I'm pleased to welcome Lois Winston and her new release. I love the cover of this book! It's going on my TBR list.
An Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery, Book 5
The adventures of reluctant amateur sleuth Anastasia Pollack continue in A Stitch to Die For, the 5th book in the Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series by USA Today bestselling author Lois Winston.
Ever since her husband died and left her in debt equal to the gross national product of Uzbekistan, magazine crafts editor and reluctant amateur sleuth Anastasia Pollack has stumbled across one dead body after another—but always in work-related settings. When a killer targets the elderly nasty neighbor who lives across the street from her, murder strikes too close to home. Couple that with a series of unsettling events days before Halloween, and Anastasia begins to wonder if someone is sending her a deadly message.
After nearly an hour of battling rush hour traffic, I finally arrived home, relieved to find neither Ira’s van nor Lawrence’s car parked at the curb. After last night’s chaos, I looked forward to a relatively peaceful dinner—relatively being the operative word. After all, I never knew what to expect from my mother-in-law.
However, as I turned to head into the house, an unexpected shaft of bright light caught my eye. Across the street, Betty Bentworth’s door stood half ajar, the glow from her foyer chandelier spilling out onto her front porch.
Betty—otherwise known as Batty Bentworth—spent her life seated in front of her living room window where she spied on her neighbors. She kept the Westfield police on speed dial, often calling multiple times a day to complain about anything and everything, once even demanding the arrest of her six-year-old next-door neighbor for vandalism. The child’s crime? She’d drawn a chalk hopscotch board on the sidewalk in front of Betty’s house.
Batty Bentworth was not someone who left her front door open—especially after dark.
Like everyone else in the neighborhood, I kept my distance from Mrs. Bentworth. You never knew what would set her off, and it was best not to get on her bad side. Not that she had a good side from what I knew of her.
Still, I couldn’t ignore that open door. Rather than head across the street, I decided to call her. Maybe she’d gone out earlier to retrieve her mail, and the door hadn’t latched completely when she returned. The stiff October breeze blowing down the street may have pushed the door open.
I whipped out my cell phone, scrolled to her number, and placed the call. The phone rang. And rang. And rang. After a dozen rings I hung up, sighed, and reluctantly crossed the street.
“Hello? Mrs. Bentworth?” I called through the open door. No answer. I shouted her name. “Mrs. Bentworth!” Only the sound of the six o’clock news blaring from her television greeted me.
I stepped inside and shouted above the Eyewitness News reporter. “Mrs. Bentworth! It’s Anastasia Pollack. Your front door is open.”
A sense of déjà vu washed over me. Less than two weeks earlier I’d discovered Rosalie Schneider, another elderly neighbor, unconscious at the bottom of her basement stairs. I took a few steps into the foyer and turned toward the dimly lit living room. Batty Bentworth sat on her sofa, a multi-colored crocheted granny square afghan draped across her lap, her gaze fixated on the news broadcasting from an old black and white console television set.
“Mrs. Bentworth, didn’t you hear me?”
When she didn’t respond, I stepped between her and the television. She continued to ignore me, but now I knew why. Batty Bentworth was dead—but not from natural causes.