You don't have to sew to enjoy these two light mysteries. The sewing circles in both of these books simply give the author a chance to introduce characters and move the plot forward.
The sewing circle in The Lover's Knot is in Archer's Rest, New York which is about an hours train ride from New York City. Nell Fitzgerald has retreated to Archer's Rest to recover from a broken engagement. The engagement had progressed far enough that the invitations were waiting to be addressed, Nell had already given up her apartment in New York, and her grandmother's quilting circle had finished and sent The Lover's Knot quilt when Ryan showed up and announced he wasn't ready to be married. Nell's grandmother lives in Archer's Rest so Nell goes there for a weekend of chocolate and sympathy.
While in Archer's Rest, she meets the town's handyman who is young, handsome and devious. Nell's grandmother, Eleanor, hires him to remodel the quilt shop which Eleanor owns. An accident in the shop sends Eleanor to the hospital with a broken leg and Nell decides to stay in Archer's Rest to help her grandmother. When the handyman ends up dead in the quilt shop, everyone in the sewing circle becomes a suspect including Nell.
The fact that the Archer's Rest chief of police is handsome and single definitely adds to the mix.
The other sewing circle is far from the one in New York, both geographically and socially. The sewing circle in Sew Deadly is in Sweet Briar, South Carolina. Sweet Briar is a little town where everyone who lives there was born there and newcomers are not welcome. Tori Sinclair, from Chicago, enters this closed society to become the town's librarian. Not only is Tori not from Sweet Briar, she is from the North, uses a nickname, and finds that the former librarian was fired not retired.
Tori manages to become friends with the owner of the local antique store who invites her to come to the Sweet Briar Ladies Society Sewing Circle. Tori is slowly beginning to learn the rules of the South only to have the town sweetheart show up dead at the back door of the library. The local police investigator is sure that Tori has killed the girl in a love triangle. Since the investigator doesn't seem to be looking at anybody else as the murderer, Tori sets out to solve the crime herself. The sewing circle provides both suspects and clues as it meets weekly to discuss the unsettling events taking place in Sweet Briar.
Both of these mysteries are light and fun reading. The members of each circle are clearly drawn and diverse enough to provide the reader with plenty of ideas for motive and suspects. You'll spend a pleasant evening with Nell and Tori even if you can't thread a needle.
Southern Sewing Circle Series
Pinned for Murder
A Someday Quilts Mystery Series
The Lover's Knot
A Drunkard's Path
The Double Cross