Yarn Over Murder (A Knitting Mystery)
by Maggie Sefton
Cover Artist: Chris O'Leary
Review by Gayle Surrette
Berkley Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9780425258422
Date: 03 June 2014 List Price $25.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK
Yarn Over Murder takes place very shortly after the events of Close Knit Killer, but focuses on Kelly and her friends as they try to deal with, cope with, and help out as best they can, those dealing with the wild fires that have broken out near Fort Collins, Colorado. It's personal to all of them when they need to help Jayleen save her alpaca herd, along with the few that belong to Kelly before they close the road leading to the ranch. Then they all try doing what they can to help those who have been displaced as people are ordered to evacuate the area in danger of spreading fires.
Throughout, it feels like the House of Lambspun is a safe haven from the turmoil and fear that everyone is living with as they listen to the reports of the fire. Each in their own way, with the fear that the roaring fires, so pronounced in the evening sky, seem to embody all that is dangerous and uncontrollable. Jayleen has concrete fears -- she may have saved her animals but might yet loose her home and all the buildings on her land.
When loading up Jayleen's animals, Kelly and her friends witnessed a confrontation between the boyfriend of Jayleen's friend, Andrea Holt, and a worker at House of Lambspun, Connie. They had never seen Connie so riled up and were put off by her behavior. When they learn that Andrea's boyfriend is Connie's husband, they're even more surprised. When Andrea later turns up dead, suspicion falls on Connie.
Kelly can't help thinking about the death and those who might be tangentially involved. She isn't sure that Connie is innocent but believes that the case deserves a closer look than it's getting with the fires raging and taking up valuable police investigative time and energy.
There's enough circumstantial evidence and interpersonal problems to cloud the issue and make it very interesting for the reader as Kelly and her friends begin to try to unravel the various threads of fact from supposition and follow them to a conclusion.
These stories just keep getting better as the characters develop and change over the series. Each mystery seems to evolve naturally from what is happening, or follow from previous interactions. I look forward to the next in this series with hope that the trend continues.