A Dark and Snowy Night review

This is the sixteenth book in the Seaside Knitting Society (formerly known as Seaside Knitters when they were with another publisher) written by Sally Goldenbaum. I’ve loved every one of these that I’ve read and I’m nowhere near being caught up, but for some reason I can’t resist getting the newest ARC when it’s available. #NetGalley  This group of friends is definitely a bunch of ladies I could get along well with, especially their love of awesome food and camaraderie. I’d be worse than Cass at knitting but knowing me, I’d try it, lol.

#KensingtonCozies #SallyGoldenbaum

My Goodreads review:

 A Dark and Snowy Night (Seaside Knitters, #16)A Dark and Snowy Night by Sally Goldenbaum
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It’s always super enjoyable to join this group of four friends who’re basically like sisters of various ages. I love how they gather to talk about the case at hand and compare sleuthing notes while they’re knitting or talking. Their guys are pretty incredible too, and I love Cass’s description of having Ben, a retired lawyer by your side if you need to talk to the police (probably not the exact quote): “It’s like taking your favorite teddy bear to the principal’s office.”

The more I got into the book, I had a feeling I knew whodunit and was right. Toward the end with more clues coming together was when I guessed what else was going on in a couple of mixed-up people’s lives. Izzy’s a real champ at calling and getting info from people, lol.

The side story with town curmudgeon-but-brought-cookies lady Luna was really good! She was one lady you didn’t wanna cross, yet she had some incredible patience going on with new knitters or just anyone who needed her. She was one of those surprising and interesting characters that crop up in books sometimes. I wouldn’t mind her popping in again–she’s a real character!

As sideways as the showdown could’ve gone, at least it didn’t and Nell was able to calmly talk with the involved. I love how everything’s always explained over fellowship and food and the end! It’s like their supreme reward for having another killer put away. I always leave one of these books wishing I didn’t have to and with the proverbial book hangover. Don’t miss its release on September 27! When there’s not a murder in Sea Harbor, it’s pretty darn magical at Christmastime!

I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book provided by Kensington Cozies via NetGalley, and my opinions are my own.

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Death on the Argyle review

This is the fifth book in the Black Sheep Knitting Society which never got linked on Goodreads, so I can’t provide a link to the other four books. They were additions to the original Black Sheep Knitting series and I believe it just changed names slightly when another publisher picked it up. I guess in other books I always felt like Maggie Messina was the main character, but in this book it’s clearly her younger friend Lucy who’s leading the show as far as the mystery goes. The ending was super sweet with Lucy and Matt’s baby being born and officially welcomed to the knitting shop. It also hinted at Lucy starting a new (additional) career, so it’ll be interesting to read about that next time.

#KensingtonCozies #AnneCanadeo

My Goodreads review:

Death on the Argyle (A Black Sheep & Co. Mystery Book 5)Death on the Argyle by Anne Canadeo
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It was fun to visit with some of my favorite knitters in cozy series just as Lucy was ready to bring her little baby into the world. The ladies had a new friend to add to their group, for a while anyway and a new case to sleuth out. Poor Maggie found herself dragged along but was mainly going to keep an eye on Lucy since they all knew how she could be when sleuthing!

I had a feeling of whodunit and why which turned out to be right, but it was sort of a sad showdown in a way with no one in any real danger. It was sweet to read about the baby visiting the shop a couple months later, then a little more was mentioned in Maggie’s knitting newsletter that always follows the story. That’s always a treat and not to be skipped. 😉 It’ll be interesting to see if Baby Binger-MacDougal gets broken in right as a mini investigator in the next book!

I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book provided by Kensington Cozies via NetGalley, and my opinions are my own.

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Strangers on a Skein review

This is the twelfth book in the long-running Black Sheep & Company series by Anne Canadeo. I’m not really caught up in the series and really want to get back to the early books, but I read enough to get a good handle on the characters when I started seeing these new books pop up in NetGalley. Yup, I couldn’t resist. I really love these friends and how they’re really more like sisters with their love and care for each other and each other’s loved ones. I hope it continues for a long time.

