Friday, August 7, 2015

Book Review: Crushed Velvet by Diane Vallere (Material Witness Mysteries #2)

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Wonderful characters and a complex plot
Cons: None worth dwelling on
The Bottom Line:
Grand reopening
Complicated by murder
Great return visit

You’ll Be Crushed if You Don’t Read This Book

Despite the lack of sewing and fabric related cozies I’ve read, I picked up last year’s debut in the Material Witness Mysteries.  I was quickly hooked and couldn’t wait until Crushed Velvet came out.  I’m thrilled to say that I enjoyed it as well.

It’s been several months since we last saw Polyester Monroe, and she has spent that time working on getting the fabric store she inherited in the LA suburb of San Ladron ready to reopen under a new name – Material Girl.  As part of that reopening, she’s bought a proprietary blend of velvet she plans to sell.  The fabric has arrived in downtown LA, and Poly has hired her friend Genevieve’s husband, Phil, to pick it up for her.

However, when the delivery truck pulls up on Monday morning, it isn’t Phil driving, but a man named Rick who Phil hired to drive the truck back from LA to San Ladron.  Poly thinks it’s a little odd, but she isn’t that concerned until they start to unload the velvet and find Phil dead in the back of the van.  With Genevieve being an obvious suspect, Poly must add solving a murder to the list of things she has to do before her store opens.  But why did Phil want to stay in LA?  More importantly, why does Genevieve think she might have killed her husband?

As with the first book, we are presented with a great puzzle that keeps unraveling a bit at a time.  The clues we got were constantly confusing me until we reached the logical conclusion.  We also get some very nice red herrings to completely confuse things.  I only began to get an inkling of what might have happened late in the book myself, but I was glued to the book to find out just what the next twist to the story would be.

In the first book, Poly made some very interesting new friends.  They are all back, and we get to know them better as the story progresses.  They are such a wonderful group, and I enjoyed seeing them again.  The new characters are just as sharp and intriguing.

I’m not a crafty person, so I don’t tend to pick up the cozy with those as the theme.  I’ll admit that I don’t share Poly’s interest in fabric, but that aspect never overwhelmed the story.  It was very present, but the book never forgets that it is a mystery first.

One of my favorite aspects of the book was the budding romance between Poly and Vaughn.  Their scenes sparkle with a 1930’s romantic comedy vibe.  The wit and their behavior is just perfect.  Plus Vaughn provides some help along the way toward the solution.

For those who are craftier than I am, there is a project for creating placemats out of fabric at the end of the book.

I was sorry to see Crushed Velvet end and am already looking forward to visiting Poly and her group of friends again.  If you haven’t had the pleasure of meeting these characters yet, fix that today.  And if you have already met Poly, you’ll enjoy your return visit as much as I did.

NOTE: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.


Thanks to the publisher, I have one copy of this book to give away.  Because it is a physical book, the contest is limited to residence of the US.

Just leave me a comment with your e-mail address so I can get in touch with you if you win.  I will pick the winner next Friday, August 14th, so please leave your comment before 12:01AM Pacific Time on 8/14.


  1. I have this one on my list!
    afarage ( at ) earthlink. net

  2. Sounds great!!

  3. "You'll crushed if you don't read this book" good one. ツ

  4. I love this author. Happy to see a new one. Yes I will be crushed if I do not read this.

    gibsonbk at hiwaay dot net

  5. If I won, could you send it to my sister's address in San Diego? This book sounds right up my alley, I've been sewing since childhood and LOVE collecting fabric

  6. I have this series on my list, I would love to meet and read about Poly! I love Vallere's Mad for Mod series, worth checking out if you haven't yet! Thanks!

  7. After reading your review, I definitely want to check this out, so fingers crossed that I win!

  8. The review is good as I expected it would be. I bought the first book but haven't read it as yet. I'd love to win the second.

  9. This would be totally crushing if I didn't win!! Thanks for the great review, can't wait to read it!! :)