CLOSE KNIT KILLER:
A Knitting Mystery
By Maggie Sefton
Berkley Prime Crime; June, 2013 ($25.95)
Reviewed by Shirley Wetzel
Twelve years ago, con artist Jared Rizzoli lured several people in Fort Connor, Colorado into investing in his Ponzi scheme. When it collapsed, they were all hurt in some way, many losing everything they had. He served ten years in prison, but his victims think that's not sufficient punishment for all the damage he caused.
Kelly Flynn, an accountant and sometime-sleuth, was not in Fort Connor when that happened, but her friends at the House of Lambspun, the yarn shop located next to her cottage, fill her in. Some of the people she has come to know and like were victims, and their tragic stories are painful to hear. They had hoped their nightmare was over, but they were wrong.
Rizzoli landed on his feet after serving his time, thanks in part to marrying a wealthy woman. He is now going around the country giving free investment seminars. For some reason he thinks it's a good idea to return to Fort Connor to offer the seminars for free, a move that those he'd wronged are very, very upset about. To no one's surprise, he is murdered, his body found in front of Lambspun.
There are plenty of suspects, but two of them had been seen arguing with the man, and evidence against them is strong. Kelly is dismayed, because she likes and respects both suspects. The police are doing an okay job with the investigation, but Kelly believes they could benefit from her sleuthing skills. She plunges in, with a little help from her friends, taking measures the authorities could not, or would not, approve of.
It is not too difficult to figure out who the killer is. The murder is almost overshadowed by the various life changes, trials and tribulations, and successes of the main characters. The story is still a good one, because the characters are likable, and their lives are interesting. One big change is that two of Kelly's friends become temporary guardians of a delightful young girl who wins everyone's hearts.
The story ends with a cliff-hanger. Just as is happening in real life in Colorado, wildfires break out in the area, and Kelly and her friends rush into action to save lives and property. The next book will pick up where the action stops. The reader will care about these folks, and enjoy spending some time with them in their world, full of natural beauty, a strong sense of community, and lots of soft, gorgeous yarn.
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