A childhood detective club reunites to solve a murder in small-town Wisconsin.
Samantha Kane has returned to her hometown of Heartsford after the tragic death of her best friend, Kate Allen. She’s taken over Kate’s shop, the Community Craft store, which sells all types of homemade local crafts. Her part-time helper is Kate’s basketball-playing younger brother, Carter. When Samantha responds to neighboring store owner Ingrid Wilson’s request for help at the shop, she finds Ingrid stabbed to death with a knitting needle. Sam’s cousin Heidi’s boyfriend is a cop, but Detective Liam Nash, a newcomer, is put in charge of the case. Sam’s immediately attracted to him, but a bad relationship in the past has given her the habit of pushing people away, in this case by wisecracking and sticking her nose into the investigation. When Ingrid’s nephew, the town’s beloved basketball coach, is run down and badly hurt, Sam’s even more determined to snoop. Although Sam’s busy getting ready for the town’s Spring Fling festivities, her curiosity and deep love for the place lead her to believe that the members of the school-days detective group S.H.E.—Sam, Heidi, and Ellie, Sam’s older sister—should hone their skills and return to sleuthing. Because Ingrid was far from popular and not a native to Heartsford, her past is unknown, and she’s made quite a few enemies. It’s up to S.H.E. to look for motives and check alibis, a painful process when most of the suspects are people they have known for years.
A promising debut that relies on small-town charm, a bit of romance, and plenty of red herrings—though nothing so far that sets it above many other crafting-themed cozies.