vrijdag 1 juli 2011

Maggie Sefton – Skein of the Crime

The eighth book in the Knitting Mystery series, published June 2010. Delicious recipe and knitting pattern included.

Skein of the Crime

Fall has come to Fort Connor, Colorado, and the cool air has inspired the knitters at the House of Lambspun to start on their hats and mittens – while one person is inspired to kill…

Kelly Flynn is happy to teach new students the stitches of the trade – even Holly, the young woman who had appeared in Kelly’s backyard a month earlier, dazed and confused. Though Holly has a bit of a checkered past, she’s turning over a new leaf – with the help of the crew at the House of Lambspun. So when she’s found dead on the river trail near Kelly's house, Kelly feels compelled to investigate. Rounding up her knitting pals for help, she finds herself following a path of clues that twists more easily than the yarn with which she knits. Worried that someone with harmful intend could be closer than she thinks, Kelly must work fast to unravel the skein of this crime…

This is one cozy mysteries you really have to read in order to understand who the many characters in this book are.

Kelly Flynn’s boyfriend Steve is working two jobs in Denver as his own construction firm is slowly going under, due to the bad economy. As she hates coming home to a dark cottage, she leaves all the lights on. So one night Kelly comes home late, and walks into her home to let her dog back in. She is startled to find a young woman in her back yard, who just stands there, swaying. Not talking. Why didn’t her dog alert her? Carl is usual so protective of her against strangers. The young woman is stoned out of her mind, and Kelly calls the paramedics, who take her away. It seems like this episode scared Holly enough to try to turn her life around. She starts coming to the House of Lambspun, into the tender care of Mimi, who mothers all of her regulars, and even is going back to college and gets some classes.
Then one morning Kelly reads in the paper a young girl has been found death on the river track, close to her house. And it is Holly, who apparently died from an overdose. Holly’s boyfriend is devastated with guilt, why wasn’t he there to take care of her? He is even about to throw his medical scholarship away, just to find out who gave her those pills. But Kelly and the gang convince him not to do that, the other kids will never talk to them if he is stalking them. They will help him find out the truth, but in the meanwhile, he has to go back to the University in Denver, and study!
And so Kelly, with the help of another student who knows the party scene will, will find out the truth.

The plot was not a total surprise to me this time, it was the personal part of the story that had me openmouthed and in denial at the end of the book. How can Maggie Sefton be so cruel to leave it at this point? How long do I have to wait for the next book in paperback? It is not even on fantasticfiction yet!

Kelly is helping more and more with classes in knitting lately, and she even learns how to felt. She has made a winter hat for Steve, and felting would make it just that bit more warm to wear when skiing. She is still a big coffee-addict, always going for a refill at Pete’s and while visiting friends. She still mourns her mountain retreat, but is getting settled so well living in town, she will probably not buy a new house up there. In winter, she will be totally isolated, no matter how beautiful those Rocky Mountains are. Still, visiting Jayleen gives her the opportunity to take it all in again.
Megan and Marty are planning to get married, but everything is so outrageously expensive, how will they afford it all, and safe for a downpayment on a house? Megan is making lists and lists and more lists, and of course Mimi is glad to help.
Jennifer is doing alright, she and Pete are seeing each other outside of work and the gang as well, and that is good thing. She is healing from that horrible attack last year.

But Kelly and Steve, well. They see each other less and less, Steve staying more in Denver, and being exhausted when he finally comes home. He doesn’t want Kelly to help him financially, even when she easily could and not notice it. And Kelly just doesn’t understand that. Will his pride drive them apart? Let’s hope the economy will get better and building and renovating houses will be a viable business again.

As always, it is so nice to re-visit characters in a cozy series. And in this series, you really get to know them all, each one has some center stage in one of the books. Of course, the knew one in town, or in the knitting circle is the one getting killed, but that is how it goes in cozy’s.

I like Kelly, she is very open and friendly, and incurable curious about everything. She is always there for her friends. She is an accountant who loves her job, working on her own instead of being a part of the rat-race in a large firm. Inheriting a ranch with gas in the ground sure helped her become independent. She loves to knit, to watch Burt spin, and now is learning to felt. If you like those things as well, I bet you will love this series.
I’ve never really gotten Steve, and how he treats Kelly in this book sure makes my hackles rise. Sure he is going to a rough time, but that is were partners are for: go through it together, not to take it out on! And you just can’t show up home unexpected in the middle of the week and want Kelly to be quietly at home. She has lots of friends and things to do.

All the other regulars sure make great secondary characters, who each add something to the series. They help Kelly with her sleuthing, Megan with her wedding planning, and who ever else needs help.

The book is not fast paced and filled with action, but it just reads very fluently, and you just have to keep on reading. I started it this morning in the bus to work, and have finished it early tonight. It is the review that is taking the most time to write. There are also no love scenes in here, but there is doggy love, and friendship, and just love. And the best part is, the House of Lambspun really exists!

9 stars.

p.s. still a bit mad at Maggie Sefton though, with that ending …

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