Publisher: Gallery Books
Pages: 304 pages
Release Date: June 17, 2014
Source of my copy: publisher
Series: Black Sheep Knitting Mystery #6
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
Curiosity Killed the Cat
Knitting graffiti, in Plum Harbor? Maggie Messina doubts it could ever happen in her quiet village. Until the new parking meters on Main Street are found covered with cat-faced cozies. In the dark of night, the mysterious Knit Kats have struck again! The infamous gang of stitching graffiti artists are totally harmless, and their pranks all in good fun. Or so Maggie and her friends think. Until a yarn-covered corpse is discovered a few days later—the tangles identical to Knit Kat handiwork.
These threads of evidence should be easy to follow. But the clever Knit Kats hide behind a website and secret identities. The murderer could be anyone. A familiar face in town, even a copy Kat. But when Maggie’s assistant, Phoebe, becomes the prime suspect, the knitting friends know the police have dropped a few stitches. With no time to rest on their needles, the Black Sheep set out to unmask the crafty killer. No simple task, when all Knit Kats look the same in the dark.
When A Dark and Stormy Knit showed up at my door I was pleasantly surprised. I read only one other cozy mystery before (another Black Sheep novel by Anne Canadeo, actually--A Stitch Before Dying) so I cannot help but compare the two in this review. Apologies in advance if the comparisons cause some confusion, especially if you haven't read A Stitch Before Dying, but hopefully this review will be helpful anyway.
Everything I loved about my previous Black Sheep novel was present in this novel: the small town setting, the women's friendship, knitting and an interesting mystery. Canadeo really captured the homey, small town feel and the wonderful friendship between the women, both of which always makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.
However, I thought A Dark and Stormy Knit was slower than my previous cozy mystery. There was a lot of back story involved about the Knit Kats, the mysterious group of knitting graffiti artists and the real mystery didn't really get going until about halfway through the novel. While the mystery kept my interest for the most part, it didn't really grab me as much as the mystery did in Stitch. Maybe it was the slow start? Or that I was able to figure out who the killer was way before the women did (whereas in Stitch, I had no concrete answer until almost the very end)? Or that the women came by the clues a little too conveniently (e.g., Phoebe just happen to be there when two possible suspects were arguing and spewing up secrets)? It's probably a little bit of all those things.
Although the mystery in A Dark and Stormy Knit isn't as twisty and there were some instances where the writing took a slight feminist preachy slant, it did keep my interest. It was still a fun read and a good break from my usual YA and romance reads. The best part was really the women in the knitting group--I'd love to have the kind of friendship Maggie, Phoebe, Suzanne, Lucy and Dana have. You know, a shared interest, swapping recipes and knitting patterns, meeting once a week to have dinner together no matter how busy everyone is... it's all so cozy and sweet. They share a close bond that I'd love to have with my friends, except we are just so busy with our own lives (and it doesn't help that we live on different islands these days). Sigh.
Anyway, if you're in the mood for a cozy mystery or a novel that is just easy and relaxing to read, I suggest you try one of Canadeo's Black Sheep Knitting Mystery series (each book can be read as a standalone).