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    Fourth book in A Cora Crafts Mystery series!

    Assault and Beadery by Mollie Cox Bryan is the fourth book in A Cora Crafts Mystery series. Cora Chevalier and Jane Starr are touching up the sets for IndigoArts production of Fiddler on the Roof which begins that evening. They then hurry home to make sure all preparations are complete for their Crafty Mom’s Escape Weekend which begins the next day. Cora is surprised when she gets a call from Zee Mancini, musical director for IndigoArts, later that evening. Stan Herald, the play’s director, was found murdered on the stage with an unconscious Zee beside him. Cora knows that Zee did not commit the crime. She teams up with Jane and Cora to dig into Stan’s life looking for alternate suspects. The ladies need to string together the clues to get a bead on the killer. It would help if Zee was not so mysterious about her past. In between talking with their suspects, the ladies need to teach their classes and make sure their guests have a pleasant crafting weekend. Can they wrap up the case before the killer strikes again? Assault and Beadery may be the fourth book in the series, but it can be read alone. The author provides the background on the main characters and how the retreat came to exist. The current crafting retreat, Mom’s Escape Weekend, is for mother’s whose children just went back to school. It is a chance for them to get away, relax and learn some new skills. Beading is the focus of the weekend. French beading, making rose beads, polymer clay beads, wet felting, knotting and artist trading cards are a few of the crafts described in the book. Instructions for different crafts are included at the end of the book. I like that crafting is featured in this series (many cozy mysteries used to feature crafts). The crafty fun is described with delightful details. If not for the pesky murder, I would love to be a guest at this retreat. I still do not understand why they do not employ a cook for their retreats instead of using a caterer. The retreaters could bound over delectable dinners. Indigo Gap sounds like a charming town. There are a variety of shops that I would enjoy browsing. I like how the shops and streets have blue themed names. I have still not taken a liking to Cora. This series would have benefited from a different main character. Cora with her anxiety issues and panic attacks make her unappealing. It is mentioned frequently throughout the story with it becoming an issue near the end for Cora. Panic attacks are a serious issue and the author has shown how Cora tries to cope without resorting to medication. However, reading is supposed to be relaxing and Cora gives me anxious and uncomfortable. Cora is not the right person to be the main character who investigates crime which puts in her situations that exacerbate her condition. The whodunit has a variety of suspects and misdirection to confuse the reader. Readers will have no problem untangling the clues and identifying the killer. It was fun to have the characters from A Cumberland Creek Mystery series visit Indigo Gap. The pace is a little slower in Assault and Beadery and there is mild foul language along with copious amounts of alcohol (these ladies let loose while Cora was out of the house). Join Cora, Jane and Ruby in Indigo Gap for crafts, creativity and killing.

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