Monday, May 9, 2011

Review & Giveaway: The Wedding Shawl

The Wedding Shawl (Seaside Knitters Mystery series - Book 5) by Sally Goldrenbaum

Publication Date: May 2011
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Pages: Hardcover, 320pp
ISBN-13:
978045123396
ISBN: 0451233190

(Received for review from Berkley/Obsidian)

Purchase: Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, IndieBound

Sally Goldenbaum on the WEB: website, blog, facebook, twitter

Interview with Sally Goldenbaum on Good Morning Gloucester about the Seaside Knitters Mystery series. It's mostly about the series but centers on the 4th book in the series. I thought you might be interested in it.



Synopsis (Book Jacket):

Summertime with it's salty breezes and the sun's golden threads, brings inspiration to the Seaside Knitters of Sea Harbor, Massachusetts. But when an old mystery washes ashore, they must cast their needles aside and bring some heat back to a cold case...

Izzy Chambers's heart is full but her stomach is in knots. She's about to marry Sam Perry, the love of her life, but much remains to be done before the big day arrives. The Seaside Knitters have pitched in to help, and as a surprise, they're knitting Izzy a beautiful wedding shawl - an exquisite lace memento born of friendship.

As Izzy makes lists, her aunt Nell focuses on her backyard, where the wedding will be held. She has hired a gardener, Claire, and soon the sloping yard is bursting with blooms. It's a necessary distraction for Claire, who has just returned to Cape Ann after a long absence. Fifteen years ago her teenage daughter drowned in a Cape Ann quarry, and though the death was suspicious, the crime was never solved.

The wedding plans get complicated when Tiffany, the hairstylist for the wedding party, starts missing appointments. But when she disappears - and is later found dead - things begin to unravel. Rumors start to circulate about Tiffany's past and her connection to the unsolved murder. Did Claire return to exact revenge? Or are there more secrets simmering in the summer heat?

All the Seaside Knitters really know is that they must rally to find some answers so Izzy can don her lovely shawl and the whispers about town can be replaced by wedding bells.

Thoughts:

Author Sally Goldenbaum takes readers back to Cape Ann in her latest addition to the Seaside Knitters Mystery series,
The Wedding Shawl. With characters as compelling and complex as the mystery itself, this book will be a hit with mystery readers of all kinds. Set against the backdrop of the sea and the beauty of Cape Ann, this novel is packed with the traditions and idiosyncrasies of a small town with lots of secrets. Readers will love the New England feel of the book and the Goldenbaum excels at introducing twists and turns that will have them reading long into the night!

Izzy Chambers owner of the Seaside Knitting Studio is getting married. After leaving a career as a lawyer behind, Izzy found peace and contentment with following her dreams and having her own knitting store on Cape Ann. The love of her life, Sam Perry is ready to spend his life with Izzy and as they begin their new life together the Seaside Knitters are determined to see that it goes off without a hitch. But when an old cold case resurfaces after 15 years, the knitters have more to handle than just the wedding. The beautiful wedding shawl they are creating for Izzy's wedding is as intricate as the twists and turns in the mystery they are trying solve. Is the latest murder in Sea Harbor somehow related to the unsolved crime from the past? Could someone among them be the killer?

This was my first experience with the Seaside Knitters and after reading
The Wedding Shawl, I am excited about going back and reading the first four books in the series. Sally Goldenbaum has created a series that not only gives the reader a great mystery to solve, but also showcases the endearing friendships of women. The four main characters: Izzy, Birdie, Nell and Cass are developed in such a way that the reader feels as if they know them. I loved the contrast in ages between the women, from 30 to 80, and how they interacted with each other. It goes to show that friendships between women transcend the boundaries of age as well as many other things.

I found myself drawn to Nell's character more than the others. Her thought processes and the way she went about putting the clues to the mystery together seemed plausible and authentic. She didn't just stumble across the answer, she thought it trough and came up with ideas that furthered the investigation in a very logical way. I loved the relationship described between Nell and her husband Ben. They are a retired couple who love to entertain and be at the center of this small town of Sea Harbor. Nell is the kind of character that I wish I had as a friend. They say you have be a friend to have a friend and to me Nell really represented that feeling. She went out of her way to be a friend to Claire as well as the other women in the book.

