She lives above a retired Art Deco theater in San Francisco’s Sunset District with an old long-haired cat, her harpsichord and enough yarn to fill a railroad car.
The police call her the Yarn Woman. Her specialty is the forensic study of textiles. But they ask for her help with some trepidation because they know that whatever crime she’s unraveling for them comes with a lot of knots and baggage. And ghosts. There are always the ghosts."
— Nat P.M. Fisher
Wailing Wood is the second Yarn Woman Book. Click the title to read a synopsis and excerpts.
'Ghosts of the Albert Townsend,' 'The Fisherman's Wife,' and 'The Boy in the Mist' are published collectively in trade paperback and e-book as 'The Yarn Woman.' Click their titles to read synopses and excerpts of each.
THE THIRD BOOK in the Yarn Woman mystery series will be released soon. In The Rusalka Wheel, the ancient Slavic myths of Rusalka come alive as the Yarn Woman follows the trail of a mysterious spinning wheel — and a serial killer loose in Chinatown.
The Yarn Woman is Ruth M, an eccentric textile forensics consultant for San Francisco law enforcement and the FBI. Her first cases are chronicled in three novellas narrated by crime reporter Nat Fisher in one book, The Yarn Woman. A nineteenth century shipwreck at the edge of the San Francisco Bay (Ghosts of the Albert Townsend), the mystery of selkies on the California coast (The Fisherman’s Wife), and a street urchin with unusual mental powers (The Boy in the Mist) are just the beginning.
The second book in the Yarn Woman series is Wailing Wood, in which the Yarn Woman investigates a century-old double murder in the Pacific Northwest.
The Yarn Woman Mysteries meld modern crime with history, folklore, the supernatural, and Miss M’s love of all things fibrous — knitting, spinning and the tradition of spun thread.
Helen Oliver discovers an unusual spinning wheel in a Chinatown alley shop. Though the light is poor and the wheel is obscured by a mountain of antique furniture, it seems strangely familiar. She takes a few photos with her cell phone, and tries to buy it with what little money she has. When Helen mysteriously disappears, all that can be found is her purse and phone, discarded amid the trash along San Francisco’s northern piers.
Realizing the photos are the only clue to San Francisco’s latest serial killings, Police Detective William Chu turns to textile forensics consultant Ruth M, the Yarn Woman, to help identify the wheel and the shop. As Chu pursues the Pier Killer through San Francisco’s Chinatown and port districts, Ruth’s own investigation into the rare spinning wheel carries her to the roots of Slavic mythology.
Legend and history interweave as Ruth peels back the centuries like pages in a book until at last she connects centuries-old myth to modern murder.
PRAISE FOR THE YARN WOMAN
“Well-developed characters match the intriguing premise.”
“Mencher paints it as he sees it, giving us a refreshingly eccentric, modern-day Miss Marple to solve a gruesome mystery ... a narrative with rich characters and vivid scenes that are fun to read.”
“They blend together the feeling of traditional mysteries, Sherlock — complete with a Dr Watson, a dash of cozy and a little sprinkle of noir. Yarn Woman makes an excellent summer read.”