Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Book Review: Suede to Rest by Diane Vallere (Material Witness Mysteries #1)

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Well developed and fun characters in a page turning plot
Cons: Time seems fluid, but never effects story
The Bottom Line:
Inherited store
Revives an old mystery
And keeps us engaged

Let Me Suede You to Start This Series

While I tend to love the culinary cozies, I’ve rarely ventured to the sewing and crafty side of the cozy genre.  That’s why I might have given Suede to Rest a pass if I hadn’t been offered a copy in exchange for my honest review.  The teaser intrigued me, so I decided to give it a chance.  I’m glad I did because I loved it.

Polyester Monroe is returning to San Ladron and the fabric shop that her great-uncle and aunt owned, Land of a Thousand Fabrics.  She spent many hours in the shop growing up until Aunt Millie was murdered in the shop on the night of Poly’s high school graduation.  Now, 10 years later, Poly has inherited the shop, and returned to town to figure out what to do with it.

Poly’s initial plan is to sell the shop, but when she sees it again, something inside her can’t quite let it go.  Then her car is vandalized and a member of the senior watch is murdered behind her shop.  The more that happens, the more Poly begins to question what happened to Aunt Millie 10 years ago.  Can Poly learn the truth?  How do the recent events tie in to the long ago tragedy?

While this is the first in a new series, it is not the first cozy from author Diane Vallere, and it shows.  The characters leap off the page fully developed already.  I fell in love with many of them, and some of them felt like I’d already known them two or three books.  Poly herself is a smart and resourceful heroine, and I couldn’t help but root for her to get the answers she needed. 

Likewise, the pacing of the plot was perfect.  The answers we do get just seemed to lead to more questions.  The spotlight of suspicion seemed to logically land on quite a few people before the book reached a satisfying conclusion.  Along the way, we got clues and red herrings that were always moving the plot forward.

My biggest pet peeve in books is timelines that don’t make sense, and unfortunately, that happened here.  There were a few times where the day seemed longer than it should have been, but the most notable was an afternoon/early evening that included activities for three times the allotted time.  However, this doesn’t change any of the plot points of the book; it just annoyed me.

For those who are interested in crafts, there are instructions for creating a throw pillow at the end of the book.  The project sounds easy enough that anyone could do it.

So I am glad I took a chance with Suede to Rest.  I’m already looking forward to meeting up with Poly and the rest of her new friends in the sequel.  If you want a great debut that will keep you turning pages, this is the book for you.

NOTE: As previously mentioned, I was sent an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.


  1. This sounds interesting. I have read other crafty type cozies and enjoyed them. I see another title going on the ever growing wish list. lol

    1. I hear you on that wish list. Mine is out of control as well.

      Hope you get to this one sooner rather than later.

  2. I don't love fuzzy timelines either. It always makes a little more difficult for me to connect with a book so I will be prepared when I pick this one up. I've enjoyed other books by Vallere and am looking forward to this one despite the few flaws. I'm glad to hear this chance paid off for you!
    Also, if you dislike timelines that don't make sense avoid Postern of Fate by Agatha Christie. It will drive you nuts!

    1. This one wasn't bad. It was just that my internal time editor was yelling at one point.

      I really need to read more Agatha Christie period, but it sounds like that isn't the one to start with.