Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Review and Giveaway: Yarn to Go

Yarn to Go (Yarn Retreat - Book 1) by Betty Hechtman

Publication Date: July 2, 2013
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Berkley Prime Crime
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Pages: 304
ISBN-10: 0425252213
ISBN-13: 978-0425252215

(Received for an honest review from Berkley Prime Crime)

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

Betty Hechtman on the WEB: Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads

Excerpt from Yarn to Go, courtesy of the authors website.


Dessert chef Casey Feldstein doesn’t know a knitting needle from a crochet hook. But after her aunt dies unexpectedly, leaving Casey to run her yarn retreat business, the sweets baker finds herself rising to the occasion—and trying to unravel a murder mystery…

When Casey finds out that her late aunt’s business, Yarn2Go, has one more yarn retreat scheduled, she decides to go ahead and host the event, despite her complete lack of experience as a knitter. At least the retreat is on the beautiful Monterey Peninsula.

But the idyllic setting is soured when a retreat regular is found murdered in her hotel room. Feeling a sense of responsibility, Casey begins to weave the clues together and detects a pattern which may shed light on her aunt’s suspicious death. Despite the danger, the last thing Casey plans to do is retreat. She’ll catch this killer…or dye trying.


Betty Hechtman is well known for her crochet mystery series, but she moves in a new direction with the first book in a new series, Yarn to Go, featuring knitting. Hechtman combines knitting with the culinary arts in this book that will appeal to cozy mystery fans, knitting enthusiasts and foodies. Hechtman is able to connect with her readers by developing a new heroine that is very relatable. Casey Feldstein is one of those "every man" kind of characters that fans will flock to. The California seaside is the backdrop to this captivating cozy that will have readers heading for the yarn store in droves.

I am not a knitter! Yes, it's true, I am a crafter but not when it comes to knitting or crocheting which are two subjects that are near and dear to author Betty Hechtman. I have read her Crochet series and loved it very much, so I was excited about this new series coming out. I had heard of all different kinds of retreats from women's retreats to church retreats etc. But a yarn retreat was a new one for me. I liked the concept and as the story began to unfold I was seeing all kinds of possibilities. I think Hechtman has a good idea here, that readers will enjoy.

The beginning of the book was a bit slow for me. I think what happened was basically what sometimes bogs down the first book in a series. The author has so much information to impart this book, that mystery almost gets lost in the details. She has to set up the main character, her relationship to the town or the business, she has to bring in the characters and still set up the scene for the whole series. It's a lot for first book and sometimes it weighs on the story a bit. 

Casey was a bit unsure of herself in the first part of the book. She was letting others make decisions for her and she wasn't very confident in her abilities, primarily because she was hosting a knitting retreat and she had no idea how to knit. I understand the sentiment, but she seemed a little down on herself, some of the other characters did as well, because they had a lot of baggage in their personal lives. When they began to let that go and just enjoy themselves at the retreat the book starting flowing a little better.

I liked the idea that Casey was a dessert chef. That added a second dimension to the book and brought in a broader audience. There was the risk that, that aspect of her character would overtake the knitting concept of the story, but Hechtman balanced the two wonderfully and was able to appeal to a much larger base. I liked the idea that Casey is trying to find her "place" in the world, so to speak. She has a lot on her plate, but she is figuring it all out.

The mystery aspect of the story was quite good, once you got past the issues with the set up. Once the mystery got going it moved a good even clip. The motives were plausible and the suspects were believable. I like when I think it's a mystery that could have actually happened. The whole creepy hotel on the island with the fog rolling in, put me in the mind set of those old mystery movies with dead bodies showing up everywhere. It had a cool vibe that I liked. The ending was satisfying and incorporated a lot of potential for future books. 

I actually think the next book in the series will be better. But I did enjoy this one and can see a lot of potential in where the series is going. I liked the whole idea of the yarn retreat and I think Casey will be a good heroine, now that she is being to have confidence in herself. I look forward to the next one.

Yarn to Go is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

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

About the Author:

Betty Hechtman has a degree in fine arts and since college has studied everything from tap dancing to magic. When she isn’t writing, reading, or crocheting, she’s probably at the gym. She lives in Southern California with her family.

Giveaway Details:

The publisher is sponsoring a one copy giveaway of Yarn to Go by Betty Hechtman.

~ You must be an email subscriber to participate.
~ US addresses only
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST, July 31st.

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2. Please fill out the FORM.


traveler said...

Your review was interesting and gave me insight into the story. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Linda said...

Thank you for the giveaway chance. I love Betty Hechtman series - Crochet mysteries. I know I'll love this one even though I am crafty. :)

Linda Kish said...

I guess all first books in series are a bit slower but you have to start somewhere.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Angela - Bookaunt said...

Thank you for the chance to win this book. I am looking forward to the new series.

Charlotte said...

Love the book cover.

Rita Wray said...

Thank you for the excellent review. I'm looking forward to reading the series.


Toni N said...

Great review! I enjoy knitting and finding new cozy mysteries. This sounds like a good new series.

Toni N

Emma said...

Thank you for the chance to win this book.Great review.

My Recent Favorite Books said...

This sounds like a great series!
I really enjoy cozies with crafts and baking in the story line!

NoraA said...

Hi Betty, I read your crochet series and enjoy it very much. I got Yarn to Go from the library but I'm much rather own a copy for my personal library. I hope I'm the lucky winner.

holdenj said...

Congrats to Betty on the debut of her new series! I like to begin at the beginning, so growing with Casey will be fun. Thanks for the chance to win!

lag123 said...

I am a knitter and would love to read this.

lag110 at mchsi dot com

ann said...

I love to read cozy mysteries and I am going to pass this one on to my relative who is a avid knitter, Thanks for the chance to win
amhengst at verizon dot net

bn100 said...

Thanks for the honest review

Mary V said...

I'm a big fan of the crochet series and am looking forward to this one even though I'm not a knitter!

Anonymous said...

I love this author's former series and hope I win.

Carol M said...

I'd love to start reading this series! Thank you for the giveaway!

Sue Farrell said...

I look forward to starting this new series even though I'm not a knitter.

Michelle F. said...

I have one of her books. I don't crochet. I tried but didn't get too far, so I just read crochet and other crafty mysteries.

Anonymous said...

I have not read many of these types of books and would love to read this one.

Renee said...

As a knitter, this sparked my interest and can't wait to read it.