Born Mary Monica Pulver, Monica Ferris is an American author that has been writing professionally since the 1980s. Ferris served in the U.S navy for several years before finally attending the University of Wisconsin (Madison) and marrying a Museum Curator. Besides writing, Ferris has also taught courses on mystery writing.
Order of A Needlecraft Mystery Series
|2||Framed in Lace||1999|
|3||A Stitch in Time||2000|
|5||A Murderous Yarn||2002|
|7||Hanging by a Thread||2003|
|10||Patterns of Murder||2005|
|11||Sins and Needles||2006|
|16||Sew Far, So Good||2009|
|17||Buttons and Bones||2010|
|19||And Then You Dye||2012|
|20||The Drowning Spool||2014|
|21||Darned if You Do||2015|
|22||Knit Your Own Murder||2016|
Order of Peter and Kori Brichter Series
|1||Murder at the War||1987|
|2||The Unforgiving Minutes||1988|
|3||Ashes to Ashes||1988|
Order of Sister Frevisse Series
Ferris’ foray into the literary arena began with a short story called “Pass the Word” that she sold to Alfred Hitchcock’s Magazine in 1983. Over the decades, Ferris has contributed to a litany of anthologies and magazines in nations all over Europe. However, the author is most notably known for her work in the mystery arena, particularly cozy mysteries. Most prominent among her many literary creations is the needle working sleuth Betsy Devonshire who takes center stage in Ferris’ “A Needlecraft Mystery” series.
Monica Ferris Awards
Monica Ferris has enjoyed a long and illustrious career as an author, and the awards and accolades she has garnered in that time prove as much. The author has had the pleasure of winning a place on national and local best-seller lists, this including the independent mystery bookstore compilation and USA Today.
Some people might even remember the nomination she received for an Anthony Award for Best First Novel at the Bouchercon World Mystery Convention in 1988.
Ferris also received at Edgar Award nomination for the Best original paperback by the Mystery Writers of America in 1993; the nomination was for “The Servant’s Tale”.
Ferris hasn’t been formally rewarded in any notable capacity for novels in the Needlecraft mysteries, the most popular of her works; though, the renown of the books has allowed Ferris to populate many bestseller lists. And while she hasn’t garnered notable formal recognition for the Needlecraft series, fans of the mystery genre have continued to laud the author for producing such a charming and enticing mystery series of novels.
Best Monica Ferris Books
Monica Ferris has written so many varied literary works that it might seem difficult to pin her down as an author; however, these books are considered among the best she has written and can be used to most notably define her:
Crewel World: Betsy Devonshire only went to Excelsior, Minnesota because she wanted to see her sister Margot and, hopefully, get her life in order. The idea that Margot would provide her shelter and a job at her needlecraft shop never really occurred to Betsy. But that is exactly what happened.
Things hadn’t been so good for Betsy in a long time; however, Betsy’s fortunes take a quick and unexpected turn when Margot is murdered, and now Betsy must unravel the mystery of her death.
Needlecraft takes a lot of patience, discipline, and creativity, elements that Betsy has in abundance; elements that are also essential for the art of detection.
Crewel world is the first book in the Needlecraft mystery series. As the first novel in Monica Ferris’ most popular series, it immediately works to stand apart. The novel doesn’t even get into cozy mystery territory until the end.
The first part of the book focuses on the dramatic aspects of the primary characters and the location of Excelsior; the death of Margot would have been the impetus that kicked off the hunt for the killer in any other cozy mystery novel.
In this novel, the death of Margot instead sends the story spiraling into the deepest realms of depression as Betsy struggles to come to grips with her sister’s death; it isn’t until the end that she looks up from the gloom of her life to notice the discrepancies in the investigation of Margot’s death.
Crewel world perfectly personifies Monica Ferris as a wholly unique cozy mystery author.
Framed in Lace: When the Hopkins Ferry is raised from the bottom of the lake, it brings with it the remains of the dead. Because the boat sank so long ago, the evidence surrounding the victim, a woman, is slim and soggy, except for maybe an unidentifiable lacelike fabric.
Betsy believes there is so much more to the story than meets the eye; with the patrons of her needlecraft shop by her side, she begins to crack the case.
The second book in the Needlecraft mystery series follows the trend of the first book by immediately standing apart from the typical cozy mystery; the books delves into the minutiae of needleworking and lace, using those two elements to solve the crime in a manner most readers have probably never encountered.