Thursday, August 7, 2008

Death by Cashmere by Sally Goldenbaum

Cozy mystery fans, especially those interested in crafts and knitting, will be glad to see a new series by Sally Goldenbaum. Death by Cashmere: a Seaside Knitters Mystery is set in the small fishing town of Sea Harbor, Massachusetts. Izzy Chambers has left her Boston law firm and returned to her childhood home to open a knitting shop. A small group of local women meet once a week at the shop to share a meal, chat, and knit. Izzy rents the apartment above the shop to Angie Archer, another local returned home, who doesn’t have a great reputation with the locals. One morning, Angie is found dead near the breakwater. Her death is ruled an accident, but the ladies of the Seaside Knitters group suspect murder when several strange incidents occur in Angie’s apartment after she is gone. They ask a lot of questions and begin to think this was not a random act and may have been done by one of the locals.

The author has created an interesting cast of characters, and the description of the Seaside Knitting Studio makes me want to immediately visit and shop for the bright, luxurious yarns! However, I am not as enthusiastic about the story. The description seems to indicate Izzy is the main character who tries to solve the mystery, but actually the entire knitting group takes part and is led by Izzy’s aunt Nell. As a fan of cozy mysteries, I would have liked a strong lead character (or two) to follow through later stories in the series. There are also a few obvious mistakes which were confusing, and the ending was very predictable.

Fans of cozy mysteries that have craft themes may enjoy this story, but as an alternate, I recommend Maggie Sefton’s knitting mysteries that feature Kelly Flynn. There are now five books in the series that begin with Knit One, Kill Two.

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