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Extended Audio Sample Blackwork, by Monica Ferris Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (475 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Monica Ferris Narrator: Susan Boyce Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Needlecraft Mysteries Release Date: April 2011 ISBN: 9781482980400
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There’s a witch running loose in the town of Excelsior, Minnesota, and her brew is …  beer. Actually, Leona Cunningham, co-owner of the Barleywine, is a practitioner of Wicca, the nature-based religion that many mistakenly believe to be sorcery or black magic. But that doesn’t bother the thirsty crowds—or the Halloween Committee members who have fallen under the spell of Leona’s tasty ales.

Then, after one too many pints, local alcohol aficionado Ryan McMurphy accuses Leona of being a real witch, blaming her for the series of accidents that have happened throughout town. When Ryan ends up dead, without a mark on his body, Leona is not only the target of a witch hunt but also the prime suspect. But with Betsy on the case, the murderer doesn’t have a ghost of a chance of getting away with it…

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The twists and turns that Betsy takes while solving the murder will have readers on the edge of their seats turning pages as fast as they can turn them. When the last page is read, the realization hits that it will be a year before another Monica Ferris mystery appears on the bookshelves of local stores. But it’s always a worthwhile wait.”

    Examiner.com

  • “Spooky.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “There is some light romance and a good dose of humor, the latter prompted this time by Ferris’ take on Halloween in a small town.”

    Booklist

  • “Fans will enjoy the needlework lore, the included pattern, and the ongoing adventures.”

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jessi | 2/17/2014

    " A man mysteriously dies without a mark on him and Leona Cunningham, a local brewmeister and practicing Wiccan, is the gossip's front-runner for a murderer. But Betsy Devonshire knows that Wicca is a form of worship, not a black arts, voodoo-y sort of deal. She's determined to find out not only who is spreading the rumors (even before Ryan McMurphy is declared to be a victim of murder) but who actually killed Ryan. All this while planning the parade for the fall festival. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Melanie | 2/14/2014

    " I always enjoy reading Monica Ferris's mysteries, even when they frustrate me... I wish Ferris had written more about Leona, since she's an interesting character, but maybe she'll show up in future books. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amy | 2/11/2014

    " With the Halloween season being my favorite, the setting for this mystery was just perfect. In addition to the well done plot, Monica Ferris educates the reader in more than just needlework. I really enjoyed this one! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Homes | 2/10/2014

    " Eh, meh. Not bad, not great. Picked it up from a cruise ship library to read on the last when I finshed the books I brought early. It fit the bill of being a quick, relatively mindless read. Don't expect high suspense or intricate plot points. Plus, there seems to be plenty of extraneous filler. Maybe if I was following the series I'd be interested in the character development that doesn't relate to the mystery, but as is, I found it distracting. The solution was moderately interesting, although not difficult to guess. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Theresa | 2/1/2014

    " Betsy Devonshire owns the needlework shop Crewel World. When Ryan McMurphy is found dead in a lock room, Betsy is asked to investigate. Everyone is pretty sure the town Wiccan Leona Cunningham owner of The Barleywine home brew pub is the killer. The reader it right there as Betsy interviews the suspects and gathers information. It will have you going "of course" when the murder is solved. The center of the story is the needlecraft shop and clientele. The end of the book features a pattern I know I'll make. I'll read the rest of this series, very good. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Deb Sharp | 1/19/2014

    " Great Boook! The characters really come together in this book to solve the murder! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Janette | 1/9/2014

    " Boring! Her "cozy" mysteries are getting dumber. No one cared about the murder vicitm, no challenge, no excitement, just dull. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rosemary Miller | 1/9/2014

    " a little about wiccan and suspicion. Mostly talked about needlework and women's relationships "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 B Jeanne | 1/4/2014

    " I love this cozy mystery writer. She writes about all things needlework. Was pleased to meet her awhile back and join her in a group at Thunder Bay. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tracy | 12/28/2013

