I have adored every single Knitting Mystery so far, but right from the start I sensed that this one wouldn't perhaps be quite so `cosy' as Sefton's others.
A summary: Kelly and her Lambspun Knitting Shop `family' are back, but horrified when party girl Jennifer is brutally attacked one night after leaving a bar. The close-knit gang are determined to be there for her and a retreat to the mountains for a knitting weekend could be just what she needs... only they're in for a shock: the owner of their retreat is Jennifer's attacker! When he's found murdered, that leaves Jen as the prime suspect. Kelly and her friends are determined to prove Jennifer's innocence, but will they succeed?
Hmm, where should I begin with this review?!
Reasons why I didn't enjoy this one so much: for a start, a pretty gritty subject is unexpectedly introduced- fair enough- it adds a new dimension to the characters and I feel it was brave to write about it in *this* genre of books; only then that classic author trick of `three months later...' happened. Aargh! I *hate* that. I understand that cosy mysteries are fairly short etc, but it's almost as if the author didn't want to gloss over the repercussions of that said gritty subject in too much detail. Why on earth introduce such a heavy subject if it was going to be basically skipped over? This was the author's chance to really offer support to people who might have experienced something similar, only she didn't really run with it. From that point onwards, I felt this book fell a bit flat, which I really don't like admitting as this has been one of my favourite cosy series so far. After the last two books with their festive tones and wonderfully detailed relationships, it's like Sefton has shifted a complete 360 degrees with this one.
Also, given that Jennifer was supposedly the `prime suspect' in this story, that's never actually focused on too much. Kelly and her sleuthing immediately hone in on another suspect and Jennifer is never really investigated as one would expect, which left me a little bit baffled. As far as `believability' goes, this book transcends the realm of that, unfortunately. There are lots of other titbits thrown in about Steve's finances and struggling business too, which I'm guessing are setting up the premise for the next book, but they too felt a bit random. Sigh.
What I *did* like however: Mimi and Burt, Jayleen and Curtis and the knitting patterns and recipes. I've finally decided to take the plunge myself and learn to knit, so should I actually be able to follow a pattern at some point in the near future, some of the tips in the back of these books will come in handy!
I'm really hoping the next book in the series will be a lot better than this one, though I'm waiting for it in paperback, just in case. If you're a knitting mystery fan then I would say to read this just to keep up to date with what is going on, but if you haven't tried any yet- then you really need to start at the beginning, otherwise you'll be really confused by what on earth is happening. I was- and I've read the rest!