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
A leaf-stained skull and the decomposed knitted vest of a child are discovered during a logging operation in Northern California’s last virgin redwood forest — a grove of thousand-year-old trees ominously called Wailing Wood.
There, the ghostly echoes of children’s voices, mixed with the distant calls of owls, have been heard by generations of families living in the nearby logging town of Whitesboro.
Textile forensics consultant Ruth M, known to law enforcement as “the Yarn Woman,” is called in by the county sheriff and site archaeologist to evaluate the fabric remnants. Her investigation unearths a double murder that occurred a hundred years before, and the physical evidence eerily echoes a local ghost story about Wailing Wood. ... Is the tragic tale destined to repeat itself?
“Wailing Wood” is the Yarn Woman’s fourth case chronicled by newspaperman Nat P.M. Fisher. She is accompanied to Whitesboro and to Wailing Wood by Fisher; Mr. Kasparov, her guardian and companion since childhood; and San Francisco Police Detective William Chu.