cover image The Rusalka Wheel: A Yarn Woman Mystery

The Rusalka Wheel: A Yarn Woman Mystery

Brooks Mencher. Early Morning, $15.99 trade paper (264p) ISBN 978-1-54641674-6

At the start of Mencher’s gripping third mystery featuring the textile forensics consultant known simply as Ruth M (after 2015’s Wailing Wood), Helen Oliver ventures into an antique shop in San Francisco’s Chinatown, where she discovers a spinning wheel that she believes to be more than a hundred years old. Designs on the framework showing the water nymph Rusalka make her wonder whether this wheel is the same as the one her grandmother used in Ukraine long ago. Her attempts to purchase it are thwarted by the creepy couple running the store, though she takes some pictures of it with her phone. Helen’s purse and phone are later found near a pier, along with the corpse of an unidentified man. Det. William Chu of the SFPD takes the phone to Ruth M, who displays her expertise by rattling off a series of Sherlockian deductions after viewing images of the wheel from Helen’s phone. Evocative flashback sections giving the history of the Rusalka spinning wheel enhance the clever plot. Readers will look forward to Ruth M’s next adventure. [em](BookLife) [/em]