Knit to Kill

Knit to Kill (Black Sheep Knitting Mystery #9) by Anne Canadeo

It’s been a while since we reviewed these mysteries, so let’s do a brief recap:

So Lucy is getting married!

Well, remarried. Before the big day, the group decides to head out for a girls weekend.

Suzanne Cavanaugh’s old college friend, Amy, lives in a luxury community, Mermaid Manor on Osprey Island. She agreed to let them have a luxury condo for free in exchange of a few free lessons from Maggie.

FREE!!

So the group is off. On their first night, Maggie holds a meeting and they overhear a brawl occurring at a poker game.

Dr. Julian Morton is causing trouble again. He not a very well-liked man. This time Derek Pullman, heavily in debt, has lost a load to Morton-accusing him of cheating. The fight going really bad.

Y’all know what that mans. Someone is going to end up DEAD!

The knitters continue on their way.

The next day Phoebe gets up early and goes off photographing and bird watching. Lucy wants to go bike riding, but it is much too foggy so she heads to yoga class with Dana. I don’t know about you all, but this is giving me flashbacks to the third Black Sheep Knitting MysteryKnit, Purl, Die. You know how they go to the spa for free, do yoga, and knitting lessons.

Did she just reuse her plot?

The yoga class is interrupted by sirens as it turns out Julian Morton is dead! He was murdered buy being knocked out and then pushed off the cliff.

The Knitters try their hardest not to get involved, but then Amy’s husband is arrested for the murder. They decide they must do all they can to clear his name.

But there are soooooooo many suspects and everyone hated Dr, Morton.

  1. Derek Pullman-Was conned out of a ton of money to Morton when his funds were already low. Did he give Morton the final push in anger and to be free of his IOU?
  2. Meredith Quinn-She was Morton’s first wife and got nothing from the divorce. She has to work multiple jobs to just get by. Could she have done it? After all, revenge is a dish best served cold.
  3. Helen Shelburn-Morton’s neighbor. Morton killed her dog because he would dig up the flower beds when he got out of the yard. He put rat bait in areas purposely where the dog could accidentally eat it and wrapped it in bacon to ensure he would eat it. Helen LOVES her dog, was she getting justice?
  4. Betty Rutledge-Years ago Betty was a counselor at a camp with her brother and Morton. One day Morton was jealous that her brother won a competition, besting him, and knocked him into the fire-pit, Morton claimed it was “an accident” while Betty knows it was on purpose. It has always angered her that her brother ended up with burns and was so embarrassed he became a hermit. Could she have finally gotten payback?
  5. Dr. Lewis Fielding-Fielding is Morton’s psychiatrist and Meredith’s lover. Could his love for Meredith and desire to help her overcome his oath to protect lives?
  6. Tanya Morton-Dr. Morton’s second wife. She badly wanted out of the marriage but suffered from a prenup that would leave her with zilch. Could she have killed him for freedom and lots of dollars?
  7. Cory Morton-Morton’s son. He got nothing from his father but a mess of issues. When Cory had a great idea and asked his father for a loan, he received mocking words and verbal abuse. Was it the last straw?

Which one, which one? And time is running out for the Knitters. They only have a few days to figure it out.

Thoughts after Reading:

I thought it was okay. It was very slow paced and not as good as the first book or Til Death Do Us Purl. There isn’t really any investigation but just “accidental” revealing of information. Again at the end we are saved with exposition.

Ugh! One of those guys!

As I said before, it reminded me a lot of the third book when they go on the Knitters weekend to the health spa.

When Phoebe just happens to take a picture with an important clue I figured out who it was. Obvious.

I wish they included a recipe for the penne pasta with tomatoes, zucchini, basil, and mozzarella. That sounds really good and I think I will try to make it.

For more Black Sheep Knitting Mysteries, go to A Murder in Mohair

For more from Anne Canadeo, go to The Postman Always Purls Twice

For more knitting mysteries, go to Patterns in the Sand

For more Wedding mysteries, go to Floral Depravity

A Murder in Mohair

Murderinmohair

A Murder in Mohair (Black Sheep Knitting Mystery #8)

So Plum Harbor has left the Hollywood glitz behind and returned to life as normal.

You know what that means...something is about to happen

You know what that means…something is about to happen

It is summer time in Plum Harbor and the sleepy town is rudely awakened with the murder of the local movie theater owner, Jimmy Hubbard.

gunshooting

It appears to be a robbery gone bad, but why of all places would one hit a struggling cinema when there were plenty of other buisnesses in the downtown area that would have more money?

Sounds fishy...

Sounds fishy…

Besides murder, the other thing to hit the town is a psychic, Cassandra Waters.

psychpsychicvision

Cassandra has been helping one their friend Edie’s niece Nora talk to her deceased son. All the women are doubtful of such powers, with their friend Edie coming to them asking if they could observe and let her know how Cassandra gets her information.

