Death by Cashmere

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Death by Cashmere (Seaside Knitters Mystery #1) by Sally Goldenbaum

Thoughts Before Reading:

This was recommended by Goodreads as I enjoyed The Black Sheep Knitting Mystery series.

At the time this post was being written, Anne Canadeo has yet to write any more mysteries, so I figured, hey what the heck! Let’s try it out.

As this book features the 4th of July, I’m posting it the Tuesday before and will post again on next Wednesday, the real 4th of July.

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Plot Synopsis:

Isabel “Izzy” Chambers has returned to Sea Harbor, Massachusetts the town she used to visit every summer.

Izzy had tried being a lawyer, but after a case went bad she left and decided to open her own knitting shop. She, her Aunt Nell, their young friend and lobster fisher woman, Cassie; and older woman rolling in dough, Birdie, finish the group.

The shop does extremely well but both Izzy and her aunt Nell have come in agreement that they would like someone to rent the above apartment and keep an eye out. Enter Angie Archer, an old friend who has just moved back as well.

Angie ran a bit wild after her father died in a quarry accident, but her life at school achieving her B.A. and Masters has calmed her down. Currently she is assisting the Historical Society in putting together an exhibit on the quarry.

One night Angie prepares to go out with Peter, Cassie’s brother; but the night takes unexpected turns as Nell and Izzy spot her fighting with the town matriarch Margarethe’s son Tony.

Nobody is sure what happened next, but the next day Cassie goes out to check her lobster traps and finds Angie’s dead body.

While the cops originally rule it as an accident, it turns out that it is murder.

The knitters start investigating and discover that Angie had a major chip against the town’s bigwigs, was researching into the town’s deeds for more than just the quarry exhibit, and may have had more than a few upset at her.

While they hunt for the truth, someone wants their secret buried and is willing to kill again and again to protect themselves.

Which person in their “no crime” town is secretly a killer?

Hmm…

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Thoughts After Reading:

In a lot of ways this is like The Black Sheep Knitting Mysteries.  You have a person who used to vacation there moving back to live their full time: Lucy Binger/Izzy Chambers. In the knitting group there is an older woman who looks out for everybody and mothers them: Maggie Messina/Aunt Nell. There is young girl to round the group out: Phoebe Meyer/Cassie.  They both take place in a little town near Boston.

However, this book was a bit lacking, to me at least. It took a looong time to get the characters backstories, I’m not sure if the author just wanted to build suspense or what.

The other thing I disliked was the author took a loong time to get to the mystery, I’m not sure if she was floundering, just trying to build tension, or wanted to round out her story?

And the mystery was extremely solvable. It took barely any pages for me to have it figured out yet these “detectives” never even thought to look at the most obvious clue or what else Angie was interested in; instead going after red herrings.

But besides that the book wasn’t bad, but promising that it could be better in later novels. I’ll keep reading to see if the book excel or if they flop.

For more 4th of July mysteries, go to The Hyde Park Murder

For more knitting mysteries, go to The Postman Always Purls Twice

For more mystery reviews, go to Death by Divorce

 

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.

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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…

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Amanda Goran

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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