Tuesday, April 05, 2022

Knit or Dye Trying by Allie Pleiter

 
First Line: My best friend, Margo Payne, was watching me  closely.
 
It's a very good thing to be Margo Payne's taste tester because she makes some of the most heavenly desserts ever put to a fork. And like Margo, Libby Beckett is determined to have her Y.A.R.N. knitting shop shine during Collinstown's festival. Libby has planned an event featuring artisan fiber dyer Julie Wilson who's known for her work with animal-friendly, plant-based knitting fibers as well as her brilliant use of color. Libby is hoping that she'll have a large crowd for a special dyeing workshop.

But things begin to unravel as the festival begins. A flock of protest sheep parades down Main Street herded by farmers against Wilson's anti-wool stance. Then Wilson's celebrity chef sister shows up and the sisters' long-standing feud is loudly renewed. Despite this, the workshop is sold out, and Libby is thrilled. But the night before the event, Julie Wilson is found dead, her witty workshop title "Watch Julie Wilson Dye" now creepily prophetic.

Once again, Libby has her hands full trying to catch a killer.
 
~
 
I fell in love with the first Riverbank Knitting cozy, On Skein of Death, but I have to admit that this second book, Knit or Dye Trying suffers from a bit of a sophomore slump. I enjoyed what I learned about plant-based knitting fibers, but the amount of knitting featured was dialed way back compared to the first book. As obnoxious as Julie Wilson was, I have to admit that I wish we could have seen her at work before she shuffled off this mortal coil.

It seems as though too much of my reading lately has involved toxic families of some size or shape, and one features prominently here. I'm afraid I've reached my saturation point with them, and that had an impact on my opinion of the book. I'm also worried about something. Two out of two books in this series have dealt with the guest of honor at one of Libby's events being murdered. Pleiter needs to have something different happen in book three, or readers will begin thinking that Y.A.R.N. is really located in Cabot Cove.

I did enjoy the character development here. I like the fact that Libby is standing firm and insisting on some boundaries between her and her mother. It's realistic-- sometimes this is something that must be done to preserve a person's sanity. And I also really enjoy teenage Jillian, the girl Libby taught to knit in On Skein of Death. Jillian represents the future of knitting, and she shows how such a venerable craft can be kept thoroughly up-to-date through social media. If Jillian were a real person, I think I'd subscribe to her Youtube channel.

I may have had concerns with Knit or Dye Trying, but I'm still looking forward to the next book to see if any of those things are addressed. I hope they are because I can still feel the glow from reading the first book in the series. This is one that I want to have last for a good long time.

Knit or Dye Trying by Allie Pleiter
eISBN: 9780593201817
Berkley Prime Crime © 2022
eBook, 304 pages
 
Cozy Mystery, #2 Riverbank Knitting mystery
Rating: B-
Source: Net Galley

14 comments:

  1. Omigosh, I have no idea how to find a good cozy to read after murder and mayhem. And while reading an excellent book set in 1838 about enslavement and abolition in New York state. It's
    called The Third Mrs. Galway. A friend wrote it.

    She does a great job, but some of it is so truthful and painful that I need some humor or lightness.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The first two cozy series that popped into my head right now are Jenn McKinlay's Library Lovers series-- the main character is a librarian in small-town Connecticut-- and Diane Vallere's Madison Night/Mad for Mod series set in Texas. The main character is an interior designer specializing in mid-century modern, and Doris Day is her hero.

      Delete
  2. Oh, good. They both sound good, especially the librarian. I loved my Chicago library and elementary school library so much that I wanted to become a librarian.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. McKinlay, who writes the Library Lovers series has a good sense of humor, too.

      Delete
    2. Sounds like her books are up my alley -- or should I say bookshelf?

      Delete
  3. And I loved my elementary school librarian, Mrs. Hartney, too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I went to a school where kindergarten through high school was all in the same building. (Thirty-nine kids in my graduating class.) The high school had a library, but not the elementary or middle school sections, and the high school librarian was a bit of a prune. As I worked in the village library, that's where I got 99% of my books.

      Delete
  4. It's funny, Cathy. There really are a lot of toxic families in crime fiction, and I find myself bumping into them a lot. Sorry to hear this one didn't quite live up to what you'd hoped, And I had to laugh at your Cabot Cove remark. That sort of thing really does take away from people's interest in a series. Hopefully the next one will, as you say, address some of those things.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fingers crossed because there is so much that I like about this series.

      Delete
  5. I was a little bit intrigued by the idea of 'protest sheep'. Who knew? Ha! I do understand what you're saying here and hope the author can branch out in the future. Maybe the regular character list just needs to be expanded and then there will be more people and their lives to explore.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Perhaps she can attend an event elsewhere and share the wealth of those bodies... ;-)

      Delete
  6. It's always disappointing when the second book in a promising series isn't as good as the first. Hopefully the next one will be better.

    ReplyDelete

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