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Last Wool and Testament
A Haunted Yarn Shop Mystery #1
Molly MacRae

September 2012/ ISBN 978-0-451-23782-8
Cozy / Paranormal / Mystery

Reviewed by Laura Hinds

Kath Rutledge has a career, friends, and a generally contented life in Illinois. When news of her Granny’s death reaches her, Kath (who was in Virginia on business) drives like a mad woman to get to Tennessee, where Granny had lived. Nevertheless, she’s late for her Granny’s burial, thanks to the cop who pulled her over for speeding. A cop she'd cross paths with quite often in the next few days.

With that inauspicious start to her time in Blue Plum, Tennessee, Kath isn’t surprised when things get worse. She is, however, stunned that so many things can go so wrong so fast. It seems Granny’s house has been sold out from under her, and the unpopular man who is the new owner has been murdered. Granny was even suspected of being the killer! Kath knows in her heart this cannot be true. So who did murder Emmett Cobb, and was his son Max also a victim? Could Max have killed his father? Did Max simply take a tumble down the cellar stairs at Granny’s house?

Sentimental, but not valuable, items disappeared from Gran’s house too: a tapestry she was weaving, yarns, notebooks, and even Granny’s cat, Maggie. Kath doesn’t know if the murderer is behind the thefts or not, and she enlists the help of friends from the TGIF (Thank Goodness It’s Fiber) knitting group, who meet regularly at Granny’s shop, the Weaver’s Cat. With their help, and a touch of intuition, and a woeful but eager to help ghost, Kath may be able to put the puzzle pieces together, but she can only hope it happens in time to stop any more killings.

This is a fine start to what will be an excellent new cozy mystery series. Molly MacRae has done an admirable job of introducing a cast of memorable characters and has painted the picture of an interesting small town. There are plenty of twists and turns to keep a reader’s attention, and there are many amusing situations to lighten things up.

Last Wool and Testament provides sleuthing, a touch of magic, a cat or two, and some southern hospitality. There are even a couple of easy recipes and directions for a knitting project after the story. A sneak peek into the second book, coming in 2013 will whet your appetite for more of Kath Rutledge and Blue Plum.

Reviews of other titles in this series

Last Wool and Testament #1
Dyeing Wishes #2
Spinning in Her Grave #3

Reviewed 2012