    " I liked this one better than the last few in the series. The culprit wasn't as obvious this time around. And, as always, the needlecraft mysteries give me the itch to stitch! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Diana Bringardner | 12/27/2013

    " Absolutely enjoyable as always "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Christy | 12/14/2013

    " A pleasant diversion for a couple of hours. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jillybean | 11/30/2013

    " Another good mystery . . . "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kathy | 11/23/2013

    " Really fun read, liked the characters a lot and loved the stitching references. Now I have to go buy all her other books "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kate | 11/19/2013

    " Better than the previous outing (which I didn't finish), but you still get the sense she's phoning it in. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carol | 7/11/2013

    " A good installment in the Needlecraft Mystery series. Features elements of Halloween, Wicca, blackwork needlecraft and even microbrewing - a little something for everyone. Includes a counted cross stitch pattern of a witch's hat. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chris Curtis | 4/5/2013

    " I enjoyed this one more than some of the previous books in the series because it featured Betsy, and the regular characters. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Diane | 3/28/2013

    " If you are into books that drop Minnesota-related names, or needlepoint, you might like this book. Lots of characters to keep straight. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Judy Iliff | 1/17/2013

    " I really like this series. They're fluff, but they're interesting fluff. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Caren | 1/3/2013

    " I should have read the back first. I am just not interested in Wiccan. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Laura Mancini | 12/1/2012

    " I find the manner of death is this series Refreshing - tantalizing "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Emma | 8/19/2012

    " A serviceable entry in the series. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sandy | 7/22/2012

    " This one was not my favorite. I figured it out, which is not something I do often, and very early on in the book. I almost felt like this was a transition book. Perhaps the series is moving in a slightly different direction with the next book? "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Donna | 3/27/2012

    " Not for the average reader. This book has a lot of cross stitch information which is fine if you have done needlework, but just plain boring if you haven't. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jessie | 7/29/2011

    " Not my favorite of her books. Lots of set up and diddling about. The blackwork border on the cover is lovely and I'll probably reproduce that pattern. A little disappointed that the featured "free" design is a product placement for Kreinik threads. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amy | 2/26/2011

    " With the Halloween season being my favorite, the setting for this mystery was just perfect. In addition to the well done plot, Monica Ferris educates the reader in more than just needlework. I really enjoyed this one! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gretchen | 12/28/2010

    " The free pattern in the back is also a nice bonus. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Vivian | 12/1/2010

    " Nice and light mystery read with a little needlework on the side. Interesting characters and character development and unique chase scene towards the end. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kate | 11/26/2010

    " Better than the previous outing (which I didn't finish), but you still get the sense she's phoning it in. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kathy | 11/15/2010

    " Really fun read, liked the characters a lot and loved the stitching references. Now I have to go buy all her other books "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sue | 10/28/2010

    " The book interesting as it wove together information on Wicca, on needlework called Blackwork and barleywine brewing. The murder almost took second place to the entire package but even how the murder happened was different and interesting. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Janette | 10/21/2010

    " Boring! Her "cozy" mysteries are getting dumber. No one cared about the murder vicitm, no challenge, no excitement, just dull. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Vicki | 10/2/2010

    " This one has an interesting method of murder, which we get a hint of earlier than Betsy's figuring it out. And Godwin has a new boyfriend, I wonder if he'll figure in later books. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carol | 9/27/2010

    " Writing is not up to the earlier books in the series. I'm not likely to read any others. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jennifer | 9/12/2010

    " A little more edgy than some of the previous books, and not as many tedious details re-iterated. Enjoyable fluff and interesting murder method told with lots of visual interest and better scene-building (the parade scene is a hoot!) than some of these mysteries. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tracy | 7/10/2010

    " I liked this one better than the last few in the series. The culprit wasn't as obvious this time around. And, as always, the needlecraft mysteries give me the itch to stitch! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Melanie | 5/27/2010

    " I always enjoy reading Monica Ferris's mysteries, even when they frustrate me... I wish Ferris had written more about Leona, since she's an interesting character, but maybe she'll show up in future books. "

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