May 27, 2015
Death by Cashmere by Sally Goldenbaum
Ok, so in a way this book was almost wildly predictable, but then the author throws a curve that really didn't have any clues leading up to it, probably just to make sure noone could solve the mystery. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Death by Cashmere is the first book in the Seaside Knitters series, which means that even after this book, there will be more mysteries to solve.
Izzy, after quitting her job as a lawyer, settles down on the coast to open a knitting shop in her hometown. Of course this shop is visited by a myriad of characters who are also friends and when the young woman who lives above the shop is murdered, they speculate on the cause and questions while purling and dropping stitches. But a lot of people are suspect and there's something not quite right about a few of the citizens in the town. While it's the police's job, the knitters can't help but get in the middle of things.
This book is not about Izzy. I would have suspected it to be, but the main character view is from her aunt Nell. Nell is the one who can't let things be and is investigating heavily. And because she has the time and connections it seems like this is the most appropriate for her. There are a lot of "dark" characters in this book and I can't help but think that one was purposely setup to look terrible when they really shouldn't have been. It was just a ruse to throw off the reader (unfairly) and I think it came across as kind of a cheap shot. My favorite character was probably Birdie because she just seems like that busybody everyone knows and loves anyway. She put a little life in the group.
The greatest descriptions in this book were of the food, not the knitting surprisingly. While the yarns were described in glorious detail, the food made me drool and sad that there was only a knitting pattern at the back of the book and not a gathering of recipes mentioned. I really want that recipe for pineapple fritters. Knitting jargon was used but it took a backseat to the mystery. And since this is classified as a cozy mystery, that didn't really bother me. What did bother me, and as I've said before, was that in general you had a lot of clues in this book, and then the author throws a wildcard that wasn't really in character or believable. In retrospect I can see where there might have been a few clues, but it still wasn't fitting to the story and how the characters were presented. And I'll keep repeating that fact until the rest of you believe it. I just was left dissatisfied with the way it was handled.
I certainly am interested in reading the next book in the series, but it won't be one I rush out to get. There are a lot of cozy mysterious out there of varying qualities and they are nice quick reads that don't demand immediate attention. This one fits into the middle of the spectrum.
Death by Cashmere