One of my favorite parts of the book was the town itself. I love small towns and books that take place in them and the town on Sea Harbor hit the spot for me. Goldenbaum has gone out of her way to make Sea Harbor come alive. The sights and sounds of a seaside town where artists and musicians are as welcome as lobster fishers really gave the book a New England feel. It's amazing to me that the author actually lives in Kansas, because it is easy to see that she loves the sea and everything it represents from her writing. I loved all the traditions and the lure, the atmosphere Goldenbaum created in this series. I can't wait to read some more!

Another thing that struck me was the fact that even as a non-knitter this book made me want to learn how to knit. LOL! The book has a great section in the back that provides recipes and even the pattern for Izzy's wedding shawl. I certainly don't think I could tackle that one as a beginner but if a novel can compel a reader to want to start a new hobby, I'd stay that is a great accomplishment.

I recommend this book to both mainstream mystery readers and cozy mystery fans. The idea of using an cold case was inventive and really gives the book some added flavor. It may not have the hard edge that some mystery readers prefer, but the cozy sub-genre is really expanding and becoming very popular. Though
The Wedding Shawl is a part of the Seaside Knitters Mystery series it can be read as a stand alone. But, I guarantee once you've read this one you'll want to read the rest.

The Wedding Shawl is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!




Sally Goldenbaum is a sometime philosophy teacher, a knitter, an editor, and the author of more than two dozen novels. Sally became more serious about knitting with the birth of her first grandchild and the creation of the Seaside Knitters mystery series. Her fictional knitting friends are teacher her the intricacies of women's friendship, the mysteries of small-town living, and the very best way to pick up dropped stitches on a lacy knit shawl.


GIVEAWAY DETAILS:

The publisher has graciously offered one copy of The Wedding Shawl to one winner from Debbie's Book Bag!

~ You must be a Google Friend Connect Follower to participate in the giveaway.
~ You must have a
US address to enter.
~ The deadline to enter the giveaway is
Midnight EST May 23rd.

1. Please leave a comment in appreciation of the author on
THIS post.
2. Please fill out the
FORM.

13 comments:

Myra C said...

Great review and the book sounds like a fun read! Thanks for the giveaway.

Molly said...

Awesome post! I love cozy mysteries and this one sounds great.

cyn209 said...

omGOSH!! Sally!! sounds AWESOME!!! can't wait to read it!!!
& thanx for the giveaway!!!
congrats & good luck!!!!

Cynthia
cyn209@juno.com

Theresa N. said...

Sounds like a great group of friends involving a mystery.
Theresa N
wecneo(at)yahoo(dot)com

Mona said...

I really enjoy books set in small towns. Also, I find the dynamics of female friendships fascinating. Duch friendships are enriching yet complicated.

Thanks fot the giveaway. Sounds like a fun mystery.

GFC(Mona

monagarg@yahoo.com

Tore said...

Thanks for the giveaway. I can't wait to read the book. Tore923@aol.com

dollycas aka Lori said...

I LOVED THIS BOOK!!!

Jules@OneBookShy said...

Thank you for the good review. This sounds like a book I would really enjoy.

Jules
onebookshy at yahoo dot com

Madonna said...

I would love to read this book as you did such a good review that now I want to read it for myself.

StephTheBookworm said...

Woo wee, 5 out of 5?! Sounds like a good one to me!

Anita Yancey said...

Great review. Sounds like a wonderful mystery. I love that they call their selfs the Seaside Knitters.

Follow on GFC(Anita Yancey)

ayancey(at)dishmail(dot)net

skkorman said...

This book sounds like a really fun read—I'm looking forward to it!

skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net

rbooth43 said...

Congrats, Sally! Amazing Post!
A google follower!
Rebecca
rbooth43(at)yahoo(dot)com