The girls decided to hold a psychic/knitting night and see if they can trap Cassandra into revealing her phony self.

gotthis

In other news Lucy is approaching an important birthday and thinking about her future with Matt. Is she wasting her time in believing that the two will marry have a child together? Should she move on? Or is she getting anxious for nothing?

idon'tknowwhatI'mdoing

The knitting/psychic night comes upon the girls and they find it not quite what they expected. Everything said is vague; but at the same time it feels as if Cassandra is privy to privileged information. How does she do it?

urkelgif interesting hmm

One day as Lucy is walking along mulling over her future, when she comes across Cassandra’s home, and sees Richard, Nora’s husband. He’s leaving Cassandra’s house and she is dressed in very little.

Very fishy

Very fishy

Soon after Cassandra is found dead and it is up to the Knitters (minus Maggie as her cop boyfriend does not like her getting involved) to figure out who the killer is. Did someone murder Cassandra because her crystal ball revealed a secret someone would rather keep hidden? And who killed Hubble? Are there two murderers roaming around Plum Harbor or are these crimes connected?

plotthickens

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Thoughts After Reading:

I knew it was only a matter of time before they brought in psychics or the occult. Every mystery series does and the psychic always seems to “reveal” something “crucial” to the mystery. I’m kind of done with it to be honest.

It's been done TOO many times

It’s been done TOO many times

This book wasn’t downright horrible but also not downright amazing. I found it to be only okay.

Meh

Meh

I did like that they brought in a minor character that was mentioned in previous books instead of an old friend we had never heard about. It s always weird when they introduce these new characters that are “old friends” that we are only hearing about now and never hear of again in the future.

IDon'tlikeit

The mystery I thought was easily solvable and lackluster.

eh

She still hasn’t topped Til Death Do Us Purl I think that remains the best book in the series. You should definitely check it out.

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For more Black Sheep Knitting Mysteries, go to The Postman Always Purls Twice

For more on encountering the spirit world, go to Grave Peril

For more book reviews, go to Fangs But No Fangs

The Postman Always Purls Twice

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The Postman Always Purls Twice (Black Sheep Knitting Mystery #7) by Anne Canadeo

Thoughts Before Reading:

So I had just finished reading Murder in Mohair, but it seemed slightly weird and off like I was missing something.

Interesting

It wasn’t until I added the book to my Goodreads that I realized Murder in Mohair was book #8, not 7.

What?

Weirdly enough my library didn’t have book 7. They had all of them, except that one. I had to Inter-Library Loan it (ILL)

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Plot Synopsis:

A movie crew has descended upon Plum Harbor.

serv_filming-v2

Yes Hollywood has come a-knocking as it wants to film the newest thriller starring the famous actress Jennifer Todd, and hunky leading man, Heath O’Hara.

thenannygasp

The knitting group find themselves thrust into the middle as Suzanne is a location scout for the film and Maggie ends up becoming a character consultant for Jennifer.

wow

Thing seem to be going well as the group finds themselves invited to parties and spending time with their favorite actors.

Lordoftherings LifeisGood

However, there seems to be a dark cloud looming over the production. Sabotage keeps occurring, and in one case Jennifer is almost killed by a falling light.

Blog-Child-Support-Oh-No

The knitters start investigating what is going on when things take an even creepier turn.

creepyew

It appears someone is stalking Jennifer, as she is sent creepy flowers by a secret admirer.

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When Jennifer’s husband and the director Nick Pullman is badly poisoned, the knitters become even more suspicious and continue their investigation into what is going on in the set.

Very fishy

Very fishy

But soon things become even more serious when Heath O’Hara is found dead, his drink poisoned too.

Uh-oh

Uh-oh

When Jennifer is arrested and believed to be the murderer; the knitters step up their game to clear their new friend’s name.

gotthis

But it won’t be easy. This group has more triangles and issues than Twin Peaks;  as betrayal, adultery, ambition, etc. abound.

twinpeaks

Will the knitters solve the case before the crew heads back to Los Angeles? Or have they met their match?

HMMM

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Thoughts After Reading:

So I did not like this book.

IDon'tlikeit

I thought it was horribly written and that the mystery was lackluster.

horrible

First the title bothered me as it didn’t connect with the mystery at all. It just seemed cheap.

Come on, guys. You didn't even clean up?

Come on, guys. You didn’t even clean up?

The story was kind of boring.

NO emotion = BORING!

Cannadeo lead you in one direction the whole book and then in the last few pages had a character become the exposition fairy giving you all the information to solve it in a minute.

Unlike the other books there was no buildup or development.

Really Anne?

Really Anne?

Definitely so bad it is on the level of A Stitch Before Dying. I hope the future books are much better.

Please!

