ON SKEIN OF DEATH
SERIES: A Riverbank Knitting Mystery #1
GENRE: Cozy Mystery
RELEASE DATE: June 1, 2021
For Libby Beckett, opening her charming yarn shop, and introducing customers to the joys of knitting and crochet, is the work she was meant to do. Until the yarn she loves is used for murder….
Libby has come home to Collinstown, Maryland to live her dream and open her own yarn shop, aptly named Y.A.R.N., along the Chester River. To Libby, Y.A.R.N. stands for “You’re Absolutely Ready Now.” But the acronym changes whenever inspiration strikes, and customers add to the list of suggestions that fill the blackboard wall in a shop stuffed with color, fiber, and comfort.
Libby is thrilled when she lands famous Norwegian knitting celebrity Perle Langager for a series of events at Y.A.R.N. Libby’s English bulldog, Hank, has been modeling one of Perle’s doggie sweaters, and customers just can’t wait to see Perle in action. The mayor of Collinstown even decrees a Collinstown Yarn Day to celebrate. But once Perle arrives in town, she seems distracted and on edge. And when she’s found strangled with a skein of red yarn, Libby knows she has to solve a knotty mystery before her new life unravels.
I’m already a huge fan of this author’s contemporary romances, particularly her Wander Canyon series with Love Inspired. So when I heard that she was going to release a cozy mystery series too, I got super excited! I knew it would be good, and I was right – you instantly feel ‘at home’ in the story. There’s even a dash of romance to appease my swoon-loving heart, and I’ll definitely be keeping my eye on those developments as the series progresses.
Pleiter excels at creating characters you care about, and On Skein of Death is no exception. Libby is very likable, and her enthusiasm for knitting is infectious. You can tell the author is a true knitter as well, just by the little things here and there that add to the realism of Libby’s character. Libby’s quirky mom Rhonda and ‘the Gals’ bring humor & heart to the story, and I was very much drawn to Gavin (the town’s mayor & Libby’s high school sweetheart) & his young teenage daughter Jillian. There is certainly still some deep affection between Gavin and Libby, and the not-always-subtle matchmaking attempts by Jillian and Rhonda (and their unlikely friendship) made me grin. And of course I can’t overlook Hank the loyal dog, a good sport to model doggie sweaters & an all-around good friend when needed.
I’m not a knitter (can’t to save my life) but I loved Libby’s Y.A.R.N. nonetheless – because I do enjoy crocheting on occasion & I love visiting a yarn store where I can drool over all the pretty colors and imagine the beautiful things I could make were I better at handcrafting haha. My heart went out to Libby when her much anticipated celebrity knitting event unraveled around her, and I felt her anxiety over how it would all turn out for her store and the town. While the murderer turned out to be the person I initially suspected, I was not at all certain that I would be right in the end. The author stitched together lots of layers that made plausible suspects out of several characters, and right up to the very end I was still second guessing my initial opinion.
Bottom Line: On Skein of Death by Allie Pleiter grabbed my attention right away and kept me invested in the story until the very end. Knitters and yarn enthusiasts will love Libby and her yarn shop, as well as how the author’s expert knowledge and passion for the art shine through the character interactions and Libby’s engaging first person narrative. Some of the information gets a little repetitive at times but not enough to be that distracting. A well-plotted mystery, clever red herrings, and intriguing layers give the book its focus, and the lovely hint of romance potential will appeal to spark-loving readers like me without alienating mystery purists. I can’t wait for the next book!
(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received via the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)
My Rating: 4.5 stars / loved it!
Reviewer’s Note: Readers may want to be aware that there are a couple of very mild curses scattered throughout this novel.
An avid knitter, coffee junkie, and firm believer that “pie makes everything better,” Allie Pleiter writes both fiction and nonfiction, working on as many as four books at a time. The bestselling author of more than fifty books, Allie has enjoyed a twenty-year career, with over 1.5 million books sold. In addition to writing, Allie maintains an active writing productivity coaching practice and speaks regularly on the creative process, publishing, and her very favorite topic—the Chunky Method of time management for writers.
What about you? What makes you want to read On Skein of Death by Allie Pleiter?