My Goodreads review:

Strangers on a SkeinStrangers on a Skein by Anne Canadeo
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’d missed reading about these friends, so I was happy to grab this ARC when it came to NetGalley. I loved the title and kind of based some of my guesses on it. Phoebe, the youngest of the knitting friends was in the spotlight this time. I felt so bad for her having waited a long time for a spot at the farmers’ and crafters’ market then having all kinds of issues. Her sales did great, but her other luck went down the drain. There was a lot of unfriendliness going on at the market, and unfortunately (or maybe not) Phoebe’s only friendly face was her ex-boyfriend Harry in a neighboring stall.

There were tons of secrets and layers to this mystery, and I had a hard time putting it down. Intrigue was everywhere at one point, but we always got a good taste of what this series has always been based on, the friendship of these knitting women. Boy, was the showdown and car chase a good one! I was proud of Phoebe for taking control when she did. I had my suspicions about someone, but I can’t say a whole lot due to it being a more complex mystery. Just enjoy, lol.

I loved the epilogue which was probably long-awaited by fans. A sweet piece of news makes me very eager to read the next book!

I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book provided by the publisher via NetGalley, and my opinions are my own.

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A Wicked Yarn review

This is the first book in a brand new series called Craft Fair Knitters by Emmie Caldwell who some of us cozy mystery readers might also know better as Mary Ellen Hughes. Mary Ellen wrote the cozy series Pickled and Preserved series, Craft Corner and most recently, Keepsake Cove, each series being three books long. The first series listed in her bio is Maggie Olensky, which from the covers looks to be a little more edge-of-your-seat than a normal cozy, but the descriptions are interesting. That was a two-book series.

I’ve read and enjoyed the Keepsake Cove series and have been wanting to dig into the other two cozy series now for a long time. Anyone who’s ever been in a craft fair will definitely appreciate this Craft Fair Knitters series, and now I can’t wait for the next book. By the end of A Wicked Yarn, Lia, Hayley and Belinda felt like old friends.

Daphne was such a sweet ragdoll kitty, but I couldn’t find a free image of a white one. I imagine her tail looked a lot like the picture I did find above.

My Goodreads review:

A Wicked Yarn (A Craft Fair Knitters Mystery #1)A Wicked Yarn by Emmie Caldwell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Being a longtime craft fair participant myself, I really enjoyed the setting for this mystery. How cool would it be to have a venue for doing a nice show every weekend? And the best part was it was inside away from the weather. Although if Belinda the manager’s ex had his way, that barn was going to be torn down once he bought it. Luckily, the crafters never had to find out, because someone offed the guy, and all eyes turned to his ex, Belinda. Main character Lia was a good friend of hers, so with the help of her twenty-something daughter Hayley, they decided to clear their pal’s good name…and bring back their customers due to the pesky detail that the dead guy was found in their barn.

Lia and Hayley were such a fun and likable mom-daughter duo, and they made a good sleuthing team. I like that Lia wasn’t portrayed as someone who was tech-scared (as characters her age are often described in books–I’m older than Lia and I love tech!). The roles were almost reversed from the typical cozy which was fun. Hayley went off on her own while Lia sleuthed online. An added plus was that Hayley started seeing her old friend Brady who was now a police officer who came in handy more than once.

I had a sneaky feeling most of the way through the book of whodunit, but I had no idea why, so it was fun following along and seeing if I got taken by any of the red herrings. The showdown was really good, and just as I was worried the killer was getting away, the police got them. There were a few places where the story went a little slow, but usually it kept my interest due to the craft fair subject. I’m really very anxious now for the next book!

I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book provided by the publisher via NetGalley, and my opinions are my own.

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A Murderous Tangle review

This is the third book in the renamed series Seaside Knitters Society. It’s basically an extension of the original series and had a different name when publishers were switched–that’s the story I read anyway. Like all the books I’ve read so far in the new series, there’s more than just a murder mystery. It’s a story of people and relationships and sometimes unfolds a little slower than a typical cozy, but I’m used to that formula now and love the cozy feeling that this series brings.

