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Thursday, May 15, 2014

Review - Murder in Merino

Sally Goldenbaum has been so kind us here with an interview (click here), first guest blog (click here), and second guest blog (click here).  I have reviewed several prior books in the series, including the third book, The Moon Spinners (click here); fourth, Holiday Yarn (click here); the fifth, The Wedding Shawl (click here); and the sixth, A Fatal Fleece (click here).  Now the eighth book is out and here is the review.

Author: Sally Goldenbaum

Copyright: May 2014 (NAL) 320 pgs

Series: 8th in Seaside Knitters Mystery series

Sensuality: n/a

Mystery Sub-genre: Cozy

Main Characters: Nell Endicott, her niece Izzy Chamber, friends Birdie Favazza, and Cassandra Halloran

Setting: Modern day Sea Harbor, Massachusetts

Obtained Through: publisher for honest review

It is fall in Sea Harbor, the quiet time between summer vacationers and the autumn leaf peepers.  But when all others have left, there is a mysterious woman who is still in town and has a determination to buy a very specific house...Izzy's old cottage, although she’s never set foot inside.  Then the woman is found standing over the body of the popular bartender in the cottage's back yard.  Additionally, Cass is going through a lot personally that has her friends concerned for her.  Nell and Ben's fortieth anniversary is fast approaching and preparations are gearing up as well.

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, recently had her first child and owns the knit shop.
Besides the Seaside Knitters, there is the mysterious Julia Ainsley who kept me guessing--well done on this character.

As usual, the harbor town is rich in textures, smells, and community interests.  But, this story brings out more of the history as past events impact the present. 

This cozy utilizes an event that could easily occur and builds upon it for a realistic plot.  The pacing is a stroll, as this group of friends trudge through the layers of time and people.  This series is more about the characters and what they discover over time talking with neighbors and friends to uncover the truth.  The book takes place in three or four weeks time.  There wasn't much of an urgency to the pacing, which is acceptable in a cozy but some might desire more drama.

This is indeed a cozy, for series fans feel like returning home as they read.  The community of Sea Harbor and the characters are a large part of the flavor and appeal as the best and most popular cozy series exemplify. 

Rating: Excellent - Loved it! Buy it now and put this author on your watch list

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