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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Review - The Wedding Shawl

Where I live we had a cold snap that felt like winter again.  So let's give a drum roll and usher in summer with our review.  This week we go to a wonderful seaside town (already feels like summer) for a murder and a wedding!

Author:  Sally Goldenbaum

Copyright:  May 2011 (NAL) 320 pgs

Series:  5th in Seaside Knitters Mysteries

Sensuality:  mild references

Mystery Sub-genre:  Cozy

Main Character:  Nell Endicott

Setting:  Modern day, Sea Harbor, Massachusetts

Obtained Through:  publisher for an honest review

Let me introduce you to the knitters:
Nell: the motherly spirit of the group.
Birdie: the spirited elder who is hard to keep up with.
Cass: the lobster-woman with a gentle heart - truly a rough diamond.
Izzy: Nell's niece and bride-to-be who owns the knit shop.

The gang is busy with wedding preparations for Izzy (including knitting a delicate lace shawl), but when the scheduled hair stylist for the wedding, Tiffany, is found dead under suspicious circumstances the community is stunned.  The seaside knitters become convinced that there is a connection to what was thought to be an accidental drowning fifteen years ago of Harmony Farrow and this death.  Is it simply a coincidence that the Harmony's mother has returned to Sea Harbor only a few months before the latest death?  Could the town's favorite young man be the murderer - the police sure suspect him since he dated both girls.  Nell leads the charge to clear up past and present deaths so nothing will overshadow Izzy's big day.  But warnings start coming to stop questioning and leave things alone.

This entry in the series continues the excellent tradition established. The plot is interesting and you get swept up with how the current murder is somehow linked with the drowning - and the drowning must have been more than an accident.  The setting is rich and smoothly conveyed, you never notice that you moved to Sea Harbor, but somehow you are transported there.  Being a Rocky Mountains person, I have never adored the seaside except when reading these stories. I can practically smell the salt air. 

The warmth of the characters offsets that this is a murder mystery.  You will find yourself hoping the killer isn't this or that character because you like them all.  Truly a "cozy" in the sense of how comfortable you become with the cast and want to spend more time with them. I have never wanted to learn to knit until picking up this series, that is how it envelopes you.

The pacing keeps you teased and wanting more.  As for the confrontation it is bittersweet more than suspenseful, which lends to the overall believability of the story.  Truly if an average person were to get nosy about a murder, this is how it would look - right? The wrap-up is touching and I found myself missing the gang as soon as I shut the book. 

Don't let the topic of knitting hold you back from this mystery, that only lends to its cozy warmth.  This is hands-down one of the top cozy mystery series on the scene today and this entry is a gem (or is that a purl?) - IMHO.

Now let's go to the Massachusetts beach and watch Sea Turtles

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Mystica said...

Like the cover as well!

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