Murder Wears Mittens
By Sally Goldenbaum
Seaside Knitters Society
As autumn washes over coastal Sea Harbor, Massachusetts, the Seaside Knitters anticipate a relaxing off-season. But when murder shatters the peace, the craftiest bunch in town must unravel a killer’s deadly scheme . . .
After retrieving fresh lobster nets from a local Laundromat, Cass Halloran rushes to attend a last-minute gathering with her knitting circle. But Cass can’t stop worrying about the lonely boy seen hanging around the dryers, and the school uniform he left behind in a hurry. When the ladies return the lost clothing the next day, they find the child and his younger sister alone, seemingly abandoned by their mother . . .
The knitters intend to facilitate a family reunion, not investigate a crime. But the death of Dolores Cardozo, a recluse from the edge of town, throws the group for a loop. Especially when the missing mother and one of their own become tied to the victim’s hidden fortune—and her murder . . .
Before scandalous secrets break bonds and rumors tear Sea Harbor apart, the Seaside Knitters need to string together the truth about Dolores—while preventing a greedy murderer from making another move!
* Includes a knitting pattern *
Heartwarming … poignant … entertaining … a story to savor. Atmospheric and evocative, this is a story of family, friendship and community, caring people who work together to solve a murder. Murder Wears Mittens is all that I could ask for in a cozy mystery, and more.
Although Murder Wears Mittens is the first mystery in the Seaside Knitters Society series, it actually continues a long-running series put out by another publisher; you can see how the novels lay out here. There’s wonderful character development throughout these stories, but background is provided so that each book can stand alone.
I discovered Sally Goldenbaum’s writing several years ago in a kind of unique way. Fueled by an addiction to stories set in New England, I was thrilled to discover the website Stop You're Killing Me, where you can search for mystery books by several different categories, geographical location being one of them. I highly recommend this website to mystery lovers, by the way. Anyway, I found the Seaside Knitters series, tried the first one, and was hooked. Sea Harbor is fictional, but patterned after Gloucester, MA. I’m delighted that Ms. Goldenbaum has a new publisher in Kensington and is continuing the series.
When it comes to cozy mysteries, Murder Wears Mittens is a cut above. While it perfectly fits the cozy genre, there’s also elements of women’s fiction. At its heart is the friendship between four women of various ages – Cass, Izzy, Nell and Birdie – united by a love for knitting and a desire to help the community. Their current goal is the HMS project, “a community effort that would result in enough hats, mittens, scarves and socks to warm anyone in need for the long winter ahead.”
Izzy’s brother, Charlie, is one of my favorite characters – a man filled with gratitude for those who had helped him during a time when personal mistakes almost ruined his life. “He’d fixed up the well-traveled Bimmer and traveled from one side of the country to the other. Putting a period to some sentences, a thank-you to others.” Now he’s returned home and I look forward to more from this character.
I’m more comfortable when the murder victim is someone I can dislike, but that’s not the case here – and it makes for rich storytelling. Dolores Cardozo is a woman the Seaside Knitters were coming to know better in death than life – and I would have loved this lady. The mystery plot is well crafted, with hints that will be obvious once the murderer’s identity is revealed.
Murder Wears Mittens doesn’t move at a fast pace; rather, it’s a sweet, character-driven story to be read leisurely and savored. I adore this whole series and hope we get to spend a lot more time with the Seaside Knitters. “Best of the best” for me. Highly recommended.
I was provided a free copy of this book through Great Escapes Tours. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
Sally Goldenbaum was born on the shores of Lake Michigan, in Manitowoc, WI, to a homemaker mother and a ship-building father. Although she now lives in landlocked Prairie Village, KS, her longing for lakes and the sea is satisfied in part by writing the USA Today bestselling Seaside Knitters Mystery series
She is a sometime philosophy teacher, a knitter, and an editor, and the author of more than thirty novels. Her fictional knitting friends are teaching her the intricacies of women’s friendship, the mysteries of small-town living, and the very best way to pick up dropped stitches on a lacy knit shawl.
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