Knitmare on Beech Street
A Knit and Nibble Mystery #10
By Peggy Ehrhart
Author’s website: peggyehrhart.com
Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Jeanie
Crafting magazine editor Pamela Paterson and her knitting club friends must figure out if old secrets killed the new neighbor in the latest Knit & Nibble Mystery from Peggy Ehrhart…
When Pamela, Bettina, and their friends show up at the Voorhees House to greet its new owner, they’re met with a most unwelcome a dead body on the kitchen floor. Tassie Hunt just inherited the old Victorian, which had been occupied by a reclusive widow for many years and had a reputation for being haunted. But Tassie would have been unlikely to be spooked since her career involved debunking such paranormal phenomena.
Her demise sets off a new flurry of gossip and ghostly speculation in the New Jersey town, of course—and it’s tempting to think spirits were indeed involved considering there’s zero evidence so far of foul play. A nosy neighbor reports strange lights and sounds, and a man obsessed with the Victorian era starts photographing the place from the street. But it won’t take long before Pamela and Bettina are moving in on a killer . . . (From Goodreads)
Tassie Hunt is an author whose new book would soon release. In “A Sucker Born Every Minute”, she disproved the existence of ghosts or paranormal activity. Inheriting and moving into Voorhees House is ironic for someone who doesn’t believe in hauntings. Since the former owner, Edith, passed away, the neighbors heard unearthly sounds and saw unusual lights in the house. Edith had become reclusive long before her husband passed away.
Bettina, the reporter for the weekly Arborville Advocate, and her best friend Pamela, associate editor for a fiber arts publication, were outside the Voorhees House awaiting the local committee who delivers welcome baskets of items and ads. Tassie had sent pre-release information to the Advocate regarding her new book, so Bettina was meeting the committee there to establish contact with Tassie at the same time. Bettina also brought Pamela with her.
When the committee arrived, Tassie did not answer the front doorbell of the once beautiful Victorian home. They went to the back door, which also had a doorbell. It also was unanswered. Bettina noted that the back door was ajar and stepped in. She found the young author lying dead on the kitchen floor, with no obvious cause of death.
It was Pamela, not Bettina, who had found bodies of murdered people in the past few years. The two of them have identified murderers for several open cases. It had been so frustrating for her young adult daughter because Pamela’s husband had died from an accident at his job, and her daughter feared losing her mother to a killer.
While awaiting the arrival of police, the women sat in the separate dining room. One of the officers thought it to be a natural death, but they called in the detective just in case. Oddly enough, Tassie had requested that no sweets be in the welcome basket, but a fresh blueberry pie was in the kitchen. Within a short time, Tassie’s death was found to be a homicide. Within a matter of days, Tassie’s boyfriend, who inherited the home from her, was also found murdered in the home.
The elderly widow who lived next door was very aware of loud, eerie sounds coming from the house at night and odd lights flickering through the house. She had kept a diary of the “ghostly activity”, beginning with Edith’s death over a year ago. One of Bettina’s assignments was to write an article about the presence of ghosts in the once-beautiful Victorian. The sounds and lights began again after Tassie died, and again, when her boyfriend died.
The name of this delightful series is that of the long-term, weekly knitting group that Bettina and Pamela are part of. Knit and Nibble members meet at one another’s homes. The host for the week will also provide a delicious “nibble” for a short break. I don’t know how to knit, but I do enjoy reading about the projects. Between their individual projects, members will knit toys or other items for children with their mothers at a women’s shelter.
I also enjoyed reading the brief overviews of articles that Pamela copyedited or recommended as part of her job. Articles included history, use, or other facts about various cloth or fiber from around the world.
A friend of Pamela’s was hired by Tassie, then Tassie’s boyfriend, to do renovations on Voorhees House. He had shown Pamela and Bettina a couple things of special interest. One discovery sounded so enticing that my fingers itched to enter the pages and explore!
The dynamic characters change and grow throughout the series. Bettina’s husband retired, Pamela’s daughter just graduated from college, and Pamela has acquired three cats since the series began. The characters are intelligent, kind, and hard-working. Most have creative hobbies. Pamela, as the main character, is very comfortable with herself with a quiet confidence gained through time and experience. Pamela and Bettina are my favorites – and of the regulars, there isn’t anyone I dislike.
The mystery was very well executed. There was a red herring that I was convinced was the bad guy! There was another possible suspect because of one item, but I discounted that person quickly for a couple reasons. I was still somewhat surprised and saddened at who was guilty of the murders and why. All open issues were resolved, and I look forward to the next in series. I highly recommend this cozy mystery!