Sunday, December 26, 2010
A Stitch Before Dying by Anne Canadeo
Stitching it together . . .
The Black Sheep Knitters: a fivesome with a knack for knitting—and for solving crimes.
hen Maggie Messina, owner of the Black Sheep Knitting Shop, is invited to give knitting workshops at a Berkshires spa resort, she manages to negotiate a cottage that fits all five of the Black Sheep for what promises to be a weekend of knitting bliss. But while the friends are expert at counting stitches, they haven’t counted on murder.
Guests and staff at the Crystal Lake Inn are as varied as a mixed bag of yarn, but most colorful is certainly the owner, charismatic self-help guru and former psychiatrist Dr. Max Flemming. The doctor may have told all in a revealing autobiography, but from his ex-wife to the widow of his former business partner—both employees at the inn—Max seems mired in shadows from his past. And when a killer strikes during a mountaintop retreat, the Black Sheep wonder what the good doctor might be hiding.
The police seem to be following the wrong thread. But while Maggie’s workshops have given the knitters a unique view of the tensions at the little inn, can they make sense of a crime that is as complexly stranded as a Fair Isle sweater? When the killer murders a second time, the Black Sheep wonder if they’ve dropped a stitch and put themselves in mortal danger. . . .
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Gallery; Original edition (December 28, 2010)
Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.4 x 0.8 inches
This is the third book in Canadeo's Black Sheep Knitting mystery series. While I have not read the first book, I did read book number two when it was published last year. It was my first introduction to the idea of a cozy mystery. Growing up I read mysteries almost exclusively for a while, things like Nancy Drew and Trixie Beldon. Later I moved on to Barbara Michaels and Phylis Whitney. In college I started reading more romances and fell away from mysteries. Since then I have jumped around but never fully got back into mysteries. This book, and the previous ones, were such fun reads that I plan to look for more mysteries to add to my TBR stack of books.
In this installment, Maggie, the owner of the Black Sheep Knitting Store, has been invited to a new age spa to teach some knitting courses. She invites her friends to come with her for a weekend away to relax and be pampered. While two members are on a camping retreat a fellow guest is found dead. When his death is ruled a murder things at the Inn change. Everyone is jumpy and worried and the police aren’t allowing anyone to check out or leave until they are finished with questioning. A few possible suspects arise within the assortment of characters staying and working at the Inn. As with the last book, Maggie and her friends do some sleuthing of their own (grown=p Nancy Drew and Trixie Beldon style).
Different clues point to different guests and the book moves along at a nice pace. These felt like friends I was checking in with again. It made me want to learn to knit, just as the last one did, and I envied this group of women who were able to make time for each other on a regular basis even in the busyness of their daily lives, jobs and families. I think sometimes we underestimate the need to have a close relationship with our friends.
This was an enjoyable read that I would recommend to readers of all genres. Sit with a cup of tea or a glass of wine and immerse yourself in this group of friends.