When the mayor of Arborville, New Jersey, is murdered, Pamela Paterson wonders if his death has any connection to the sweaters that have started appearing on many trees in town. An anonymous activist has been wrapping the tree trunks in yarn to cover the red X's that mark certain trees for removal. The mayor was an ardent advocate of this tree cutting.
When someone is arrested for the crime, it's a member of the group Pamela belongs to-- Knit & Nibble-- because he was seen arguing with the mayor. Pamela is positive that the police are barking up the wrong tree, and with the help of her reporter friend Bettina, she branches out on her own to find the real killer.
A Fatal Yarn has some good misdirection that makes for a mystery to keep readers guessing, and it continues to do something that I really appreciate. So many niche cozy mystery series have a "hook"-- be it knitting, cooking, glassblowing, or any other hobby-- but often those hooks are superficial. Once used to draw readers in, they have little to do with the actual story. Not with Peggy Ehrhart's Knit & Nibble series. Knitting continues to be at the heart of the stories, and I really liked the version of yarnbombing that was used in connection to the tree sweaters.
Pamela Paterson is the heart and soul of the Knit & Nibble mysteries. She's an editor for "Fiber Craft Magazine," and I have the sneaking suspicion that I'm not the only reader who wishes the magazine was real. Many of the articles mentioned sound fascinating. The only thing I don't care for is Pamela's best friend Bettina constantly trying to be a matchmaker between Pamela and Pamela's next-door neighbor. Not every single woman wants or needs a man to be happy, and that matchmaking schtick gets old.
Not only A Fatal Yarn but all the books in this series are perfect comfort reads for trying times. Ehrhart has a writing style that is lush, filled with a dazzling color palette and mouthwatering tastes and aromas. She wants readers to be fully immersed in her world, and she creates a wonderful feeling of community by including all the sorts of little rituals that bind us together. Just one tiny word of warning. If repetition bothers you, don't read these books one right after the other. If you do, you might want to scream after awhile when Bettina dons her pumpkin-colored coat for the umpteenth time or puts her sage green plates on the table yet again. If you aren't bothered by repetition, then dive right in. Peggy Ehrhart's Knit & Nibble mysteries are a feast for the eyes, the taste buds, and the heart. It's a series that I truly enjoy.
A Fatal Yarn by Peggy Ehrhart
Kensington Books © 2020
eBook, 336 pages
Cozy Mystery, #5 Knit & Nibble mystery
Source: Net Galley