Death by Cashmere: A Seaside Knitters Mystery
by Sally Goldenbaum
Cover Artist: Doug Martin/121 Art
Review by Gayle Surrette
NAL Trade Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780451225535
Date: 07 April 2009 List Price $14.00 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
[NOTE: We're re-running our review of the hardcover from our September 2008 issue.]
Izzy Chambers has left Boston for Sea Harbor, Massachusetts and doesn't want to look back on her law career; she wants instead to concentrate on her new business: Seaside Knitting Studio. She's rented the apartment over the studio to Angie Archer. Angie seems to evoke strong emotions in the townspeople with her reputation for wildness. Angie doesn't knit but she does look great in the sample sweater that Izzy lent her to wear as advertisement for the shop. But Angie doesn't return from her date, her movements were erratic that night, and when her body turns up, it seems the police just want the case closed and don't care how she died. It's up to Izzy and her friends to find the real killer.
Death by Cashmere is the first of what I hope will be a series of knitting mysteries. I've come to believe that what is most endearing and keeps the readers coming back to a series is the continuing cast of characters that surround the main protagonists. Izzy owns a knitting shop and thus there is going to be traffic in and out of her shop: employees, friends, relatives, and the core group who come regularly to knit and gossip. Goldenbaum has indeed created a wonderful mix of fleshed out characters for this series. Even though we learn relatively little about each character, they are unique and fully developed, I'm sure as the books continue we'll learn more about their individual backgrounds.
There's definitely a small town feel to Sea Harbor and the taste of New England's wit, humor, wisdom, and camaraderie is evident in all the descriptions and is a key factor in the delay in solving the case and the to having the information necessary to solve it. The setting and characters are clearly people of their geographical region and the town has the flavor of a summer resort area. I'm sure as the series progresses that many will find much to like and will often want to return to Sea Harbor.
A New England seaside village, the mysterious death of a local woman, local history, eccentric characters, and knitting references (including a pattern), who could ask for more?