The Quick and the Thread by Amanda Lee.*
In this first book of the Embroidery Mystery series, we meet Marcy Singer, who has given up her accounting career in San Francisco to start an embroidery shop called The Seven Year Stitch Tallulah Falls, a small town on the Oregon coast.
Marcy is understandably excited about her Grand Opening party, but the occasion is marred by the arrival of Tim Enright, owner of the failed hardware store that formerly occupied the spot. Appearing to be inebriated, Tim keeps trying to tell her something important, but Marcy manages to avoid him.
The next morning, she his startled to find his corpse in her storage room, and a cryptic message scratched on the wall with a tapestry needle. The local police chief seems ambivalent about the message, but Marcy is convinced it means something and begins to look into its significance herself.
What she finds is a convoluted financial scheme that appears to involve everyone in town, including her best friend Sadie's husband Blake.
Amanda Lee is a pseudonym for Gayle Trent, who is the author of the Daphne Martin cake decorator mysteries. Her experience as a writer shows in the way she manages to conceal which characters are on the side of the law and which ones aren't.
The second book in the series, Stitch Me Deadly is due in early 2011.
*Full disclosure: I received a review copy of the book from the publisher.