Saturday, April 14, 2018

Murder She Knit


Murder, She Knit
A Knit & Nibble Mystery Book 1
by Peggy Ehrhart
Genre: Cozy Mystery

Since her only daughter left for college, widow Pamela Paterson has kept busy as associate editor of a craft magazine and founder of the Knit and Nibble knitting club in quaint Arborville, New Jersey. Now, she’s trying out a new hobby—solving murders!

Pamela is hosting the next Knit and Nibble meeting and can’t wait to liven up her otherwise empty home with colorful yarn, baking, and a little harmless gossip. She even recruits Amy Morgan, an old friend who recently moved to town, as the group’s newest member. But on the night of the gathering, Amy doesn’t show. Not until Pamela finds the woman dead outside—a knitting needle stabbed through the front of her handmade sweater . . .
Someone committed murder before taking off with Amy’s knitting bag, and Pamela realizes that only she can spot the deadly details hidden in mysterious skeins. But when another murder occurs, naming the culprit—and living to spin the tale—will be more difficult than Pamela ever imagined . . . 
Knitting tips and delicious recipe included!



Excerpt:

“What if selling the yarn by mistake was just a cover story?” “A cover story for what?” Bettina asked, surprised enough to take her eyes off the road for a second and glance at Pamela. “What if the yarn has something to do with Amy’s murder? She was supposed to deliver it somewhere and the killer intercepted her.” Bettina glanced at Pamela again, a disbelieving smile twisting her lips. “The murderer thought she’d be carrying it around with her?” Pamela shrugged. “The police never found the knitting bag.” “But you have the yarn now.” “Maybe the murderer’s next stop, after discovering the yarn wasn’t in the knitting bag, was Amy’s apartment. But Dorrie had already cleaned everything out.” “I hope he doesn’t find out what Dorrie did with the yarn,” Bettina said, still smiling. “Or you’re next . . .”



Having many of the quirky qualities I look for in a cozy mystery read, this Knit & Nibble book is a fun start to another clean series. I like the more mature nature of the characters, this one being multigenerational. 
It takes place in a neighborhood, of sorts, with a few jaunts to nearby, related locations.
I like that not every one is movie star beautiful or model thin. 
I could relate to the treasure hunting nature (OK trash picking) of our heroine, Pamela. 
Some of the clues are very obscure. I read them knowing they would mean something later in the book but at the moment they didn't seem to fit. The book could use a bit more smoothing out in places. Some of the subject jumps are a bit jarring. 
I appreciated the inclusion of canine and feline characters. Perhaps they will play larger roles in books to come.Poor Pamela is the only member of the kitting group to discover bodies. Fortunately for her, neighbor and best friend, Bettina, is willing to take risks investigating with her.
I enjoyed their companionly efforts. A well rounded cast of characters with a plausible option to add more.
Peggy Ehrhart is a former English professor who lives in Leonia, New Jersey, where she writes mysteries and plays blues guitar. She holds a Ph.D. in medieval literature from the University of Illinois and taught writing and literature at Queens College, CUNY, and Fairleigh Dickinson University, where she was a tenured full professor. Her short stories have appeared in Futures Mystery Anthology Magazine, Crime and Suspense, Flashing in the Gutters, Spinetingler, Crime Scene: New Jersey 2, and Murder New York Style. A longtime member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime, Peggy served on the board of MWA New York as head of the Mentor Committee. She was president of Sisters in Crime NY/TriState from 2013 to 2015. Peggy regularly attends mystery writing conferences and participates in conference panels and also gives talks on mystery fiction at libraries in New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey.


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