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Cast On, Kill Off
Knitting Mystery #10
Maggie Sefton

Berkley Prime Crime
June 2012/ ISBN 978-0-425-24759-4

Reviewed by Laura Hinds

Kelly Flynn lives in Fort Connor, Colorado, where she works independently as an accountant for some wealthy business men. She has an active social life with many friends, and is in the midst of rekindling a romance with a man she truly loves. Kelly enjoys knitting and is working hard to finish a shawl to wear as a bridesmaid at fellow knitter and friend, Megan's, upcoming nuptials.

When professional seamstress, Zoe Yeager, is shot in the head, it appears to be an open and shut case against the abusive husband she recently left. Yet with no physical evidence, the police keep questioning those involved in Zoe's life, including rival seamstress Leann O'Hara. Leann had been publicly angry with Zoe in front of a sewing class on the night she died. Kelly had a great deal of success when she wore the hat of amateur sleuth and solved some previous murders. Anyone who knows her well knows she won't let this killing go unsolved, or let the wrong person be charged.

I've read the entire knitting mystery series and enjoyed it. Maggie Sefton is an excellent story teller, and her characters are likeable and true to life. Unfortunately, I found this book disappointing. I found that Sefton relied too much on repetition of unimportant story points. The colors and feel of the yarn are mentioned nearly every time Kelly enters Lambspun, the yarn shop. There was too much focus on Kelly's friends pushing her to resume a sex life with ex-boyfriend Steve, whom Kelly is dating again. All of her friends commented frequently about this.

Kelly also apparently has the bad habit of talking on her cell phone while she is driving. This happens over and over in the book, and since it is a pet peeve of mine in real life, I let it bother me a lot. How hard would it have been to have Kelly pull over to talk? Or for her phone to ring at times other than when she was driving and felt she had to answer? While the murder mystery itself was fairly good, I knew who the real killer was before Zoe was even murdered. It was like a big red flag was flown rather than the typical red herrings employed in the course of a mystery.

Overall I remain a fan of Maggie Sefton, and will give her new mystery Deadly Politics a try. If you enjoy the knitting mysteries, please don't let my thoughts hinder you from reading it. It is a book that is integral to the series and leaves room for future books that I hope will be back on track as tight, well-knitted mysteries.

Reviews of other titles in this series

Knit One, Kill Two #1
Needled To Death #2
Deadly Yarn #3
Killer Stitch #4
Dyer Consequences #5
Fleece Navidad #6
Unraveled #9
Cast On, Kill Off #10
Only Skein Deep #15
Dyeing Up Loose Ends #16


Reviewer Laura Hinds is the author of Are You Gonna Eat That Banana?
Reviewed 2012