Stitched in Crime
A Craft Fair Knitters Mystery #2
By Emmie Caldwell
Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Jeanie
When murder pierces the fabric of the close-knit Crandalsburg Craft Fair, it’s up to the Ninth Street Knitters to make a killer slip their stitch.
The Craft Fair may have hit a few snags lately, but knitting enthusiast Lia Geiger is hopeful her quiet life will return to its usual patterns in no time. Her daughter has officially moved back home, and sure, the house is a little crowded with Hayley’s take-home work from the alpaca farm, but that’s a price Lia will happily pay. All seems well until Cori Littlefield, a new vendor with a gift for crochet, is found dead, sending shock waves through all of Crandalsburg.
What begins as a tragic accident turns into a snarled spool of lies that only the combined efforts of the Ninth Street Knitters can untangle. When Lia makes a connection between Cori’s death and a decades-old murder, it’s up to her to weave together the clues and find the truth. (From Goodreads)
I enjoyed this cozy mystery very much! The main characters are delightful; it was easy for me to become invested in them. It can be read as a standalone, as I had not yet read the first one and found it easy to keep up. The crafts and various pieces people worked on were discussed with just the right amount of detail. This complex mystery kept me guessing, especially through the various plot twists and turns. There were no easy solutions!
It is summer in Crandalsburg, and the craft fair is in full swing every weekend. Lia has been a long-term member of the Ninth Street Knitters in York; since she moved, she values the deep friendships enough to drive to when the group meets every week. Belinda, her close friend who talked her into making the move, got her involved with the weekly local craft fair, where people with many, varied crafting skills gather to sell their products. Lia sells her own knitted products as well as those of her friends in the knitters’ group. Her adult daughter, Hayley, lives with her since moving back to town. Hayley plans to get her own place once the major event she has been planning for her new employer is complete.
A young woman, Cori, has the booth next to Lia’s, and sells specialty crocheted items, including whimsical animals, birds, flowers, and vegetables. She is very shy and trying to learn to be a good saleswoman despite her reticence. The newspaper did an excellent article, with photos, in Sunday’s paper about her creations. The craft fair had many more customers than usual that day, mostly people who wanted to see her work. She did a great business, as did the rest of the vendors. After she left, a customer came in wanting a special order from her, so Lia committed to getting it to her.
Lia called Cori the next day and took the information to her. Cori had recently moved back to her mother’s house from York, but her mother was in rehab recovering from a serious car accident. Cori was happy to have a commission requested, and excited about future sales. She showed Lia some of her work. When she took a phone call, Lia saw a shadowbox with crocheted figures in it. It was troubling to Lia, and when Cori saw her with it, she became upset and took it to her room. Cori had to leave, as the person who called wanted to meet with her.
Later that day, Lia heard that a young woman died while hiking at the falls, and for some reason, thought of Cori and how suddenly she left that morning. The next morning, the gut feeling was confirmed. Cori was dead; her fall was determined accidental.
At the wake, Lia heard several interesting things. One was from Cori’s half-sister Robin, certain that Cori committed suicide. She learned from a high school friend about the nightmare Cori lived with, over and over, most of her life. Cori had said it was an actual memory of seeing someone, Jessica, her babysitter, fall to her death when she was little. Lia is sure there is more than meets the ear, and eye, as do the people in her knitting group. They are prepared to help her find information about the young woman and get justice for her as the police are convinced that both deaths were accidental.
The characters were fun to meet and learn about. I’m sad that one of the people I wanted to know better was the victim. I appreciate getting to know Lia, her daughter Hayley, and Lia’s friends in the Nine Street Knitters and at the Craft Fair. Each was defined through realistic conversations and behaviors. I also appreciated that many characters are mature, as I felt I had something in common with them. Meeting Pete was interesting, and I am curious to see the role he will have in future novels.
I was fascinated by how various people were willing to talk with Lia, and how much information she, her daughter, and their friends obtained! It was especially challenging when they learned the babysitter Cori had when she was only six had died in a fall from the same waterfall, the very same spot, more than two decades ago. That opened the door for potential suspects, as Jessica had been very popular throughout high school and college. This novel held my attention throughout, and there were definitely surprises at the end. I highly recommend this exciting, crafty cozy mystery!