A FATAL FLEECE:
A Seaside Knitters Mystery


By Sally Goldenbaum

Obsidian, May 1, 2012 ($24.95)

ISBN-13: 978-0-451-23675-3

Reviewed by Shirley Wetzel

Sea Harbor, Massachusetts. Tight-knit community Seaside Knitters is an even more tightly-knit group of friends who share their love for the fabric arts and for each other. They range in age from the newly-married Isabel (THE WEDDING SHAWL) to the matriarch, Birdie. Their group, and the whole town, gets a fresh infusion of energy and youthful enthusiasm with the arrival of nine-year-old Gabby, a surprise relative of one of them.

One of Gabby's most ardent admirers is Old Man Finnegan. The two of them are seen walking around the town, sharing ice cream, and fishing off his rickety pier. Finn, a fixture in the town for decades, has earned some enemies by his refusal to clean up his once-pristine home and land. There are those who cut him some slack, knowing how devastated he is at the loss of his beloved wife, but others are outraged. Are they mad enough to kill? Is it greed or rage that led someone to take a life in the peaceful village?

Cass Halloran's family has been in the lobster business for decades, but times are hard and she and her brother Pete are having trouble keeping the company afloat since the death of their father. She was one of Finn's closest friends. Was that just a ruse to get at his money? None of her sister knitters believe that for a minute, but the police see it otherwise. They enlist their significant others and set out to find out who really killed Old Man Flynn.

There are several suitable suspects who come under the group's scrutiny. The problem is, most of them are friends and neighbors, people they don't want to believe capable of murder. They hope the killer will turn out to be the wandering tramp seen on Finn's property, but they fear he's not the one. They press on, vowing to uncover the truth no matter what it is.

This is the fifth Seaside Knitters mystery, and it is another fine entry in an enjoyable series. The mystery is finely crafted, the scenery is lovely, the small seaside town beautifully described. The best part of this series, though, is the close friendship of the Seaside Knitters. Any woman would love to belong to such a supportive, caring group. The delicious food they frequently partake of and the creative knitting projects are an added bonus. There is even a pattern for Gabby's purple cardigan. I look forward to following the future adventures of this wonderful group.

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