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For more Black Sheep Knitting Mysteries, go to A Dark and Stormy Knit

For more mysteries that revolve around making a movie, go to Cherry Cheesecake Murder

For more on poisoning, go to A Pinch of Poison

For more Nostalgia Critic, go to A Stitch Before Dying

 

The Silence of the Llamas

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The Silence of the Llamas (Black Sheep Knitting Mystery #5) by Anne Canadeo

The Black Sheep Knitting group has headed out to the countryside, doing some good farm stand shopping.

zucchiniTomato

The crew is on their way to visit friend’s of Dana’s. Her old college friend Ellie; married Ben Kruegar, sold her successful business, bought a property in Plum Harbor, and created a Llama farm.

Aw, how cute.

Aw, how cute.

This weekend is Ellie ad Ben’s big grand opening of their farm, the Laughing Llama. While the event is fun, full of food and farm animals; somebody isn’t interested in it. In fact, the llamas are attacked by someone with a paint gun, severely injuring them.

gunshooting

AAAAHHHHH

It turns out that, that isn’t the only bad thing that has been happening. There have been a series of “pranks” as the couple calls them, ranging from missing items, the animals being released, etc.

creepyew

It turns out that the idyllic countryside is not that idyllic after all. There is a development company that wants to buy up all the farms, and a group of people are trying to protect the lands. They believe that the Kruegars bought the land, only to turn it over to developers, but Ellie and Ben claim they are here long term.

HMMM

Their hired hand Dot, is a great help, but not really close to them.

Then one night they find the dead body of the man who was most interested in stopping them from “selling”, Jason Ridley. Now the police are looking at Ben for the murder, and the Black Sheep Knitting group are on the case.

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Thoughts After Reading:

So there are two mysteries in this novel. One is the sabotager, and the other is the murderer. This mystery was half good, with the murder being done excellent.

likeit

while the sabotage part wasn’t that good. I mean I figured it out immediately.

gotthis

It wasn’t as bad as Stitch Before Dying , but not as good as Till Death Do Us Purl or While My Pretty One Knits.

***Spoiler Alert***

So as soon as I read this on page 43:

“Oh, Ellie, what’s the difference? We know who it is. Justin Ridley. He’s the only one who could have done this. The only one who has any reason to harass us. Who believes he has a reason,’ he [Ben] corrected himself.”

I knew it was Ben.

duh

I knew Ben was like the husband in Gaslight and Dangerous Crossing, just after the money and behind the scheme to sabotage so he could get it.

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For more Black Sheep Knitting Mysteries, go to Till Death Do Us Purl

For more cases of sabotage, go to A Taste for Murder

For more mystery reviews, go to Just Because You’re Paranoid, Doesn’t Mean a Demon’s Not After You: Storm Front

 

Till Death Do Us Purl

tildeathdouspurl

Till Death Do Us Purl (A Black Sheep Knitting Mystery #4) by Anne Canadeo

So I know it’s been awhile since I reviewed a Black Sheep Knitting Mystery so let me refresh your memory.

The Black Sheep Knitting group consists of five members: Maggie, widow, ex-art teacher, and owner of the shop The Black Sheep Knitting Shop; Suzanne, real estate agent, mother of many, and a multi-tasking titan; Phoebe, Goth girl, college student, and part-time employee at the knitting shop; Dana, psychologist, mother of two, yoga and heath food enthusiast; and Lucy, recently divorced, dating the town vet, graphic designer.

fantastic

So in the last book, the girls had traveled to a health spa were they helped solve the murder of a self-help guru. Lucy was having some issues with Dr. Matt, her boyfriend, thinking he was cheating on her, but it turned out that he was getting counsling with his soon-to-be-exwife.

HMMM

Yeah, I didn’t like that either.

anyway-moving-on-gif

So in this book, it is now spring, even though the weather is still chilly. The girls have gathered for their weekly gab and knit, when Maggie throws a surprise on them. Her friend Nora Bailey, and her daughter Rebecca, need help. Rebecca is designing her own wedding dress, knitting it, but the date was changed to be sooner. She needs help making it and the bridesmaid shawls or else it won’t be completed in time.

Wedding

They meet the two and really enjoy their company, especially Rebecca as she is friendly and easy to talk to. It turns out she will be marrying Jeremy, senior chemist at his family’s company, At-Las Technology. They met at the school Rebecca teaches at, when Jeremy came by to volunteer for the science club.

Aw, how sweet.

Aw, how sweet.

Whoa, Rebecca will be marrying into some serious money. But don’t be mistaken, she’s not some gold digger, she is a sweet and normal person.

So as the girls work on the wedding apparel, it has quickly turned everyone’s minds to Lucy and Dr. Matt. The big question, when is the date going to be set?

urkelgif interesting hmm

But Lucy doesn’t want to talk about it. She’s not closed off to the idea of getting married, but she has just gotten divorced, and Dr. Matt is still legally married.

I don't think so.

I don’t think so.

Soon everyone is working on the wedding, or are they? Lucy has been procrastinating, with only an urgent message from Maggie making her get to work. She heads down there, and guess who else is in the shop? Edie Steiber, brassy, bold, and exposition queen. Edie has decided to gab about Jeremy and the rest of the Lassiter gang. She’s heard that the company has suffered since the Atkins and Lassiters (get it? At-Las?) have split. They need a new product or else they are kaput.

oooh 101 Dalmations

Monday night, Lucy is still behind and now horrified to learn that the next day she needs to be done. Her and Suzanne meet up and have a secret knitting party.

