Thursday, January 11, 2007

Knitting mysteries

Over the past few years I've enjoyed most of the needlework mysteries by Monica Ferris. Some were better than others; some I could have missed and been none the worse for it. All the books in the series have featured needlework shop-owner Betsy Devonshire as the sleuth. When the series first began, cross-stitching and needlepoint were the main focus of the fictional shop, Crewel World, and the mysteries.

The latest mystery in the series, Sins and Needles, seems to be the best. This mystery features knitting and cross-stitching/embroidery, and describes a sock-knitting class held at the shop. Throw in a middle-aged woman adopted as an infant looking for her biological family, an elderly wealthy woman who dies (No! - is murdered!), family members looking forward to their shares of inheritance, a satisfactory, neatly-tied-up ending, and you have a book great for a Saturday afternoon when your wrists are hurting too much to knit. When you finish reading, you can knit the "Flag of the United States of America" for a pillow top. The pattern by Denise E. Williams is included, with the star-field printed in chart form.

A Deadly Yarn is the third book in Maggie Sefton's knitting mystery series. These books are fairly innocuous. The murders are delicately off-stage, the corpses are discovered without gruesome descriptions of gore, and the reader has a good time eliminating suspects along with the sleuth, Kelly Flynn. Kelly is an Easterner recently transplanted to Colorado. She inherited her beloved aunt's house, then later received another inheritance from a relative of her aunt. The house is next door to a yarn shop, House of Lambspun, and the second inheritance is a ranch in Wyoming with cattle, sheep, and oil rights. (Real life is never this tidy!)

In this third mystery, the details of Kelly's life move right along, but not too quickly. She's still knitting on a rose-colored cotton/silk sweater knit in the round, and longing to buy new yarn and start something new. She's still seeing Steve, but no romantic entanglements. She's still playing in the softball league, and still addicted to the coffee that is served in the cafe next to the yarn shop, and still enjoying her Rottweiler, Carl.

Kelly solves the mystery of the death of a designer of wearable art (not much weaving content, though it's obviously alluded to) and at the end of the book the reader is rewarded with the pattern for a triangular shawl and two recipes for Chiles Rellenos, one of my favorite foods!

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Blogger Tammy said...

Thanks for the reviews! A Deadly Yarn is on my nightstand for my next fluff read. I was hoping Kelly would finish that sweater and get to move on though! lol

5:56 PM  
Blogger Donna Boucher said...

How on earth have I missed the knitting and quilting novels?

I guess my nose has been firmly planted in the classics for too long.

A few years ago I read a mystery called The Persian Pickle Club. It was about quilting and I just loved it.

I think when I finish Crime and Punishment, I will be ready for some fun crafty fiction!!!

10:07 AM  

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