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A few years ago there was a big boom in the publishing industry over murder mysteries published for specific groups of people. Everywhere you looked there were small campy murder mysteries based on coffee houses, tea houses, a variety of pastries or different cooking themed ones, and knitting. Since I am a really fast reader and devour the small campy murder mysteries, I decided to finally try out the Knitting Mystery series by Maggie Sefton.

The story is about Kelly Flynn after she has started getting settled in her aunt’s house. She agrees to help one of her knitting group friends take a group of tourists to Vickie’s alpaca farm because they are a group of city people and have never seen a real life alpaca. The plot thickens as Kelly finds Vickie face first in a blood soaked handwoven rug. Now Kelly has to figure out who the killer is because the police force can’t be trusted to figure out grisly murders on their own….

Now, before we start the review I should write a little disclaimer saying that this is the second book. I did try to read the first book a while ago and couldn’t make it past the knitting part of the book and while I was willing to try it again, the first book was checked out. So I decided to pick up the second book to read during my little mini-vacation over the Fourth of July holiday.

As far as the plot goes, it is a fun little murder mystery. You have angst over friends, dealing with annoying people, illicit alpaca breeding, and (of course) murder. There aren’t very many clues to figure out who actually did the killing before the main character does unless you are used to reading murder mysteries. It still isn’t very apparent since the author does try to convince you that you should be suspecting her red herring, but if you manage to pay attention, you will know that it is false.

Then you have the part of the book that really, really annoys me: the knitting part. It is super apparent that the author doesn’t knit at all and if she does, she didn’t progress much beyond a garter stitch scarf. Instead of having her knitting group react like real people and explaining to Kelly what is happening she describes knitting in the round as “magic”, laughs off Kelly’s mistakes as “knitting angst”, and spends half the time sounding like the character has some sort of yarn fetish. If I went to a knitting group like that, I wouldn’t keep going back to it because it sounds like they are mocking her half the time.

The only time the author does really well in describing fiber related things is the times she describes the alpaca fiber and the spinning. Everything there is spot on. I have a feeling that the craft she should be having her character doing is spinning because it sounds like the author has a fascination with it instead of just trying to sound like she is a knitter who knows what she is talking about. Either that or she should write about coffee because most of the chapters end up talking about the magical dark elixir which can send anybody’s brain straight into the gutter.

Finally, I can’t end the review without mentioning the knitting patterns at the end of the book. There are two knitting patterns and one mysterious pie recipe that really shouldn’t be in a knitting mystery book. The first pattern is for a nice sweater that Kelly was working on for a chapter of the book. But that really isn’t mentioned because the book is quickly hijacked by a simple fun fur scarf pattern knitted in garter stitch on size 15 needles. A fact which the book won’t let us forget because Kelly has a small obsession with those scarves. Nothing out of the ordinary, but nothing too spectacular or interesting either.

Overall, it isn’t a bad book. It is just a light fast-paced novel with a light fast-paced plot. Good to read if you want something fun if you can force yourself past the contrived and slightly painful descriptions of coffee and knitting. Just don’t take it too serious.

  • Rating: ☆☆☆
  • Read Again?: Not unless I was bored
  • Buy or Lend?: If you would read it again, it would be worth a Kindle copy, but stick with getting from your library if you feel like it will be a one time deal.
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