The next day, the two have found a way to get everything completed. They are trying everything out, dying the shawls that need to be, when Rebecca puts on her dress. As they are chexking the hemline, Jeremy comes right in.

oopsmybad

He’s early to pick up his bride, and while everyone is upset at him breaking tradition. He doesn’t care, he’s a scientist after all.

The two are very sweet with each other. In fact, he wears a special scarf everyday that he had Rebecca make.

Aw, how sweet.

Aw, how sweet.

The whole group goes to the wedding that Saturday at the beautiful Lassiter mansion. The wedding proves to be doubly entertaining as Jeremy’s long-lost twin brother, black sheep, and prodigal son comes.

The wedding is beautiful and whileLucy is looking around the crowd, she notices Rebecca’s principal, and friend, Stewart with his wife and he is crying. Wow, some people get moved at weddings.

The next morning, Lucy heads to the Black Sheep to gab about the wedding when she finds everyone in tears. It turns out that Jeremy is DEAD!!!

StarTrekTheOriginalSeriesHesDeadJim

What'sHappening?BigBangTheory

The night of Jeremy and Rebecca’s honeymoon, Jeremy had to return to the lab for some reason. There was a fire, and everything was burned, including Jeremy. He was so badly destroyed, no one could recognize him.

Hate this.

Lucy and Maggie visit with Nora, as Rebecca is too upset to see anyone. Stewart has also been a good friend, stopping by to see her.

The memorial is in the same place they had the wedding, at the mansion. Lots of people come, so many that Maggie ends up having to sit away from the other Black Sheep Knitting girls. There she overhears Jeremy’s brother and sister gabbing about all the guests and people. She also meets the infamous Louis Atkins, a silver fox who is interested in Maggie.

Smirkity smirk smirk

But then two bombs are dropped on the group. The first, Lucy and Dr. Matt are moving in together. Does Dr. Matt think they have a future? May Lucy be heading down the aisle too?

paris-whenitsizzlesaudreyhmmHepburn

The second bombshell, a man’s body was found in a motel this morning. It is Jeremy.

whatsthatsupposedtomean

Yes, Jeremy didn’t die in the fire, but faked his death.

What?

The police suspect Rebecca, thinking that she became mad that he was going to run off on her and killed.

Blog-Child-Support-Oh-No

The Black Sheep Knitters know that Rebecca would do no such thing. It is up to them to find the real killer.

veronicamarsinvestigatesleuth

Did Jeremy’s sister do it, angry that he would abandon the company when they need it most and leave her the captain of a sinking ship? Was it his father who needed the new glue formula to continue his wealthy lifestyle? Did Louis kill Jeremy to get his glue formula? Was his ex-girlfriend Erica so mad that he chose to marry another women, she decided it was better he was dead than with Rebecca? Or is Rebecca not as sweet as she seems but a stone cold killer?

suspense

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Thoughts After Reading:

So this was the first book I read on the series and the one I think is the absolute best.

fantastic

It is well written and the mystery is unbelievable.

Whoa

The whole time I thought I had it figured out only to be utterly and completely wrong.

What?

You really Agatha Christied me.

loveitSupernatural

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For more Black Sheep Knitting Mysteries, go to A Stitch Before Dying

For more book reviews, go to One for the Money

A Stitch Before Dying

StitchBeforeDying

A Stitch Before Dying (Black Sheep Knitting Mystery #3) by Anne Canadeo

This is the third book in the series, taking place months after to Knit. Purl. Die, and the death of their friend Gloria Sterling. In this series we have the Black Sheep knitting group made up of: Maggie Messina, the leader, once a high school art teacher, but now is the owner of the knitting shop, Black Sheep (Plum Harbor, Massachusetts);Lucy Binger, newly divorced, graphic designer; Dana Haegar, yoga loving, health foodie, psychologist; Suzanne Cavanaugh, multitasker, incredible cook, mother of five, real estate queen; and Phoebe Meyer, punk rocker, fun-loving, and unconventional assistant at the Black Sheep. The group gab, knit, and solve murders.

KnittingNewYoga

The girls are meeting one night and talking about how overworked and overwrought they all are.

BigBangTheoryMyliferightnow

Maggie agrees with them all and tell them she has a surprise for all. Maggie’s old friend, Nadine, is a manger of the inn hosting a retreat and called to ask her to fill in as a knitting teacher. Maggie of course has agreed. And as payment she negotiated a cottage big enough for the group to stay in, for free.

