Friday, December 27, 2013

Shelf Life [adult]

A Fatal Fleece: A Seaside Knitters Mystery by Sally Goldenbaum

The craft-oriented mysteries of Sally Goldenbaum are as cozy as they come – a tranquil sea-side New England setting, a loyal group of eccentric characters with a love of knitting in common, no swearing, no graphic violence or sex… as peaceful as a cup of sweet tea by a fireside. Goldenbaum has a great gift for creating a soothing atmosphere, but she does interrupt the serenity with the occasional murder discovered by one or another of the knitting friends, and A Fatal Fleece – the sixth in this knitting-centric series - is no different.  When the octogenarian Birdie is surprised by Gabby, a granddaughter she never knew she had, that’s just the beginning. Gabby touches all the (mostly older) seaside knitters’ lives with a bit of happy 10-year-old chaos, even that of the crabby recluse Frances Finnegan. When lobsterwoman Cass Halloran makes the sad discovery of Finn’s body, she is first surprised to discover that he’s left his wealth to her, then shocked when she becomes a suspect in his death. The knitters close ranks around her to clear her name by solving the case, and they do so in the characteristically cautious, don’t-be-too-rash kind of way that Goldenbaum likes to tease out of her plots. There are plenty of red herrings but the “action” of the novel is better suited to a hammock swaying in the breeze, than a late-night, nail-biting page-turner. There is some character development throughout the series for folks who like to start with the first book (Death by Cashmere), but for those who just like a decent mystery with which to relax, Goldenbaum provides enough backstory to be able to jump right in at any book along the way.  This is a great series for cozy-lovers, but also for anyone who enjoys stories of female fellowship, and strong family ties.  Find A Fatal Fleece and other Seaside Knitters novels under the tag “shelf life reviewed” at

This review appears in The Stratford Gazette on December 27, 2013. Written by Robyn Godfrey, Librarian.

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