Review: Seams Like Murder by Dorothy Howell

Posted January 15, 2024 by Lola in Mystery, Review / 6 Comments

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Seams Like MurderSeams Like Murder (A Sewing Studio Mystery #1)
by Dorothy Howell

My Rating: 3 stars

Genre: Cozy Mystery
Age Category: Adult
Type of romance: MF

Abbey Chandler needs a new start and a place to escape, so Hideaway Grove, where she spent her childhood summers, seems like a perfect choice. Once there, she takes up a rewarding new hobby—but also gets tangled up in a hit-and-run homicide . . .

Abbey has barely arrived in the quaint, quiet town of Hideaway Grove before things turn from blissful to bloody—as the new librarian is mowed down by a car. The only witness on the scene isn’t much help, aside from handing Abbey the bag of books dropped by the victim. Even worse, the sheriff’s office seizes Abbey’s car because of a suspicious dent in the right front fender.

While she waits for the problem to be sorted out, Abbey is drawn into a charity sewing project—even though she can’t tell a bobbin from a seam ripper. Before she knows it, she’s graduating from pillowcase dresses to aprons, setting up a studio in a back room of her aunt’s bakery, and making plans to participate in the upcoming craft fair. But through it all, she keeps looking for patterns and possible conflicts in the late librarian’s personal, professional, and romantic life. Then a shocking discovery sends her in a new direction, and as the truth begins to unspool, she’s got a notion about who’s guilty . . .

My Review

I received a free copy from the publisher through Netgalley and voluntarily reviewed it.

Seams Like Murder is the first book in the Sewing Studio mystery series. This book quickly throws the main character Abbey in the middle of things, she’s visiting her aunt at Hideaway grove when someone is killed by a car driving by. One of the eye witnesses thinks it’s murder and Abbey believes so as well. The police investigate, but don’t seem as keen to believe it’s murder. They do confiscate Abbey’s car and thus Abbey gets involved in the mystery.

I quite enjoyed this mystery, there were plenty of suspects and some interesting twist. Once I had enough pieces I could piece together what happened and I was right. I was a bit disappointed I managed to predict the murderer and most of the motive pretty spot on and it felt a bit obvious toward the end who had did it, but I also felt good about figuring it out and I still liked seeing it all play out. I thought there was some good progression throughout and a good balance between the mystery and other story elements.

It bothered me a bit how the police weren’t taking the situation more seriously and most residents didn’t believe the eye witness’ claims of it being murder. I also didn’t like how Abbey didn’t tell the police about what she heard. And the whole thing with them confiscating Abbey’s car while not treating her as a serious suspect besides that felt a bit odd.

With the cover and title I had expected the book to be more about sewing. I have to admit it had been a while since I read the blurb, so I thought the main character would run a sewing store. In fact throughout the book she gets into sewing and gets a studio to work in. I liked seeing Abbey discover a passion for sewing and how that developed throughout the book and hope to see more of that in future books. As this was the first book in a series and Abbey only comes to visit Hideaway Grove I did feel she wasn’t as integrated in the town yet, but I liked seeing her get to know the residents and make new friends and connect with old ones.

To summarize: This was a solid start to this series. Abbey is visiting her aunt in Hideaway Grove when she gets caught up in a murder mystery. I liked the mix between the mystery and other plot elements. It made sense why Abbey got involved and I liked seeing things progress and her figure more things out. I was able to piece together most of the motive and who the murderer was toward the end of the book, which felt good, but I was also a bit disappointed as I felt it was a bit too obvious toward the end. There were a few things about the mystery that bothered me like the police not taking things seriously, but they did confiscate Abbey’s car, which seemed a bit odd. The sewing aspect only comes into play later in the book as Abbey slowly gets into sewing again, I liked reading about that and how she picked it up again and started making things. Abbey wasn’t as integrated yet in the town, but I liked seeing her make new friends and reconnect with old ones. All in all it was a solid start to this new series and I plan to check out book 2.

3 Stars


You can also read my review on Goodreads and Bookbub.

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6 responses to “Review: Seams Like Murder by Dorothy Howell

    • Maybe the next book has more sewing, here she was still getting started. There was a fun scene where a bunch of them came together and sewed a lot of dresses.

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