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The girls are all super excited for the free weekend and agree to head up.

goodtogetout

Suzanne is a bit worried about leaving her husband in charge, but is all for a break. Lucy is happy about the weekend too as she and Matt have hit a rough patch in their relationship. It seems as if he can hardly spend any time with her and he keeps making up all these weird excuses, like “classes” he has to attend to get “certifications” in. The whole thing is highly suspicious and has Lucy worried that maybe he is seeing another woman.

Are you lying to me?

Are you lying to me?

She puts that aside for a moment and joins the group in looking at the place’s website and seeing all the wonderful accruements, becoming very excited for the whole event. Suzanne notices that the place is owned by Dr. Max, something Maggie forgot to tell them. Dr. Max Flemming is a famous psychologist: booming book sales, has been on Oprah, etc. He was a very successful psychiatrist with a booming practice, when one of his patients committed suicide. He lost everything, hitting rock bottom and traveling the world. He returned with new insights and has been trying to share them with the world.

Very_Interesting250

Dana doesn’t like him, Lucy has never heard of him, and Suzanne is crazy about him. This should be an interesting weekend indeed.

this is going to be good

That Friday the ladies head down for the retreat. They are awed by the beautiful inn and Maggie shares that Dr. Max used all the money from his book to buy the inn. He is looking for investors this weekend in the hope to expand his empire.

When the reach the retreat, Nadine is there waiting to greet them. Everyone heads off to eat, except Lucy who needs to use the restroom. As she heads off to the restroom she overhears a conversation between a blonde woman in a business suit, and a younger man dresses in jeans and work boots. The women yells at him that he can’t leave, but has to stay. He becomes angry at her for breaking the deal. She tells him he has to stay or he won’t get paid. They argue a bit more and the man picks up a nearby vase and throws it at the wall breaking it into pieces.

Uh-oh

Uh-oh

They both notice Lucy at this point, who is extremely embarrassed. The woman points her to the bathroom, while the man begins to clean up the mess he made.

Whoa

Nadine discusses Maggie’s schedule, along with other things happening at the retreat. There is a moon meditation, something special that happens once a month, and a sock puppet “Finding Your Voice” class. Some of Nadine’s comments about how these are better than real therapy angers Dana so much,  Maggie changes the subject and herds them to their cottage.

thatwasclosewhew

That was close

Maggie heads back to do her Random Knitting class, knitting without a pattern or borders, with Lucy and Phoebe joining her. Maggie has a good sized group with a wide range in ages, occupations, and knitting skills: Helen Lynch, mid fifties, a wealthy public relations executive, and never knitted; Rita and Walter Schumacher, 60s-70s,  housewife and retired engineer, Rita’s an expert while Walter is just along for the ride; Curtis Hill, mid forties, travel writer, never knitted; and Shannon Piper, 30s, ex-model, and an accomplished knitter.

They get to work with Phoebe and Lucy helping Maggie out. While they work, Dr. Max comes over to speak to the group.

fantastic

Lucy notices Curtis taking pics of Dr. Max on the sly with his iPhone. If he is working for a travel magazine wouldn’t they have worked it so that he could get good shots? And with a real camera?

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Dr. Max joins them in knitting and shares some words of wisdom and anecdotes. Lucy and Phoebe find a lot of what he says silly, but the rest of the crowd eats it up. There is no denying that Dr. Max has a LOT of charisma.

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Nadine comes by with her sister Alice. Alice turns out to be the the same woman Lucy spotted earlier fighting with the younger man.

Very_Interesting250

When tea is served, the class ends and everyone goes their seperate ways. Lucy notices Curtis taking more photos and videos with his iPhone.

Something's fishy

Something’s fishy

Dana and Lucy decide to head out to the moon meditation, just to see what it really is like and whether or not it is worth the hype. While waiting to begin their hike up the mountains, Lucy notices Curtis in the group for the meditation. Before she can talk to him, Dr. Max comes out banging a drum and the group heads up the mountains. There they burn sage, bang more drums, dance, and chant around a bonfire. They start meditating, but Lucy can’t focus on a blank mind instead racing from thought to thought. She opens her eyes a crack and sees Curtis once again recording everything secretly from his iPhone. Obviously something is up and Curtis is not who he says he is.

IDon'tlikeit

After Suzanne, Pheobe, and Maggie have dinner, Suzanne and Phoebe head to the cottage while Maggie goes to the lobby for another knitting class. No one seems to show up, so she just starts knitting and waits. A yoga instructor, Joy Kimmel, stops by. She is supposed to work with her on a class the next day and thought she try a little knitting beforehand. Joy ends up sharing her life with Maggie and reveals that not only does she work full-time at the retreat but is Dr. Max’s ex-wife.

What?

She shares how her depiction in the book was correct and that she was only concentrated on material things. She divorced him when everything went south. Since the, she has apparently changed her life, became a yoga instructor and was offered a job to work at the retreat by Dr. Max. She now is much happier than before.

really?

