Trimmed with Murder (A Seaside Knitters Mystery #10)
By Sally Goldenbaum
Author website: http://www.sallygoldenbaum.com/
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Kayt
All Izzy Chambers Perry wants for Christmas is to keep her brother out of jail—in this holiday yarn from the national bestselling author of A Finely Knit Murder.
In Sea Harbor the holidays mean cozy fires, festive carols, and soft skeins of yarn waiting to become hats and sweaters and scarves. And this year Izzy and the other Seaside Knitters are also knitting tiny ornaments to decorate a tree for the first annual tree-trimming contest.
Their holiday cheer is multiplied when Izzy’s younger brother, Charlie Chambers, unexpectedly arrives to volunteer at a local clinic. He brings with him outspoken hitchhiker Amber Hanson, who is returning to Sea Harbor to claim an inheritance. She quickly reacquaints herself with the area–and forms an unlikely friendship with Charlie. But their bond is shattered when her body is found beneath the undecorated trees on the Harbor Green.
With Charlie a suspect in the murder, Izzy and her fellow knitters step in to uncover the truth. It’s only by peeling away long-buried secrets that they can hope to restore joy to the season, and enjoy the shining lights of the newly decorated trees.
As always with Sally Goldenbaum’s A Seaside Knitters Mystery series, Trimmed with Murder is full of friends, family and community unity. Also one of the interesting things about her books is each one centers on different main characters while the others still play a big part. This installment has Izzy’s younger brother Charlie arriving after being incommunicado for years. Along his way to Sea Harbor a mysterious woman hitches a ride, she actually gets in without being asked. Unbeknownst to Charlie, Amber Hanson is coming home after being summoned to the reading of a will. It is the holiday season so lots of activities are going on in the wonderful town as well.
I love that the author lists the characters in the front. This is really helpful to me and especially helpful when there is such a large cast of characters. You do not have to be a knitter to enjoy the way these characters, Nell, Izzy, Cass, and Birdie knit together the clues of these mysteries. Along with the men in their lives, they are able to keep things from getting too tangled up. The murder in this one comes later in the book. I am not sure I enjoyed getting to know Amber, getting to care for her and then having her murdered. It seemed harder and harsher than normal. Charlie’s relationship with Amber also made her murder that much sadder. It was the one thing I really did not care for. And for Cass and Danny to find the body while they were making strides in their relationship was also a bit rough.
Sally Goldenbaum has a wonderful and warm writing style and that did soften the blow at times in this one. Her characters are always enjoyable. The care with which she crafts them, the way they interact and get involved with their community is superb. Trimmed with Murder is an intuitive and insightful mystery. The side stories are intricate and stitched together perfectly with the murder mystery. Descriptive writing really paints a wonderful picture of the Christmas season in Sea Harbor. Izzy wants to keep her brother from being arrested for the holidays. The first annual tree trimming contest is endearing. Definitely a great cozy for the season.
All of the Seaside Knitters Mystery series can be read as stand-alone books, however reading them is like coming home to visit for the holidays. The characters have become friends and as their lives have bloomed and changed, long time readers are able to enjoy the growth. I really love the characters, with Nell and Birdie being my favorites. I would recommend Trimmed with Murder to any reader of cozies, any knitters and anyone that enjoys a good story with great characters. The caring and connected characters are truly the stars in this series. That said though, the mystery is first class.