Just by chance, I happened to pick up two knitting mysteries in a row. I spotted While My Pretty One Knits at Borders a few weeks ago, and while I was reading it, Patterns in the Sand came in for me at the library.
While My Pretty One Knits by Anne Canadeo.
This is the first in the Black Sheep Knitting Mystery series. Canadeo is the real name of Kate Little,author of several titles for various Harlequin series, as well as Katherine Spencer, ghost-writer of the Cape Light series by Thomas Kinkade.
The story revolves around five women who meet weekly at Maggie Messina's Back Sheep Knitting Shop in the fictional New England town of Plum Harbor. When the owner of a rival shop is killed, Maggie is suspected of the crime. Her four friends are certain that she is innocent, and set out to determine the identity of the real killer. This is an easy read, and I had picked out the culprit about halfway through the story. It's not badly written, but despite being nearly 25o pages long, it goes down as quickly as a ... Harlequin romance.
Patterns in the Sand by Sally Goldenbaum is the second in the Seaside Knitters series.
This series also takes place in Massachusetts, in the fictional town/artists colony of Sea Harbor.
Nell and Ben Endicott's weekly Friday barbecue is interrupted by the call from the police. The yarn store owned by their niece Izzy has an intruder, who appears to have died in the front window of the shop. Ben, Nell and Izzy arrive to find that the young woman nestled in the yarn displayed in the window was merely asleep. Izzy decides not to press charges when the young woman, a fiber-artist named Willow, explains that she has come at Izzy's invitation. After some conversation with her, Ben and Nell determine that she's not dangerous, so they allow Willow to stay in their guest house.
Though a little shy, Willow seems to adapt to Sea Harbor just fine. But the next day, a well-known artist with whom she was heard arguing is found dead. Of course
Willow is the main suspect, especially when a relationship between the two of them is discovered.
A well-written and enjoyable read, this is still a fairly predictable story, but I have to admit that I was surprised by the identity of the killer.
I look forward to trying the next installments of both series.