I don’t know if I buy that…anyways, Joy also mentions what a great help Dr. Max has been to Alice and her son Brian. After the suicide of the patient and loss of practice, Dr. Max’s partner and Alice’s husband Dr. Edward Archer died. Dr. Max has really been there for the two of them, with Alice helping run the inn and the two dating. Brian is the head handyman at the inn as well.

urkelgif interesting hmm

Joyce continues sharing her opinion and philosophy which seems to cover everything from the I Ching to Hakuna Matata. The conversation ends shortly after that and Maggie returns to her cabin, noticing a bob of a flashlight heading up the mountain. But why would someone be going there so late?

Something's fishy

Something’s fishy

After the bonfire, those on the mountains are told to sleep in a single bungalow and continue meditating until they fell asleep. Lucy feels strange up there by herself, and sneaks over to Dana’s cabin. The two talk late into the night.

The next morning at 7:00 am Lucy awakens to a siren. As the ambulance heads into a bungalow, Lucy and Dana do a quick look at all the others trying to see what’s going on and figure out that the only one missing is Curtis.

It turns out that Curtis Hill is dead. And he didn’t die of natural causes, but

Murder

Yes. Murdered.

The detectives detain everyone and begin asking questions.

Maggie, Suzanne, and Phoebe are also woken early by a detective rounding up all the guests and sending them to the lobby for questioning. While waiting their turn they spot Nadine and weasel out the story. Curtis died from carbon monoxide, as his heater in the bungalow wasn’t connected correctly.

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Both Alice and Nadine are worried about what this might do for business and let everyone know that not only will business be going on as usual, but that everyone can get a free massage or spa treatment.

Lucy and Dana return and all spill about what happened the previous night. Lucy shares Curtis’ strange behavior and they all speculate why someone would wish to kill him. Maggie shares how she saw someone going up the mountain.

When Maggie is questioned and reveals what happened the night before, including Joy and the I Ching, the detectives show her a clue from the scene of the crime. The murderer left behind an I Ching symbol, #18.

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After the interview, it is time for Maggie’s workshop. They are in a conference room and have to go down a maze of hallways, not all with properly functioning lights. Needless to say, having flickering lights doesn’t feel good with a murder on the loose.

WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE!!!!!

WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE!!!!!

Joy cancels, but Dana fills in with the same group from the day before (minus Curtis [of course], and Lucy). While they are working, Helen reveals that she overheard that Curtis didn’t work for a travel magazine, but Expose, a tabloid. That changes everything as Curtis could have some real enemies.

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When the class ends they discuss who could hav killed Curtis and why? Could it possibly have been Dr. Max?

While everyone else goes to the spa to redeem their coupons, Lucy takes a nap at the cottage. After she is rested she begins reading Dr. Max’s book, Confessions of a Lost Soul: One Man’s Journey to Reunite Mind, Body, and Spirit.

In his book he relates thriving practice and affluent lifestyle. The patient who committed suicide wasn’t actually his patient, but he still took part in her treatment. When she died, Archer drank himself to death, and as said before, Dr. Max lost everything. He then went on his journey of self-discovery.

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Lucy is interrupted by Brian, head handyman, Alice’s son, and the man she saw fighting with Alice the day before. He reveals that they had guests in those bungalows the previous morning and night, so someone had to mess with the heaters during the meditation. If that’s the case, then the person would have had to wait to see which bungalow Curtis chose, and had to be someone on the trip. Or someone who snuck up in the middle of the night.

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The detective comes back to the cottage to ask Maggie about a knitted piece he found in Curtis’ room. Maggie says that it is Dr. Max’s, but then Dana reveals new information. She saw yesterday that Dr. Max was in that room the Curtis’ dead body was found, and that Curtis originally started in a different one. So sometime during the night he moved over. But why?

HMMM

Hmm….

Here is where I thought, obviously Curtis wasn’t the intended target but Dr. Max!

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After the detective leaves, they talk more about the murder and look up the I Ching symbol. It stands for decay, or

Something has been spoiled, and it is time to repair the damage. In the world of human affairs, indulgence and corruption grow like weeds in an untended garden; they must be faced squarely, and rooted out through bold action. Eliminating corruption — and the sloppiness that often leads to corruption — is one of the most ennobling of all human enterprises, and can clear the way for fresh, new beginnings. Such repair leads to supreme success.

The time has come to be lean and efficient. The weeds must be rooted out now, before the whole garden is lost. Fighting decay, indifference and corruption is not a simple matter; all steps must be evaluated carefully, and planning must precede action. Resist the temptation to strike out prematurely. Gather strength behind you, and marshal your inner resources, because arresting decay is no simple matter. When you do act, pay close attention to the process. Make your strike as precise and clear as the path of the surgeon’s knife.

That night at dinner they run into Nadine who shares more information. Apparently Hill was complaining about his cot, so Dr. Max switched from his massively better one for Hill’s room to make him happy. Unfortunately the cops aren’t really buying that story. Why wouldn’t he tell the police that right away?

