching. In just a matter of days her shop will be jam-packed with tourists eager to lay eyes on its world-class collection of aprons and linens—and Iris’s inventory is running low. Then, just when all hope seems lost, Iris gets a call from Eleanor Brady, a wealthy, reclusive spinster who just happens to have trunks full of vintage fabrics. Would Iris like to come down to Eleanor’s cottage estate Shorehaven and have a look? Before long Iris is on the scene—and on the case. Turns out that Eleanor has rented Shorehaven out to the handsome, charismatic environmentalist Dr. Lukas de Wilde and his flock of students. What begins as an apron-scouting endeavor soon morphs into a full-blown murder investigation when Dr. de Wilde’s beautiful, young teaching assistant turns up dead. Now it’s up to Iris—along with her partner-in-love-and-crime Ian Stewart—to unravel the mystery before the Blueberry Cove killer strikes again.
Thread and Dead is available for pre-order.
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Dollycas’s Thoughts

This was a delightful read!

Iris Buckley and her grandmother Anne are excited to be opening their new shop in Blueberry Cove, Maine, selling their hand made aprons and other vintage items. Ruffles & Bows is supposed to open Memorial Day but the building they are renting needs a lot of work before they can open the doors to customers.

Ready to jump right into the renovations they meet with their contractor and Iris’ old crush, Ian Stewart on-site to go over the plans. A trip to the basement leads to a gruesome discovery. A skeleton complete with a very identifiable headscarf. Anne thinks she knows the deceased, a friend she last saw over 40 years ago.

The police are working the case when another dead body is found in the shop. Their landlord is the new victim and he and Anne have been fighting over a piece of property for years.  With their history and the location of the body, she becomes the #1 suspect.

Not knowing if they will ever be able to open Ruffles & Bows Iris along with her friend Madison try to clear Anne’s name, no matter where the clues may lead. And they lead to some unusual places. . .


Reading this book and learning about Blueberry Cove and the future home of Ruffles & Bows reminded me so much of my hometown here in Wisconsin. Many years ago my parents had a dream to open their own business and from the hardwood floors, tin ceiling, plaster walls and old fixtures along with getting everything just right brought back many fond and humorous memories, complete with my own cobweb entanglement and fall, no skeleton for me though. Also before my accident, I loved to sew and I had a dream similar to Iris and Anne’s, to open a craft and fabric shop. Since that is no longer possible I read books like this one and revel in the characters’ success and adventures.

I really enjoyed meeting Anne (Grammie), Iris, Madison, Ian. They came across as very genuine. Anne is a new widow and has always been close to her granddaughter. It is such a wonderful thing that they are embarking on this new venture together. Madison and Iris are a great pair. They both push each other in different ways like true friends really do. Iris had a huge crush on Ian in high school and those feelings are still there. Madison also has someone interested in her. Miss Penney has created a terrific cast of core characters.

So with the skeleton and the dead landlord, there are two mysteries to solve. Are they connected? The author has plotted a very clever and complex plot full of twists including some scary and funny episodes that made this book absolutely impossible to put down. I really enjoyed learning about the 60’s history that Anne participated in. Pulling out her old journals and pictures brought reality to the story and fueled her memories. I was totally captivated.

Hems & Homicide was a story I hated to see end because I wasn’t ready to leave these characters behind. I am really looking forward to the next book in this series.

A Perfect Escape for Cozy Lovers!
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I can't believe I've never read anything by this author before, so I'm really glad I was able to read this book. When I looked at her bio page, I decided I'm going to have to check out some of the other cozies I saw there. This book was just awesome! The characters were a lot of fun, and I just loved Grammie, who was so young at heart that she liked hanging out with Iris and her friends. I don't think a girl could ask for better friends than Iris has. Madison was so funny and always up for adventure. Sophie and Bella were great too, both being business owners there in town. The girls' nights they had always sounded fun! Quincy was an awfully sweet cat--he seemed to love everyone and was there for comfort no matter who they were. Even the grumpiest person could find a little solace in good old Quince.

