Monday, May 31, 2021

On Skein of Death by Allie Pleiter


First Lines: So it's more than 'yarn'?" the young woman staring at my shop sign asked. "The letters...stand for something?"
After a painful divorce, Libby Beckett is fortunate enough to return to Collinstown, Maryland, to follow her passion: opening her own yarn shop. The name of the shop is Y.A.R.N. which stands for You're Absolutely Ready Now, and there is a blackboard in the shop to encourage patrons to devise their own versions of the acronym. 

Libby has worked hard to create a series of events that will not only put her shop and Collinstown on the map but will also further the career of Norwegian knitwear designer Perle Lonager. The events are turning into quite a big deal which angers obnoxious Chamber of Commerce president George Barker-- especially when Mayor Gavin Maddock decrees a Collinstown Yarn Day to celebrate. 
But it all turns to tragedy when Perle is found murdered on the stage of the local theater. Libby feels responsible for letting the town down, but most of all she wants justice for the talented young woman whose life was cut short. Does Libby have what it takes to be an amateur detective and capture a killer?
I think I've finally found the perfect knitting-themed cozy series for me. I had a big smile on my face as I turned the last page of Allie Pleiter's debut Riverbank Knitting mystery, On Skein of Death. It is a wonderful blend of mystery, character, setting, and knitting. 

In the other knitting-themed cozies that I've read, knitting is usually nothing more than the hook to entice readers to buy the book. You're lucky if the characters look at a skein of yarn or pick up a knitting needle once or twice during the course of the book. But On Skein of Death has knitting firmly woven into the story. If Libby's shop were real, I'd be making a bee-line for it and would undoubtedly spend way too much money there. When Libby can't sleep or needs to clear her mind so she can think, she picks up her needles and knits. She teaches a thirteen-year-old to knit and encourages a stressed-out businesswoman to take up needles, too. There are also dollops of yarn bombing and illusion knitting. But it's not only instances like these that put the knit and purl into On Skein of Death, it's the language Pleiter uses. She lets us know that knitters rarely get upset at delays because delays are just opportunities to whip out knitting projects and add a few rows. Libby also finds out that this investigation has "more twists and backtracks than it does to turn a sock heel."

But before you begin to think that there's nothing but needles and yarn to On Skein of Death, there's an interesting group of suspects for Libby to learn about. Was the killer the strange young man who showed up to the first event? Was it Perle's "what's in it for me" beady-eyed editor? Was it...? I enjoyed the mystery even though the identity of the killer was no surprise. (Unfortunately, I've watched too many episodes of Forensic Files.) 

Pleiter has also created a stellar cast of characters that bodes well for future books. Libby's outlook on life and her passion for her shop and knitting will warm your heart. She's also good at making friends and developing useful contacts, and she's not one to take unnecessary risks. Gavin Maddock is Collinstown's mayor and Libby's high school sweetheart, and Gavin's thirteen-year-old daughter Jillian is a little jewel. Libby's mother Rhonda and her friends (known as "the Gals") provide plenty of humor. and then there's Frank the police chief and his receptionist Angie whom I hope to see more of in future books. Good gravy, I forgot one of the most important characters! Hank the English bulldog is Y.A.R.N.'s mascot and quite skilled at modeling sweaters and being your best buddy when you're in dire need.

As you can see, I've fallen head over heels for On Skein of Death, and I can't wait to see what happens in the next book in the series. You really don't even have to be interested in knitting to enjoy this book. Find out for yourself!

On Skein of Death by Allie Pleiter
eISBN: 9780593201787
Berkley Prime Crime © 2021
eBook, 304 pages
Cozy Mystery, #1 Riverbank Knitting mystery
Rating: A
Source: Net Galley

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for taking the time to make a comment. I really appreciate it!