Monday, July 29, 2013

Review and Giveaway: Dyeing Wishes

Dyeing Wishes (Haunted Yarn Shop Mystery - Book 2) by Molly MacRae

Publication Date: July 2, 2013
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Obsidian Mystery
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Pages: 352
ISBN-10: 0451239563
ISBN-13: 978-0451239563

(Received for an honest review from Obsidian Mystery)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, IndieBound

Molly MacRae on the WEB: Website, BlogFacebook, Pinterest, Goodreads

Books in the series:

Last Wool and Testament (2012), Dyeing Wishes (2013)

Coverart: Click the image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.

Excerpt from Dyeing Wishes, courtesy of Amazon's Look Inside feature.


Kath Rutledge’s grandmother left her a charming fiber and fabric shop, a close-knit group of needlework lovers, and a television-addicted ghost in the attic. She may also have inherited the special skills required to untangle a murder.

Always up for trying something new, Kath and her friends from the fiber and needlework group TGIF—Thank Goodness it’s Fiber—are visiting Cloud Hollow Farm for the day to learn the fine art of dyeing.  With spring in the air, the friends head out to greet the sheep.  But the sheep are more interested in something else—two bodies spread under a tall tree.  And one of those bodies is someone they know.

Kath’s friends nudge her to investigate, and no one is more adamant than Geneva, the ghost who loves to play assistant sleuth. But when Kath discovers another murder cut from the same cloth, she’s more determined than ever to hang a roving killer out to dry…


Molly MacRae returns readers to Blue Plum, Tennessee and to "The Weaver's Cat", the yarn shop of Kath Rutledge. Readers heartily agreed that the first book in the Haunted Yarn Shop mystery series, Last Wool and Testament was a huge success. Now in the second book, Dyeing Wishes, MacRae continues to develop eccentric town denizens and Kath's resident ghost. This is a light paranormal cozy that will draw readers in with it's small town charm and hidden secrets. 

I definitely enjoyed the first book in this series and was excited when Dyeing Wishes came out. I will admit that I have a few mixed feelings about this book, but for the most part really enjoyed it. There is a lot to like about it, including some memorable characters and a wonderful location and shop. It has a lot of charm and will probably make readers somewhat nostalgic.

Kath Rutlege inherited the yarn and fabric shop belonging to her grandmother. She moved to the small town of Blue Plum in search of a fresh start and a community to take her in. She found exactly what she was looking for with The Weaver's Cat. The yarn shop reminds me of a just a local place where crafters come to find new inspiration and to spend time together. I certainly wish we had something like that here. I love everything about the shop from the name to the in house ghost, Geneva. But it just wouldn't be the same without Kath.

Kath is an interesting character. She has a quirky sense of humor that stands out in the book. She brings everything together and is definitely a leader. She is also inquisitive and very observant. Much needed qualities for an amateur sleuth. I liked her interactions with Geneva as well as with her friends. She is open minded but still shows some old school ideals and traditions. I think MacRae has done an excellent job bringing out Kath's inner gumshoe. She is a character that I think readers will gravitate to because of her honesty and simplicity. Good characters don't always need to be complicated.

Geneva is probably one of the best parts of this series. As a ghost, she is somewhat high-maintenance. She loves television and has to stick her nose into whatever is going on at The Weaver's Cat. I thought she and Kath made a good team. Geneva certainly has a winning personality and I think she is a pivotal part of the series. Finding out more about her life when she was alive was interesting and I hope there is more of the same in books to come from MacRae. 

This is where things get a little confusing for me. There are tons of other characters in this book. I realize that the author is still in set up mode. But usually that ends with the first book in the series and the second book is a little more focused. But that's not the case with this one. It just seems like there is too much going on. Not only do you have a plethora of characters you also have too much of a good thing with the paranormal in this case. Not only is there a resident ghost, which is an integral part of the story, but Kath also is showing some paranormal abilities with being able to feel emotions associated with fabrics and that sort of thing. There were just too many elements for me. I loved the story itself, but I think it needed to be more centered. I have hope that it will become more settled as the series continues. 

The mystery itself was interesting. I loved the idea of the ladies from the TGIF posse going to the sheep farm for a dyeing demo. I have actually had some experience with this sort of thing. I have some friends who raise sheep and harvest the wool for dyeing and selling. I was really interested in that aspect of this story. It was easy to tell that the author actually does love yarn and fabrics and that sort of thing. It really through in the writing of this one. 

There were plenty of suspects and motives and the murders occurring at the sheep farm was a twist that made it different from most cozies. There was a lot of potential with the theme and the mystery and I think MacRae really ran with it and created a story that was believable yet not realistic enough to be scary. There is just a lighter feel to the cozy genre and I think MacRae embraces that and uses it to her advantage. 

For the most part I really liked this one and the lack of focus did not make this one a dud. It's just something that I think the author will probably work on and solve as she goes along with the series. At least I hope so!

Dyeing Wishes is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

About the Author:

Molly MacRae was director of the history museum in Jonesborough, Tennessee's oldest town, and later managed an independent bookstore in Johnson City. Her short stories have appeared inAlfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine for more than twenty years, and she has won the Sherwood Anderson Award for Short Fiction.

Giveaway Details:

The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of Dyeing Wishes by Molly MacRae.

~ You must be an email subscriber to participate.
~ US Addresses only.
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST, August 12th.

1. Please leave a comment describing your adventures with knitting or using yarn.
2. Please fill out the FORM.


Linda Kish said...

As always, thanks for your good review. I always feel like I know what's up with a book after reading your reviews.

Angela - Bookaunt said...

I have tried my hand at crocheting but am not coordinated enough to do it. My mom used to crochet all the time, I have a blanket my grandma knitted for me and my daughter knows how to crochet. I am the one left out in the cold. Thank you for the chance to win

Rita Wray said...

I did knit something years ago. I knitted a bunch of squares and then sewed them together. My son used it as a throw blanket for years.


traveler said...

When I was very young I used to help my mother with her creations. I had at the time a unique device that allowed me to knit easily since it was created for small hands. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Mary V said...

This looks like a series I'd really enjoy. Love having your reviews to help me pick which new series to try!

Sue Farrell said...

My mother tried and tried to teach me to knit or crochet---but I'm just hopeless at both. I do enjoy reading a good mystery though!

Linda said...

My grandma tried teaching me to knit several times as I was growing up-- usually at Christmas time when we were snowed in at her Oklahoma farm. I loved the bright colors of the Christmas yarn but didn't have the knack for knitting. Thanks for the review & the chance to win a copy of Dyeing Wishes. I've read Molly's first - Last Wool and Testament & enjoyed the mystery!

Anonymous said...

I can crochet but never got the knack to knit.

bn100 said...

don't do either

Brooke Showalter said...

I have never tried knitting. I can crochet a chain with yarn but that's about it! I've always wished I could do more.

I absolutely loved the first book in the series and would really love to win this one!

My Recent Favorite Books said...

I tried to learn how to knit when I was younger, but didnt really get too far with knitting.
I enjoyed crocheting more! and I have several crocheted blankets that my Grandmother made, I love them! =)