Purl Up and Die (Knitting Mystery)
by Maggie Sefton
Cover Artist: Chris O'Leary
Review by Gayle Surrette
Berkley Mass Market Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780425258453
Date: 07 June 2016 List Price $7.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK
[Editor's Note: This review originally appeared in our June 2015 issue.]
Kelly Flynn and her friends, fellow knitters, assorted spouses, significant others, and boyfriends have been extremely busy lately picking up the threads of their own lives and volunteering in the various projects to help their community heal after the canyon fires of the previous book. Things might even seem to be back to normal. Until the son of one of the Lambspun instructors is accused of sexual assault by a patient, and the accuser is later found murdered.
Barb Macenroe is devastated by the accusation that her son, Tommy, assaulted a patient at the medical clinic. The nurse had stepped out to answer the phone -- it was the night shift -- so it's Tommy's word against his accuser. No matter what happens, Tommy's career as a new doctor is going to sour. Then when the girl is found dead in her apartment, Tommy becomes the prime suspect.
Kelly can't help but get involved. She asks questions and tries to figure out just what happens when sexual assault cases are reported. More importantly, she asks about what happens to the accused and the accuser. There's a lot of information scattered throughout the story that may be helpful for those who would want to know about this topic. But the story is told from Kelly's point of view and even she has trouble keeping a neutral attitude as she seeks answers.
For fans of the series, you'll enjoy spending some time with Kelly and her friends. If you are new to the series, you may feel that the story drags in parts as there's a lot of scenes that fill in what the major, and some minor characters, have been doing during the time between the last story and this one. But for fans, this is the visiting friends atmosphere that makes series books enjoyable for many readers.
The clues are there, and astute readers may put them together before Kelly. The author does play fair and doesn't hide information from the reader. I've been enjoying this series and look forward to each new book. Each one is usually focused on a topic that many people don't talk about, but is in the news. Sefton makes these problems real because she shows just how these issues effect people using the characters you have met in this series -- familiar characters that you've met in the pages of previous stories. This is a tactic that makes big issues real and get people more interested and involved than they might otherwise be when they think it's only something that can happen to others that they don't know.
Don't worry, these aren't preachy the stories, just fellow people with real problems and the story shows the ramification of their actions and decisions. Try at least one to see if you enjoy the people between the pages.