Only Skein Deep
A Knitting Mystery, Book #15
By Maggie Sefton
Author Website: Maggiesefton.com
In the latest novel from The New York Times bestselling author of Knit to Be Tied, Kelly Flynn and The Lambspun Knitters are eagerly awaiting a bundle of joy but find themselves heaped with trouble instead…
Kelly Flynn and her boyfriend, Steve, couldn’t be happier as they await the birth of their bouncing baby boy. Kelly’s got a built-in group of fiber arts specialists, the Lambspun Knitters, who are working away on blankets and booties. As they sit around the table crafting their keepsakes, the story of Giselle Callahan is a popular topic of conversation.
Giselle is the young wife of Henry Callahan, a Fort Connor banking scion, who traded in his previous wife of forty years for a newer model. Giselle’s prowess as a skilled country club golfer and social climber puts her on someone’s hit list. When she is found dead on the greens at the golf club, Kelly and her Lambspun crew worry that a vicious killer is in their midst. They must work fast to bring an unhinged murderer to justice on the back nine before Kelly’s very special delivery…(from Goodreads)
Kelly Flynn and sweetheart Steve Townsend await the new addition to their family; Jack, named after Kelly’s late father, will make his appearance very soon. As temperatures rise in Fort Connor, Colorado, Kelly is increasingly uncomfortable and looking forward to Jack’s arrival. Most of Kelly’s time is spent now at House of Lambspun, the unique store for many kinds of fiber art from spinning to weaving to knitting or crocheting. This leads her to consider even more than in the past how the actions of working with fibers or yarn, looking at aesthetically pleasing combinations of colors is so completely relaxing. She even considers how ancient the arts are that we take for granted today.
One of the knitters at Lambspun had commented on two lady golfers walking through the shop to the Cafe, one being Giselle, the young bride of Henry Callahan. After he divorced his wife of 40+ years for the sweet young golf pro, his first wife Meredith committed suicide. It was shocking to hear, only days later, that Giselle Callahan was murdered on the golf course adjacent to Lambspun and Pete’s Cafe. There aren’t any windows that directly view that part of the golf course from the Lambspun building, so nobody heard or saw anything. It was quite an up close and personal kind of murder, too, one that had been thought out. After all, a golf course at a busy time of day?
Kelly has free time to think about it and many other things, including keeping her clients’ accounting entries current so she won’t have to worry about getting behind when Jack is born. Investigating any crime is impossible for her now, but she could always keep her eyes and ears open. A murder simply can’t go unsolved in their growing community for any length of time.
The characters are all very well acquainted as their friendships have been forged through good times and struggles. There are couples of various ages, a toddler, and a couple teens plus those who attend any of the yarn arts classes. It is hard to have a favorite, as each one has such positive, caring traits. Each is involved, as time allows, first with their family and friends, then with the community.
Dialog is as comfortable as this family is knit together with each other, through affiliation of one kind or another, with House of Lambspun. Through it, we learn much about the characters and their community. At times the dialog seems repetitive, as each person Kelly encounters asks how she is feeling and she shares the same brief description for that day. Most times conversations are caring, witty, or even businesslike, depending on the circumstances.
The plot, even while seemingly uncomplicated, remains unsolved longer than usual. Quite possibly because Kelly wasn’t sleuthing? The local detectives are excellent, but don’t hear some of the good information that the average citizen might. There were at least two possible suspects in this crime but not enough evidence to charge anyone with. When learned quite by accident, the clue that could close the case brought quite a twist to the mystery. The real bad guy/ gal was quite a surprise to this armchair sleuth!
While not quite a traditional cozy mystery, Only Skein Deep is a novel demonstrating the love and affection found between longtime friends as well as couples. There is the appeal of mothering and mentoring from Mimi and Burt at Lambspun, as well as Alpaca rancher Jayleen and rancher Curt. There is the draw of many fiber arts, of which there is a new knitting pattern in the back. I highly recommend Only Skein Deep for those who enjoy less mystery and more relationship in their novels, yet still appreciate a well-written whodunit and the various yarn arts.