Friday, September 12, 2014

Review and Giveaway: Murder of a Needled Knitter

Murder of a Needled Knitter (Scumble River - Book 17) by Denise Swanson

Publication Date: 09/02/2014
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Obsidian Mystery
Genre: Cozy Mystery 
Pages: 272
ISBN-10: 0451416511
ISBN-13: 978-0451416513

(Received for an honest review from Obsidian Mystery)

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

Denise Swanson on the WEB: websitetwitter, facebook, goodreads

Books in the series

Scumble River

  1. Murder of a Small-Town Honey
  2. Murder of a Sweet Old Lady
  3. Murder of a Sleeping Beauty
  4. Murder of a Snake in the Grass
  5. Murder of a Barbie and Ken
  6. Murder of a Pink Elephant
  7. Murder of a Smart Cookie
  8. Murder of a Real Bad Boy
  9. Murder of a Botoxed Blonde
10. Murder of a Chocolate-Covered Cherry
11. Murder of a Royal Pain
12. Murder of a Wedding Belle
13. Murder of a Bookstore Babe
14. Murder of a Creped Suzette
15. Murder of the Cat's Meow
16. Murder of a Stacked Librarian
17. Murder of a Needled Knitter

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

Audio Excerpt from, Murder of a Needled Knitter, courtesy of Amazon's Listen feature.


School psychologist Skye Denison has been waiting forever for her happily-ever-after with police chief Wally Boyd. But her bliss threatens to unravel on the very first day of their luxurious honeymoon cruise, when Skye becomes convinced that she has glimpsed her mother on board! Surely even momzilla May wouldn’t have manipulated Wally into booking the same trip that her knitting group is taking…or would she?

May’s possible presence can’t cool Skye and Wally’s ardor on their personal Love Boat, but discovering knitting expert Guinevere Stallings as she lies dying from a stab wound leaves them untangling the clues of yet another murder investigation rather than getting tangled in the sheets. Since Skye found the body, she’s considered a top suspect, but she’s far from the only one. Guinevere’s imperious ways needled nearly everyone, and she left an impressive number of enemies. It’s up to the crafty newlyweds to figure out which of the wronged parties was angry enough to cast Guinevere off…permanently.


Denise Swanson takes to the high seas in her latest Scumble River novel, Murder of a Needled Knitter. This is the 17th book in this long-running series and fans will be delighted with the change of scenery and Skye's happy-ever-after. It's been a long time coming! Finding your new mother-in-law on your honeymoon cruise may not have been Wally's biggest wish, but having help to solve a murder might be. Readers will love the latest addition to this very popular cozy mystery series.

What I liked:

The Scumble River books have been around for awhile and when you have long running series you run the risk of being too predictable or becoming stagnant. One of the things I like about Denise Swanson's writing is that she never seems to run out of ideas. I loved the change of scenery for this one. The cruise ship honeymoon allowed the characters we have come to know and love to get out of their comfort zones a little bit and try something new. There was a lot of diversity in Murder of a Needled Knitter versus other books in the series. This one is easily my favorite so far.

I have kind of had a love/hate relationship with Skye's mother throughout this series. Finding out that her knitting group, just happened to be on Skye and Wally's honeymoon cruise, seemed typical of this wonderful character. I think Swanson knows how to write a meddling mother-in-law with great precision. Skye's mom has had some interesting adventures in Scumble River and I enjoyed seeing her on the cruise. I liked seeing a different side to Wally as well. He actually stood up his new in-laws and it showed a lot of strength that has been missing with his character. Swanson used Skye's mother to give Wally some back bone in this one. Great way to do it.

I have heard of yarn retreats, knitting conventions and that sort of thing but never a knitting cruise. I don't have a background in knitting and wasn't sure if all the knitting details were on point or not, but I have a feeling Swanson did her research. Sometimes the details don't have to be perfect for the story to still make it's point. The mystery itself involved knitting but wasn't really about knitting, if that makes sense. I thought this aspect of the story was entertaining. 

The mystery of the murder of the knitting leader on the ship gives not only Wally and Skye a chance to investigate, but Skye's parents and other friends. I liked the fact that Swanson uses all of the characters from Scumble River to bring about resolution. I can definitely see Skye's mom as a top suspect in this one. It wasn't extremely hard to figure this one out, but Swanson didn't make it easy either. Just an all around enjoyable mystery!