My Goodreads review:

A Murderous TangleA Murderous Tangle by Sally Goldenbaum

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I don’t know how she does it, but this author always manages to come up with just the perfect knitting situations to create the perfect cozy atmosphere in this series. I’ve really grown to love all these main characters, and yes, even though there are a lot of them, I don’t get confused. I wasn’t sure what to think about their new friend Tess at first, but she eventually fit in with the group.

I eventually guessed who the killer was, and that’s another thing I’ve liked about this series in what I’ve read. Maybe it’s what makes it so peaceful and leaves me thinking about the characters, but it’s a nice break sometimes not to have a main character have a dangerous standoff with the killer. Sometimes the killer is even one of their own and not normally a bad person. I absolutely loved the last scene in the book! It was the perfect cozy Christmas!

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Hounds of the Basket Stitch review

This is the third in the renamed Black Sheep Knitting series, which is now called Black Sheep & Company. The author had to switch publishers, but the series had eight books published as Black Sheep Knitting. No worries, it’s the same great characters you knew in the original books, and they’re just as good in these later books. I’m not nearly caught up, but I’ve read the first two in the Black Sheep Knitting and can never resist getting an ARC of  the latest Black Sheep book coming out.

You’ll enjoy this mystery a lot. Each book has seemed to focus one one of the core characters, and this was Dana’s turn. Dana is one of the knitters who definitely joined Maggie’s group as a stress release, because she’s a psychologist. What I love most about the group is their camaraderie in good times and bad. There’s always food, fellowship and of course, knitting! Pick it up at your favorite book dealer or ask your library to get it for you. It comes out on October 29.

My Goodreads review:

Hounds of the Basket Stitch (A Black Sheep & Co. Mystery Book 3)Hounds of the Basket Stitch by Anne Canadeo

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I hadn’t read a book in this series since last December and couldn’t resist going ahead with this ARC copy even though it doesn’t publish until October 29. I hadn’t realized how much I missed visiting Plum Harbor and the Black Sheep knitting friends. I really enjoyed the characters of Rose and Holly and hope that they show up in another book. This mystery was a bit different with the murder happening much later, but the actions toward the beginning were a little more important than the later murder, since it was an attack on Dana’s goddaughter who spent a lot of the book in the hospital. I always love how these characters, as different as their personalities are, always work great together especially when it comes to solving murders.

There were some great plot twists, and I was really surprised at the showdown which was short but great. Everything was wrapped up just right as usual and ended with the friends being together. One of them even welcomed a cute furry pup into their family.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book provided by the publisher, and my opinions are my own.

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How to Knit a Murder–review

Depending on how you want to keep track, this is the second in the Seaside Knitter Society series (it changed publishers hence the series name change), which is how Amazon shows it. But Goodreads shows it as being #13 in the Seaside Knitters Society. Either sounds ok by me, since I haven’t read any of the early ones.

I read the first one last year as an ARC (then couldn’t resist gifting to myself as a beautiful trade paperback), and it worked perfectly as a standalone. It didn’t take me long then or now to get caught up with who was who. The author provides a very handy character list in the front of the book. Some people have said they don’t like those, but I think they’re kinda cool and handy. I love what I’ve read of this series and I really want to start at the beginning.

My Goodreads review:

How to Knit a Murder (Seaside Knitters Society, #13)How to Knit a Murder by Sally Goldenbaum

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

After reading only my second in this awesome series, I realized what sets them apart, and that is people. These books are more than just a great cozy that is solved by a group of friends. They’re about the people they come into contact with. Sometimes some of the people don’t have much to do with the case itself, but I never have the urge to speed read or read super fast. There’s just a feeling you get afterwards that you want to hold onto for awhile. I feel like I’ve been with some real friends.

Rose Chopra was a newcomer to town, although she’d lived there as a child and young teen. She made friends with the Knitters as well as another newcomer who was their friend, Bree. When Bree’s husband was killed at a house that Rose was doing repairs on for her new boss, Stella, she was the only person of interest the police could come up with for that moment. But after this clever group of friends put their heads together and refused to let go of this case, the truth came out. Rose had a very interesting story which was shared by another person in the town but who had unfortunately died. Getting to that point was bittersweet but led them to their killer.

