Publication Year: 2013
Tags: Cozy Mystery, Series
Kath Rutledge is back, this time with her friends from a knitting group, all gathered together at a peaceful sheep farm to have one of their number demonstrate some yarn-dyeing techniques. When the group heads out to see the sheep, the beautiful spring day turns sinister with the discovery of two bodies spread beneath a tall tree… and worse, one of them is someone they know. Kath’s friends want her to investigate, as she did not that long ago (in Last Wool and Testament). She is reluctant at first, but when a third victim shows up, she calls on her home-grown “posse” to help her sort through the clues and catch a killer.
After reading the first installment in this series, Last Wool and Testament, I knew that the Haunted Yarn Shop Mysteries would be a great series to pursue and enjoy. I wasn’t wrong. This worthy sequel has all of the wonderful characters, the fun plot twists, the crisp dialog, and a tasty bit of mystery that will keep you properly guessing till The Final Reveal. (Or, since we’re talking about yarns, The Final Ravel? Unravel? Enough jokes, let’s get on with the review!)
No spoilers here; if you’ve read the first book, you already know, and if you haven’t, nothing’s here that will ruin either book for you. (Also, shame on you — go get both books and read them. Now. We’ll wait.) After inheriting her grandmother’s yarn shop “The Weaver’s Cat” in Blue Plum, Tennessee, Kath Rutledge discovered that she’s also inherited a ghost named Geneva, who fancies herself a great assistant detective after watching “all those cop shows” on TV (what else do you do, when you’re dead?). She also inherited TGIF — Thank Goodness It’s Fiber — a group of talented knitters who also fancies themselves to be Kath’s “posse” of detectives after helping her solve the murder that is central to the first book. And doggone if there ain’t another couple of dead bodies, found under a tall tree in a sheep field, whose murder wants investigating… over Deputy Cole Dunbar’s dead body.
There is a lovely tension between Kath and “Clod” (as she calls him, to herself) which remains happily unresolved in this book. Antagonists should be antagonistic, and it’s easy to find Deputy Clod as unlikable as Kath finds him. Interestingly, Clod’s brother Joe is shaping up to be not only more likeable but possibly “interesting,” as in a romantic interest. This, too, is unresolved, and it makes me eager to get to the third book, Spinning in Her Grave, not to mention getting to the fourth, fifth, and sixth in this series (this latest, Crewel and Unusual, was just released in 2019). I have confidence that Ms. MacRae will not disappoint.
A few final comments. Once again, I find myself reflecting (quite positively) that if you like Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum, you’ll love this series. Kath once again demonstrates that she is able to crack wise with the best of ‘em, and her friends aren’t far behind. I’ve seen some criticism claiming that Kath’s ability to be distracted is MacRae’s way of keeping her, and the reader, from important facts. The rest of us will say that, if you can lose the clues that easily, you’re not paying attention. Further, the sheer joy of letting yourself be equally distracted as Kath is part of the fun of reading a cozy as well-written as this one. Quit yer gripin’ and enjoy!