First Line: Lia surveyed that scene before her with contentment, a feeling that not so long ago she doubted she would experience again but which she now savored.
The Crandalsburg Craft Fair is a popular shopping destination for tourists stopping by after visiting nearby Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, but days before the busy Mother's Day weekend, the ex-husband of the fair's manager announces that he has plans to tear the historic barn down that has always housed the vendors. With no other viable location available, this would mean the death of the fair. Instead, Darren's announcement is the death of him. Lia Geiger, Ninth Street Knits vendor and close friend of the fair's manager, appoints herself lead investigator into the man's death because there's no way she's going to let her best friend wind up in the slammer.
This first Craft Fair Knitters mystery opens strong. The historic barn and the small-town Pennsylvania setting are used well, and I liked how the author brought crafts into the story without overdoing it. The story flowed well and kept my interest-- primarily because of the main character. I liked recent widow Lia, her outlook on life, and her behavior toward others. I liked her daughter, Hayley, who gives her mother palpitations by quitting her job, and my liking for the young woman persisted even after she did something completely bone-headed. Good gravy, I even liked Daphne the cat, and I'm a dog person!
Yes, A Wicked Yarn is set up so enticingly that I'll be taking a look at the next book in the series when it comes along, even though two things bothered me a bit.One was how easy it was to deduce whodunit. One line of dialogue did it for me. Oh well. I read a lot of mysteries. The second thing concerned the traffic flow at the craft fair post-murder. In A Wicked Yarn, things grind to a halt with scarcely anyone coming in to shop. In the vast majority of the mysteries I've read-- and from my own personal observations-- when a murder occurs, it seems to be human nature for folks to come running to check out the murder site. Business should have boomed. Or so I thought. But if it did, Lia would not have had that extra time to investigate, would she?
Casting those two items aside, if you'd like to learn a little about craft fairs and alpacas, if you'd like to spend some time with a friendly, interesting main character while she finds a killer, then A Wicked Yarn should be your cup of tea. Milk or lemon?
A Wicked Yarn by Emmie Caldwell
(AKA Mary Ellen Hughes)
Berkley Prime Crime © 2020
eBook, 304 pages
Cozy Mystery, #1 Craft Fair Knitters mystery
Source: Net Galley