Last Wool and Testament

By Molly MacRae; reviewed by Jeannette Hartman

Coming back home to her grandmother Ivy McClellan in Blue Plum, TN, had always been a joy for Kath Rutledge — until now.

Her beloved grandmother, owner of the Weaver’s Cat, a fiber store at one end of a row house on Main Street, has died of a heart attack at the age of 80.

But that’s just the beginning of the unexpected events Kath must face.

Soon after her grandmother’s burial, she discovers that the cottage on Lavender Street she owned and lived in no longer belongs to Ivy. Kath finds herself locked out and unable to collect her grandmother’s possessions.

Ivy was a nationally known fiber artist. Among her possessions is the plan for and start of a tapestry that Ivy had been planning most of her life depicting the life and history of Blue Plum. Her many dye journals also can’t be found.

Kath learns that Emmett Cobb, the caretaker at the Homeplace Living History Farm in town, had mysteriously acquired the house. He was poisoned and his son, Max Cobb, inherited it all. Max is charging Kath $1,200 for her grandmother’s unpaid rent. Soon Max is dead from a fall down the basement stairs of the cottage.

The local deputy sheriff, Cole Dunbar, is so close to his friends and neighbors in Blue Plum that he can’t recognize a suspicious situation if it snuck up on him like a rattlesnake and bit his ankle. He suspects Ivy of poisoning Emmett.

It’s clear to Kath that if anyone is going to solve the mysteries of Blue Plum it’s going to be her — with the help of a posse of Blue Plum gossips who hang out at the Weaver’s Cat. And a restless, weepy ghost who proves invaluable in the hunt for who “dunnit.”

This is a classic cosy mystery with blundering law enforcement and an amateur sleuth. Author Molly MacRae has created a story rich with interesting and quirky characters. The Weaver’s Cat isn’t an ordinary knitting shop; its customers include many local fiber artists; Ivy herself had a national reputation; and its wares include as much for weavers as it does for knitters or crocheters.

There’s lots of nicely paced action here. The sequels to LAST WOOL AND TESTAMENT are:

  • DYEING WISHES (2013)

About the Author: Molly MacRae

Molly MacRae spent 20 years in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains of northeastern Tennessee where she managed The Book Place, an independent bookstore. She also served as curator of the history museum in Jonesborough, Tennessee’s oldest town.

In addition to her Haunted Yarn Shop mystery series, she has written the Highland Bookshop mystery series. This series is about four women who reinvent their lives when they buy a bookshop in Inversgail on the west coast of Scotland

She has written two books — FOR LETTER OR WORSE and THE GRIM READER — under the name of Margaret Welch.


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