Release Date: Dec. 28, 2010
Source of my copy: publisher
Synopsis (from Amazon)
Stitching it together . . .
The Black Sheep Knitters: a fivesome with a knack for knitting—and for solving crimes.
hen Maggie Messina, owner of the Black Sheep Knitting Shop, is invited to give knitting workshops at a Berkshires spa resort, she manages to negotiate a cottage that fits all five of the Black Sheep for what promises to be a weekend of knitting bliss. But while the friends are expert at counting stitches, they haven’t counted on murder.
Guests and staff at the Crystal Lake Inn are as varied as a mixed bag of yarn, but most colorful is certainly the owner, charismatic self-help guru and former psychiatrist Dr. Max Flemming. The doctor may have told all in a revealing autobiography, but from his ex-wife to the widow of his former business partner—both employees at the inn—Max seems mired in shadows from his past. And when a killer strikes during a mountaintop retreat, the Black Sheep wonder what the good doctor might be hiding.
The police seem to be following the wrong thread. But while Maggie’s workshops have given the knitters a unique view of the tensions at the little inn, can they make sense of a crime that is as complexly stranded as a Fair Isle sweater? When the killer murders a second time, the Black Sheep wonder if they’ve dropped a stitch and put themselves in mortal danger. . .
In A Stitch Before Dying (ASBD), five women make up a knitting group and they take time every week to meet, share dishes, gossip and of course knit. The book begins with Maggie announcing that she had been invited to give knitting workshops at this New Age-y spa resort and secured a cottage large enough that their knitting group can all go. And so they do. As the ladies got settled in, they met other hotel guests, employees and the most intriguing character of all, spa owner and self-help guru Dr. Max Flemming. When a guest was murdered, most of the clues point to Dr. Max and the police were ready to make their arrest. However, the ladies were not satisfied and continue to speculate the murderer's identity. When the killer strike the second time, the ladies make it their mission to piece together the clues and help the police find the true murderer before it's too late.
ASBD is the third book in Anne Canadeo's Black Sheep Knitting Mystery but it can be read as a stand-alone. Also, the author included a nice "meet the knitters" page that quickly filled me in on who was who in the group and a little bit of background info of each one. I really liked the camaraderie and easy friendship between the ladies. They were all smart and resourceful but each has a different personality and I think readers will find one or two of the ladies they can relate to. I thought the mystery was well done. The ladies did not deliberately or purposely go out looking for clues--it's pretty much just them gossiping with employees who were in-the-know and overhearing gossip from others. More times than not the clues seem to find the ladies and the possible suspects seem to just like pouring their hearts to one of the ladies. But overall there were enough clues and possible suspects to keep me guessing until the very end.
This was my first cozy mystery read and about a third into reading this book I realized I missed my darker, grittier and more dramatic romantic suspense. Although a cozy mystery isn't something I would normally pick up on my own, I thought ASBD was a fun, non-serious read that will keep you entertained and puzzling over the clues along with the ladies. I wouldn't mind picking up another cozy mystery in the near future. 4 out of 5 stars