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by Maggie Sefton
Berkley, May 2007
272 pages
ISBN: 0425215202

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Kelly Flynn is making a happy life for herself after moving into her late aunt's house in Colorado and giving up her high tension accounting job. Now she has a few clients but spends most of her time surrounded by new friends, all of whom seem to be connected to The House of Lambspun, a fabulous wool store that gives knitting, spinning and weaving classes. There is a restaurant with great coffee attached to the store and Kelly and her friends spend every spare minute knitting and catching each other up on their lives as they drink lots of coffee.

It's getting nearer Christmas and the seasonal colors and different yarns are making all the crafters salivate with desire to make things for their friends and family. Then word comes into town that nearby rancher Derek Cooper was killed with a shovel, but as Kelly doesn't know the man, she's saddened but not very interested.

Then she discovers that the new teacher at the store, the woman who teaches spinning (as in spinning your own wool with a spinning wheel) was the last girlfriend of the man and is hit hard by his death. So all the women from the store are worried about her and Kelly tries to think of ways to help the shattered woman.

Kelly's closest friend Jennifer tells her that a female drinking buddy of hers is pretty much going to be the police's prime suspect in Cooper's death because she had been the dead man's last jilted girlfriend and the two were seen fighting. Plus the woman got really drunk the night of the murder and can't remember anything at all.

As Kelly sees the distress the two women are in, and because her friends are so involved and trying to help, she agrees to look into the murder herself to see if she can find out what really happened.

Since so much time is spent in Kelly's everyday trials dealing with getting her work done, trying to knit a scarf she promised a friend, getting ready for a charity tennis match and flirting with, and then denying that she flirts with Steve, a man whose clearly infatuated with her, KILLER STITCH doesn't spend much time on the investigation.

Unlike most amateur sleuths in cozies who adore the idea of solving a crime, the murder doesn't interest Kelly until she sees that it affects the women around her. Because Kelly now sees her friends as her new family, and since she feels a huge need to have a lot of warm caring people in her new life in Colorado, she wants to be as good a friend and neighbor as she can be. She only looks into the murder because she wants to be liked and accepted.

A lot of the book also deals with the old and new romances that are happening to the people surrounding her. We hear about the dastardly doings of the late womanizer Cooper, and Kelly's own romance with Steve is discussed quite a bit with her friends constantly teasing her about being shy around him. And a storyline from the last book, about the shy but amazing domestically talented Megan and her trouble getting a man, is added upon.

I found Kelly's romance a little empty since Kelly herself doesn't seem to be terribly excited when thinking to herself about Steve, so there's no way to gauge the relationship. And as for the constant teasing of each other about romance, the maturity level of the friends seems a bit young.

More of a book about people and their lives and romances in Colorado than a tense murder mystery, KILLER STITCH is an easy read that is a pleasant way to spend any afternoon. But I must warn you that after reading the descriptions of the colors and feel of the wools and the things that can be made from it, this book will make you want to start knitting or weaving right away.

Reviewed by A. L. Katz, May 2007

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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