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The next morning Lucy goes for a jog around the lake and runs into Brian. Her surprise causes her to fall, and Brian walks her back to the cottage. On the way they discuss the book and Brian reveals that Max gave the events quite a spin. His dad, Dr. Archer had gone out of town and left his patients in the care of Dr. Max. Dr. Max was responsible for helping the girl. She called him repeatedly but he just told her to go to the emergency room and call her from there. Or wait until next week when her doctor returned. Instead she killed herself. Brain knows this to be true as he overheard Dr. Max arguing with his father over it.

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What a horrible person!

Lucy mulls this over, meeting up with the girls at breakfast and sharing everything she learned. After breakfast, Maggie has another knitting session. It’s the usual crowd, although Lucy notices that Walter seems to be having a rough day. His suit looks rumpled, wrinkled, and is stained with something greenish.

weird

After class another ambulance comes. There’s been another murder.

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Dr. Max.

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Who could have done it? Jealous Alice as Dr. Max was cheating on her with many women. Brain? Was he angry about what Dr. Max did to his dad and his legacy? Or is it another person lurking at the spa?

WhoDoneIt?

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Thoughts after reading:

I think that out of the  whole series this one is the weakest link.

One of the biggest problems is that this book does not take place in Plum Harbor, like the others, but in an entirely different setting. Therefore we have all these characters that our Black Sheep Knitting Group has just met, and instead of discovering or figuring out information, it is all regulated through nadine and others.

Not enough is gleaned from the actual characters, who are supposed to be investigating!

I doesn't work

I doesn’t work

Now I don’t know if the author is a New Age fan or not but this book just goes on and on about it.

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I thought it was super boring.

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And eventually just started skipping those sections altogether as they did not pertain to the mystery I’m trying to solve.

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It also kept making me think of Murder in Paradise from the Sweet Valley High series. And let me say that if a plot makes you think of something in the latter half of the Sweet Valley High series when it was seriously declining? Then it is time to take a long hard look at yourself. You can do better Anne Canadeo, I BELIEVE in you.

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For more Black Sheep Knitting Mysteries, go to Knit, Purl, Die

For more book reviews, go to Strawberry Shortcake Murder

For more Nostalgia Critic, go to Candy for Christmas

 

While My Pretty One Knits

While My Pretty One Knits

 

While My Pretty One Knits (Black Sheep Knitting Mystery #1) by Anne Canadeo

In this book we are introduced to the Black Sheep knitting group and its members. Maggie Messina is the leader, she was once a high school art teacher, but now is the owner of the knitting shop, Black Sheep. in Plum Harbor, Massachusetts. She was giving a class on knitting,  of which four women attended and became best friends. Of this group is newly divorced, graphic designer, Lucy Binger; yoga loving, health foodie, psychologist, Dana Haegar; multitasker, incredible cook, mother of five, real estate queen, Suzanne Cavanaugh; and the punk, funloving, and unconventional, assistant at the Black Sheep, Phoebe Meyer. The group gab, knit, and solve murders.

teamwork

The series are told in the viewpoint of Lucy Binger, the only member that is new to the area, having relocated to Plum Harbor from Boston after her divorce.

So in this book, Maggie is getting her shop ready for a big event. Her old high school student, Cara Newhouse, has become a real success. She went to art college, rediscovered knitting, has become a writer for Knitting Now!, and has written multiple books. She has agreed to come to Maggie’s shop and do a discussion and book signing.

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Lucy had been assisting Maggie for the big event, and when the two have finished rearranging furniture, they move on to their favorite thing, knitting!

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They are soon joined by Savannah and Dana, and are waiting for Phoebe to start their group. The door opens and they expect to see Phoebe, but instead see…

Sabrina the teenage witch salem dum di dum dum dum

Amanda Goran

Ahh-1

Amanda Goran is the owner of the other knitting shop in Plum Harbor, The Knitting Nest. Amanda Goran hates Maggie and is always trying to make things hard for her. She spreads lies and rumors about the shop, insults Maggie and her displays, and is an all around foul person to be around.

Hate her that's so raven

But today, Amanda acts different. She acts nice.

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She compliments Maggie, and even says she will be at the event early.

What?

And that’s not the only thing. She had her hair done, teeth whitened, and is wearing make-up. The expensive kind.

That'sOdd

She tells Maggie she is backing away from The Knitting Nest. This is strange as her shop was Amanda’s lifeblood. She was crazy for it, and even when it wasn’t doing well took on extra jobs to keep it afloat. She wants to back off?

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And that’s not all, where is she getting the money from if her shop does so poorly and she’s backing off? Everyone knows she is also in the  middle of a divorce. So where is the money coming from? Something is definitely up.

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The next day, Lucy arrives early to help Maggie with any last minute things. She gets there at 8:55, arriving before Maggie does. Maggie went all out with mini quiche, muffins, berries, etc. The two quickly get everything set up. Cara enters, and Lucy hates her on sight. Although she can’t quite figure out why, jealous perhaps? Cara is a gorgeous blonde, and a little nervous about the whole event.

