Publication Date: 09/02/2014
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Obsidian Mystery
Genre: Cozy Mystery
(Received for an honest review from Obsidian Mystery)
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Indiebound
Denise Swanson on the WEB: website, twitter, facebook, goodreads
Books in the series:
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!
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 Librarian, Murder of the Cat's Meow, and Murder of a Creped Suzette, and the Devereaux’s Dime Store mystery series, including Dead Between the Lines, Nickeled-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.
The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of Murder of a Needled Knitter by Denise Swanson.
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