I do want to start this series at the very beginning and see how these friendships came about and grew. I just love that they always consult with each other. None of them braves out on their own or seems to be in any mortal danger. That’s kind of refreshing. These ladies, along with their two new friends are definitely people that I would want to hang out with! I love the friendship of the older guys in town too. They always celebrated as if their fourth buddy was still with them. They loved life and weren’t afraid to let anyone know. I think I’ll need to visit Sea Harbor again soon!

I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book provided by the publisher and NetGalley. My opinions are my own.

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Knit, Purl, Die–review

This is the second book in the Black Sheep Knitting series and part of the first three book set that I borrowed from Overdrive recently. I’m really enjoying the story of five women who love to knit, gossip a little and solve murders. The reader gets a little glimpse into each one of their lives at different times in the book since the book is written third person.

My Goodreads review:

Knit, Purl, Die (Black Sheep Knitting Mysteries, #2)Knit, Purl, Die by Anne Canadeo

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I enjoyed the first book in this series so much that I couldn’t resist going on to the second book and it definitely didn’t disappoint. The little knitting group had grown by one person, an old friend of Maggie’s, Gloria who had just moved back to Plum Harbor with her very young new husband, Jamie. The girls all enjoyed being around Gloria, she was so full of life…until someone decided to murder her. Only problem was that the police figured it was an accidental drowning since it happened in her own pool and her tox screen showed painkillers and alcohol in her system which apparently seemed normal to the investigators.

In true Black Sheep fashion, the friends took poor grieving Jamie under their wing and vowed to find out what really happened to Gloria.

I really enjoy how they have their little morning meetings and sometimes a few of them will join Maggie at the shop for lunch. This investigation was pretty much entirely done by the ladies in the group since the police had already dismissed it as accidental drowning. I did like that for once the ending didn’t have anyone in danger. The case definitely wrapped up well and even though I had some suspicions throughout the book, I hadn’t guessed the outcome that tied them all together.

Since I borrowed the first 3 books in one e-volume from Overdrive, I plan to go ahead and read the next book before it expires, a good way to cross off some TBRs.

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While My Pretty One Knits

This is the first book in the Black Sheep Knitting series by Anne Canadeo. If you like books like the Seaside Knitting series where a group of friends get together and act as the sleuths for the case, then you will also like this one. I really liked it a lot and plan to read on in the series.

My Goodreads review:

While My Pretty One Knits (Black Sheep Knitting Mysteries, #1)While My Pretty One Knits by Anne Canadeo

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Five good friends have a knitting club at their friend Maggie’s shop, Black Sheep Knitting. When a rival yarn shop owner is found dead in her own shop, Maggie is the first one the police look to since it’s no secret the two of them didn’t get along well even though Maggie tried to tolerate the other shop owner, Amanda. Maggie had just hosted well known knitting author Cara Newsome who had just written her second book and was looking into having a TV series as well. She’d hoped that would help promote her shop but now with the town thinking she’s guilty of murder or even a person of interest, things aren’t looking too great for her business. Her faithful friends are not about to let Maggie go down since they all know she’s innocent.

This was such an enjoyable mystery and story of how five women came together over the love of knitting, something that has actually been making a comeback with younger people. The little group consisted of five very different women of all ages but the thing they all had in common was the love of their art and soon, their friendship and camaraderie with each other, along with helping Maggie of course.

I did guess the killer but not really for the reason that was given at first, although the clues were planted and as it unfolded I saw the why. There weren’t a whole lot of people in the story line that could have done it but I think it was written so we the readers could guess it. The take down was pretty cool, Maggie was proven innocent and the perp even confessed. After that the girls all thought they should name their knitting group the Black Sheep even though Maggie was no longer the black sheep in Plum Harbor. She said there was a touch of black sheep in all of them, referring to their snooping, gathering gossip and doing whatever clandestine thing it took to save her from a murder charge.

At the end of the book, Phoebe shares her Jell-o dye recipe, Maggie shares some felting resources, Lucy shares a few sock monkey hat resources since she was knitting those for her nieces and Suzanne shares her famous guacamole dip recipe. I thought it was fun that the notes were written from the actual characters. I’m definitely going to read more in this series!

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