Soon there is no time to worry as the room is filled with guests. Everyone is there, except Amanda. Odd, as she said she would be there early. But perhaps something happened, or Amanda is planning on getting in late and causing problems.

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Cara begins her presentation when Suzanne barges in. Lucy is wondering what is going on, when Suzanne shouts that Amanda is dead.

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Maggie regains control of the group, and sets a moment aside to honor Amanda. She tells people they may leave but if they wish to stay, than Cara will continue. Amanda wasn’t very well-liked in the town as she is harsh and mean, but a few people leave saddened by her death.

The rest remain and Cara continues, although very poorly and flustered. After the presentation, they only thing people want to discuss is Amanda. How did she die? What happened? Although no one really knows the answer. Eventually everyone goes home, and continues with their life.

The next day Lucy walks downtown to talk to Maggie, and to try to find out more info on Amanda. She stops at the local diner, the Schooner, and discovers that it wasn’t an accidental death, but murder!

Murder

Someone bashed in Amanda’s head! The police think that it was a robbery gone wrong, but unfortunately have no leads.

Lucy heads to The Black Sheep and discovers that she isn’t the only one who thought they’s come to get more info. The rest of the group is there as well. Just as they are dishing, two cops, Detective Walsh and Detective Reyes come to question Maggie. They heard that Maggie and Amanda were rivals. Maggie tells them about how horrible Amanda was to her…but…it doesn’t sound like that. It sounds more like Maggie was crazy about Amanda and harassing her. Instead of the other way around.

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The next day Dana, Savannah, and Lucy head out do morning yoga. Dana is a real enthusiast, while Suzanne and Lucy are just trying it out. Suzanne and Lucy are not really interested, or planning on coming back. Lucy speaks to the instructor and finds out that Amanda used to come, and was friends with the instructor. She saw a lot of changes in Amanda and suspects a new boyfriend. Why else would she be constantly going to Boston?

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The three head out to breakfast, when they stop and look at The Knitting Nest, which is right across from the yoga place. Just as they are about to leave, Lucy sees something through the window. She goes around the back to get a closer look, when she falls in the snow and the person who was in the building takes off. And without Lucy even getting a good look at who it was, height, weight, gender, hair color, etc.

They report it to the police and split their separate ways.

The next day Maggie and Lucy go to Amanda’s funeral. When they get there, they run into Amanda’s was soon-to-be ex-husband, Peter. At first he is heartbroken and melancholy, then the next minute giving a sales pitch to Maggie to buy The Knitting Nest stock.

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A day later, Maggie is bothered again by Peter to check out the stock and get it before he sends it to an auction house. Maggie decides to check it out and takes Lucy for support.

As the two check out the stock, they discover lots of stuff. Lucy also sees Amanda’s dogs, her dogs that she treated like children, but Peter is treating horribly. One of them is super friendly, but appears to be sick. Lucy feels so sorry for her that she adopts it and drops the dog off at the vet.

At the vet, Lucy meets the new veterinarian, the young, handsome Dr. Matt McDougal.

howyoudoing

The two hit it off, with Lucy unsure of whether or not it is harmless flirting or if he is really interested in her. For all she knows he could be married.

The group meet again and eat food, knit, and discuss the case. They discover that Peter has a gambling problem and will be inheriting a hefty insurance policy as the divorce wasn’t final.

The next day, Lucy returns to the vet and discovers that her dog, Tink ate something. They can’t tell what it is or get her to hack it out. So instead they will have to operate to remove it. Besides getting help for Tink, Lucy also finds out that the Doctor is in the middle of a divorce. Bonus for her.

Lordoftherings LifeisGood

The next morning, Lucy heads over to The Black Sheep to pick up some dog sweaters Peter brought with the stock Maggie purchased. As she is looking for the box to give as a thank you to the vet, Cara shows up to talk to Maggie. The two look for buttons, while Lucy roots around the millions of boxes Peter brought.

Lucy finally finds it and heads over to the vet. Tink is ready and waiting, but the doctor is not. He’s in the middle of a surgery. A disappointed Lucy heads out, completely forgetting to drop off the sweaters. She releases Tink into her house and studies the information provided by the vet and the gross orange yarn specimen from Tink’s stomach. She decides to head over to The Black Sheep and show off her dog to Phoebe. As she heads over to the shop, she hears police sirens. When she gets there, she sees Maggie being arrested! Apparently the police received a tip about the murder weapon being in the store and found it, arresting Maggie for the murder of Amanda Goran.

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Now it’s up to The Black Sheep knitters to solve the case and clear Maggie’s good name!

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Thoughts after reading:

I loved this book.

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I thought the characters were amazing and relatable. It was nice to see a collection of such different people being friends.

Now even though I was able to solve the mystery early on, I still love it as it was written extremely well, with just the right amount of red herrings to throw you off the scent.

All ini all it was a fantastic read (as is the rest of the series) and you should definitely check it out.

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For more mysteries, go to Glazed Murder