A search for a birth mother provides the impetus for a murder in Minnesota.
Betsy Devonshire, amateur sleuth and owner of the Crewel World needlework shop, sees a startling resemblance between nurse Jan Henderson and Lucille Jones, a visitor from Texas. So does Lucille, who, looking for her birth mother, admits that she’d seen Jan at a medical conference and stolen her hairbrush for DNA tests. Jan and her mother, Susan McConnell, are in line to inherit a fortune from Susan’s eccentric Aunt Edyth, a man-hater who’s cut Susan’s brother Stewart and his family out of her will. When Edyth is found dead with the remnants of a knitting needle in her brain, Jan begs Betsy (Embroidered Truths, 2005) to help find the killer. The relatives are obvious suspects, along with Lucille and her husband, who’d hit the jackpot if she could prove she was a family member from the female side. A visit to the mansion to allow each relative to choose something shows that Stewart’s been researching the contents when his daughters all choose antiques of great value. But Stewart himself, who hopes to open a fishing business if his relatives will help finance it, picks a decrepit speedboat. An innocent choice? Hardly. An old knitted cushion on the boat hides a treasure map that holds the solution to the mystery.
Betsy, who’s growing as a character, gets an especially interesting case this time.