Purl Up and Die
A Knitting Mystery, Book #13
By Maggie Sefton
Author’s Website: http://www.maggiesefton.com/
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Jeanie
In the latest novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Yarn Over Murder, Kelly Flynn and the Lambspun Knitters must unravel the truth from the lies to clear a friend’s son suspected of murder…
Kelly Flynn’s summer in Fort Connor, Colorado, is off to a great start with romantic celebrations with her boyfriend, Steve, and enjoyable—albeit challenging—knitting classes taught by her friend Barb at the House of Lambspun. But while Barb’s advanced stitches are giving Kelly the slip, a more deadly problem soon has her friend coming apart at the seams.
A young woman has accused Barb’s son, Tommy—a young doctor doing his residency—of assaulting her. The yarns spun by the local rumor mill are bad enough, but when the young woman is found dead in her ransacked apartment, Tommy becomes the number one suspect.
The police are ready to close the case, but Kelly is convinced that there are a few more likely suspects. Now she has to knit together the clues herself to uncover a killer who doesn’t seem to drop a stitch…
I really enjoyed Purl Up and Die, the ‘lucky thirteen’ of Maggie Sefton’s Knitting Mystery series. Sufficient information is provided about the people and shops so that if this is your first visit to Fort Connor, Colorado, you will soon get up to speed with these close, loving friends. After reading this comfortable mystery, I think you will want to go back to the beginning and enjoy the rest of the mysteries in the same way that I want to read the ones I missed.
It has been a year since the High Park Wildfire that devastated the forest and left many people homeless, but it has been a good year of rebuilding. Kelly Flynn and her close friends and their families donated many hours to this excellent cause, and the payoff is in seeing homes rebuilt, properties restored, and the planting of thousands of tiny trees.
Kelly Flynn, an accountant who left the corporate world back east six years ago when she fell in love with Fort Connor, Colorado, spends much of her work day at House of Lambspun or Pete’s Porch Cafe, in the back Lambspun. House of Lambspun is about all things yarn and fiber-related crafting, including spinning, knitting, felting, and classes of any aspect that faithful students and customers have an interest in. Mimi Shafer Parker and Burt Parker employ instructors as needed for various classes. Barb Macenroe, affectionately known as Big Barb, has taught classes at Lambspun and been friends with Mimi and Burt for many years.
Barb has one son, Tommy,a medical resident at a local emergency care clinic. He works and studies hard so he can complete his training to be a doctor. One night when his nurse had to answer the phone, the patient started shouting and accused Tommy of groping her. An official police report was made, which could stop Tommy’s career before it ever begins. Laura Brewster, the patient, is a troubled young woman who had destroyed a professor’s career and family with a similar charge a few years before, a charge made out of spite against the prof. Days later, Laura is found murdered in her campus apartment, and Tommy is a suspect..
Kelly began sleuthing as she has many times in recent years to help friends and acquaintances. Burt, a retired police detective, has an ‘in’ at the police department; his former partner Dan follows up on information Kelly digs up. In the meantime, Steve Townsend, Kelly’s ‘significant other’, has made partner in the architectural and construction company where he works. His talents helped carry Kaufman Construction through the recession; his reward includes the opportunity to bring in new projects when feasible.
The characters in Purl Up and Die are well-defined; it is clear that Kelly, her friends, and those who are part of House of Lambspun have caring, long-term invested relationships from their easygoing banter and in-depth conversation. They are self-assured and resilient, working together as needed, celebrating or mourning together, and sharing athletic and other activities. Maggie Sefton has built a town of caring friends who are entrepreneurs and survivors, creative and active. This is an enviable set of friends! The author has included a list of characters at the start of the book that is a huge help for the new and returning reader.
The plot is well-organized and thorough. It is not a page-turner in the sense that suspense builds in leaps and bounds from one chapter to the next. Rather, it is a thoughtful, relaxing page-turner as one sees the crafting classes, accounting practices, and the logic utilized in the sleuthing process. It is part mystery, and part catching up with old friends. Clues are revealed as discovered. Kelly does not leap thoughtlessly into situations where she could be hurt. Her logical accounting mind thinks through situations before proceeding. I had mixed feelings about the resolution; it was a bit exhilarating to realize I was one thought ahead of Kelly, yet sad when considering the results of the solution. Purl Up and Die is, as the rest of this series, not to be missed! I highly recommend it to yarn and various texture crafters (the new skill Kelly learned sounds interesting!) and spinners, anyone who enjoys needlework and cozy mysteries, and those who enjoy this gorgeous, feel-good, friend and family centered setting. Relax with a cup of coffee (iced if summer, hot if winter) or tea, and visit again!