I loved that Iris refound her high school crush Ian, and it'll be sweet watching their relationship grow. The mystery was really good, a skeleton found in the basement where Iris and Grammie were opening an apron shop, and another current body. There were plenty of suspects and red herrings. I'd sort of guessed the killer but for the wrong person. The showdown was exciting, and I have to hand it to Iris for keeping her head during confrontations and thinking to phone police, do a recording or anything safe that sometimes other sleuths forget about.

It was great having a story wrapup too, all the pieces of the puzzle were explained and we even got more story too. I like when that happens and a story just doesn't end abruptly because the murder was explained. We got to finally see the shop's opening. And...there's even part of the first chapter of the next book which I can't wait for now that I've read the excerpt.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this via NetGalley, and my opinions are my own.
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After the death of her grandfather, Iris Buckley and her grandmother, Anne, decide to open an apron shop in the small town of Blueberry Cove, Maine called Ruffles & Bows. Iris already has an online apron design company and the shop will add even more business for them. As they work to set up their shop, they are more than a little stunned to discover a skeleton in their basement. They are even more stunned when Anne realizes it’s a friend from her past. When a second body turns up murdered in their new shop, Anne is the prime suspect, especially since she recently fought with the second victim.

The police close off access to the shop until the investigation is completed. With the cops looking to arrest her grandmother, Iris is intent to give them a few more suspects to divert their attention and let them get back to opening their new store. With the help of her best friend, Iris digs into the murders and realizes it goes much deeper than she expected.

This is the first book in the Apron Shop series and it’s off to a terrific start. The author gives us a wonderful cast of quirky and fun characters. I adored Iris, her grandmother and her friends right from the start. The rapport they all have with each other fits together perfectly. There’s even a hint of romance in the air to add to the mystery.  This story has all the ingredients I love about the cozy mystery genre - well-written cast, small town setting, mystery and just a touch of romance.

The plot itself is well written and well thought out. It is one big jigsaw puzzle. I fit it together all wrong…well, partially, but mostly wrong. LOL. It kept me on my toes until the end. I’m really looking forward to the next book in the series and another visit to Blueberry Cove, Maine.
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I loved Hems & Homicide! There are several things that drew me to the book and made me say yes to a review! First of all, that cover is adorable. Yes, I’m that type. I try not to judge a book by its cover, but a good cover does help! Second, I love starting book series with book one. Third, I was always very close to my grandma, so I can relate to Iris’s desire to stay with her.

I used to try to sew. I made some cute jumpers for my daughter when she was a toddler, but let’s face it…it’s cheaper to buy kids’ clothes than to make them. My how things have changed since the old days! Notice I said I “tried” to sew. I wasn’t very good at it, and I hated threading the machine! The bobbin always got messed up! So, the sewing theme didn’t draw me to the book. But, sometimes you’ve just got to step out of your comfort zone and read themed cozy mysteries that aren’t your forte.

Iris really does have a great job. If I were the sewing type, owning a shop like Ruffles & Bows with my grandma would be so much fun. She gets to buy and sell vintage aprons and other textiles. Sure, it’s a bummer that a skeleton turns up in the basement…And then someone’s got to go and get murdered in the store. Thankfully, with some smart sleuthing, both murders are solved, and the store will finally get to open…in the next book!

I really enjoyed the plot in Hems & Homicide. The characters are well-written, and I’m looking forward to seeing how they develop throughout the series. You will love the descriptive settings because they make it so easy to picture yourself watching the scenes unfold. Though I’m not huge on romance in cozy mystery books, it’s okay if they develop slowly over time and remain clean throughout. Otherwise, they feel like the same old same old romances that turn up in some series. I’m crossing my fingers for romances that remain friendships for at least a few books as well as hoping they don’t dominate the plot. So far, so good in Hems & Homicide!

I definitely recommend this to you cozy mystery readers! The Apron Shop Series is off to a great start!
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