Only Skein Deep (Knitting Mystery)
by Maggie Sefton
Cover Artist: Chris O'Leary
Review by Gayle Surrette
Berkley Hardcover / eBook ISBN/ITEM#: 9780425282526
Date: 06 June 2017 List Price $26.00 Amazon US / Amazon UK
Kelly Flynn is in the ninth month of her pregnancy with no sign that the baby is ready to leave its current home. Kelly doesn't move as quickly or as balanced as she did but she still spends time at her favorite knitting store, Lambspun, either knitting at the table with friends or new acquaintances or sitting in the café working on the accounts of her clients.
Kelly's significant other, Steve, is as excited about the baby as Kelly. In fact, all her friends are doing as much as they can to aid, support, and keep a watchful eye on her. Part of their assistance is seeing to it that Kelly eats good food, watches her calories, exercises, and most importantly always has someone nearby who can get her to the hospital when the time comes. Oh, there's also the knitting of cute baby items. After all most of Kelly’s friends are knitters.
In was in Lambspun that Kelly learned of a death on the golf course near her cottage and across from Lambspun. It was murder and the victim was the young wife of the president of a local sports equipment company. Kelly also learned from a woman who was sharing the knitting table that the husband of the victim had divorced his first wife to marry this young woman. It was a nasty divorce that caused friends to pick sides.
Kelly has a mind that works problems, looking for the details that don't fit. So as she learns more about the case, she begins to ask questions. Because she's more sedentary than usual, all she can do is work with the facts as she knows them and then ask her questions. Luckily, she has a friend with a friend in the police department who is willing to pass on information, questions, and replies.
In Only Skein Deep, the reader truly does know everything Kelly knows. This time Kelly has to have the information come to her as she can't go out to question others. In some ways this makes Kelly's crime solving style similar to Nero Wolf, who gathered information without leaving his home to solve the crimes.
There are some surprising turns to the case that were unexpected but, once the ending is reached, readers will find out that the clues were there all along. Some readers may figure out who committed the murder, but I'd suspect most will have pegged the wrong person and be surprised.
Once again, I enjoyed a visit with a cast of characters that I find to be a wonderful group to visit and catch up on their evolving lives. There's a really nice surprise for Kelly and Steve outside of the mystery but adding to the joy of all their friends.
The writing is perhaps not as tight as some people might like, but it does set the scene, develop the characters, and give the story a solid feel of reality. If it has any drawbacks it might be that there are just so many really nice, kind, helpful people in this community. On the other hand, that might be just why so many of us enjoy the stories.