Moon Spinners: A Seaside Knitters Mystery
by Sally Goldenbaum
Cover Artist: Doug Martin/ i2iart.com
Review by Gayle Surrette
NAL Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9780451229885
Date: 27 April 2010 List Price $23.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK
Links: Author's Website / Show Official Info /
The year-round residents of Sea Harbor, Massachusetts, know each other pretty well. They tend to attend the same functions, board meetings, shops, and stores. Some own local business or work in those businesses. But they tend to get to know each other over time and become acquaintances, if not fast-friends. When Izzy Chambers opened her knitting shop, the Seaside Knitting Studio, the area knitters and friends of her aunt, Nell Endicott, gathered to help it become a success. Now these same people are helping Gracie Delaney get her dream off the ground -- the Lazy Lobster and Soup Café. The help isn't all good wishes, most of it is help with the dirty jobs of cleaning, painting, sanding, and smoothing surfaces.
Then after a charity dinner where Sophia Santos tells Gracie that it's very important she talk with her the next morning, Sophia drives home and along the way goes off road and over a cliff while driving too fast for the corner. The problem is that Sophia never ever drove over the speed limit. The Seaside Knitters are not satisfied with the way the police are handling the case and decide to pool their own resources. What they learn surprises them.
People have public and private faces and they learn that they only knew the surface Sophia Santos. As they talk with the people she knew, picture of a complex women with a fierce passion for truth and justice emerges. A woman of strong faith. A woman who gave freely of her time to tutor students. A woman they never knew.
Goldenbaum's writing is clear and evocative. Not only are you reading a well crafted mystery but you are also, from the first page to the last, visiting a seaside New England village, filled with interesting characters, charming shops -- scenes so well defined you can almost smell the ocean and taste the food.
The mystery itself is multilayered with plenty of red herrings to keep a reader on their toes. But the author is fair. All the clues are there. It just a matter of putting them all together before the book's amateur sleuths.
This is the third book of the series but you could read it as your first book since there is enough backstory throughout to bring you up to speed. However, see how these women bonded together to knit and solve crimes, you may want to start with the first book, Death by Cashmere.