Stevie‘s review of Murder, She Knit (A Knit & Nibble Mystery, Book 1) by Peggy Ehrhart
Cosy Mystery published by Kensington 27 Mar 18
It seems just about any hobby or occupation can be the jumping-off point for a cosy (‘cozy’ to those of you across the Atlantic) mystery, and there are a host of series springing up to cater to all interests. While I was spoiled for choice with the last crop on offer from Kensington, I opted for the Knit and Nibble mysteries, because they were new, and because I was lured by the offer of tie-in patterns and recipes (these days I’m slightly disappointed if a women’s fiction story features food, but doesn’t tell us how to make the dishes described in the narrative). Cosies are fun, because much of the gore happens out of the reader’s sight, and because they take place in settings where one would think murders are unlikely to occur quite so often in real life as they seem to do once the amateur detective gets into his or her stride. And, of course, an engaging amateur detective – or detectives – is the biggest appeal of a cosy mystery.
In this series, of course, our sleuth is a knitter. Pamela Paterson is a young-at-heart widow, whose daughter recently left home to start college, who is able to combine her hobby with her work: as an editor on a fibre craft magazine and a prominent member of her town’s Knit and Nibble group. While preparing for that evening’s meeting, Pamela runs into a former colleague of her late husband: a young woman who was very helpful when Pamela was dealing with her husband’s death, and who has recently moved to Pamela’s town. Learning that her new neighbour has taken up knitting since they last saw each other, Pamela invites the woman to join her at Knit and Nibble; however, Amy never shows up, and her body is found outside Pamela’s house after the meeting: killed with a knitting needle.
Pamela and one of her fellow knitters are convinced that the police are asking all the wrong questions and take it upon themselves to investigate Amy’s past and figure out who could have wanted her dead. While there are a number of suspects, and almost as many possible motives, Pamela is struggling to piece the clues together – and then she comes across another body outside Amy’s former apartment block. It soon becomes apparent that Pamela’s investigation may put her in line to be the next victim, but she’s determined to solve the mystery in spite of her daughter’s misgivings.
I liked this story a lot. There were some loose ends left over at its conclusion: including the story behind the little cat that Pamela starts feeding and eventually takes in, but I’m hopeful that we’ll learn more as the series progresses. I’m also keen to find out more about Pamela’s next door neighbour – another newcomer to the town – who is showing a definite romantic interest in Pamela. All in all, a promising beginning to a new series.
Since her only daughter left for college, widow Pamela Paterson has kept busy as associate editor of a craft magazine and founder of the Knit and Nibble knitting club in quaint Arborville, New Jersey. Now, she’s trying out a new hobby—solving murders!
Pamela is hosting the next Knit and Nibble meeting and can’t wait to liven up her otherwise empty home with colorful yarn, baking, and a little harmless gossip. She even recruits Amy Morgan, an old friend who recently moved to town, as the group’s newest member. But on the night of the gathering, Amy doesn’t show. Not until Pamela finds the woman dead outside—a knitting needle stabbed through the front of her handmade sweater…
Someone committed murder before taking off with Amy’s knitting bag, and Pamela realizes that only she can spot the deadly details hidden in mysterious skeins. But when another murder occurs, naming the culprit—and living to spin the tale—will be more difficult than Pamela ever imagined…
Read an excerpt.