Beyond the Book:

This is an easy one! Take a cruise, or knit that scarf you've always wanted to try. Swanson gave you lots of details about cruise ship activities, but just don't manage to stick someone with your knitting needles!

Bottom Line:

This has been my favorite book in the Scumble River series. Skye finally gets her man. I thought it was over the top funny that her mom shows on the same cruise they are taking their honeymoon on and I truly enjoyed the change of scenery with this book. Swanson proves that just because you are seventeen books into a series, you don't have to sacrifice great story writing and good old fashion sleuthing.

Murder of a Needled Knitter is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

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

About the Author:

Denise Swanson is the New York Times bestselling author of the Scumble River mystery series, including Murder of a Stacked LibrarianMurder of the Cat's Meow, and Murder of a Creped Suzette, and the Devereaux’s Dime Store mystery series, including Dead Between the LinesNickeled-and-Dimed to Death, and Little Shop of Homicide. She worked as a school psychologist for twenty-two years before quitting to write full-time. She lives in Illinois with her husband, classical composer David Stybr, and their cool black cat, Boomerang.

Giveaway Details:

The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of Murder of a Needled Knitter by Denise Swanson.

~ You must be an email subscriber to participate.
~ US addresses only.
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST, September 26th.

1. Please leave a comment about knitting. Are you a knitter? What kinds of things have you knitted? etc.

2. Please fill out the FORM.


Unknown said...

i have a hard time knitting; still learning

traveler said...

I never mastered knitting. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Rita Wray said...

When I was younger I wanted to knit so as practice I started knitting small squares about 8 inches by 8 inches. I used two colors brown for some and orange for some. I suddenly had a big pile so I sewed them together and made a blanket. My son used it all the time while he was watching TV. lol

Linda Kish said...

I tried to learn and failed miserably.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

skkorman said...

All of my aunts were great knitters, and I enthusiastically took lessons from them. Unfortunately, I was a disaster at it and I also learned that I did not have the patience for it.

skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net

Carol M said...

I tried knitting years ago but I wasn't very good at it.

Angela - Bookaunt said...

I do not knit as I don't know how but my grandma used to

Alicia said...

I have never tried knitting although I used to crochet. Looking forward to this book!

Katreader said...

A few years ago I took a knitting class. I basically only use a garter stitch and make straight rectangular things-lots of scarfs. I haven't knit anything in quite some time.

Sue Farrell said...

My mother tried to teach me to knit several times----I'm a lost cause.
About the only thing I could do with a knitting needle is injure myself.

Laura S Reading said...

I am a champion cast on knitter. I can maybe do one knit line and I know what purl means. But to turn and knit back... I need help

Karen B said...

I'm a clumbsy knitter but I've done a lot of crocheting in the past.

Unknown said...

I'm not a knitter. But I have a friend that created the most fantastic scarf for me. Its a chain of skulls attached to each other. I can't wait until it gets cold outside. I'm sure I will look cute sitting in a cafe with my skull scarf and murder mystery book. :P

cb (at) carolbee (dot) com

cyn209 said...

the extent of my knitting skills is knitting the neverending scarf......I never learned how to end it!! LOL!!

lag123 said...

I love to knit. Socks are my favorite.

lag110 at mchsi dot com

bn100 said...

Don't knit

Charlotte said...

Wish I could knit.

Unknown said...

I have tried to knit, but no success. :(

Kimberly Wyatt said...

I don't know how to knit yet but I've recently decided I would like to learn so my grandma is going to teach me when she comes to town.

Meg C. said...

I've never found anyone who could teach me how to knit even though I would like to learn. Maybe someday though. :)

justpeachy36 said...

Alas, I am not a knitter. but I would like to be. It's something I would love to learn.

Unknown said...

ha ha ha am i a knitter...whew let me wipe the tears from my eyes. nope, i tried got about 100 rows then stopped. it wasn't the relaxing hobby i was hoping for.

Anita Yancey said...

I tried to learn how to knit but I am all thumbs so I gave up. Thanks for having the giveaway.