Skein of the Crime by Maggie Sefton.*
It's hard to believe this is already the eighth of Sefton's Knitting Mysteries. The tone of this one is somewhat darker than previous books in the series.
Late one night, Kelly Flynn arrives home to find a young woman in her backyard. The girl doesn't respond to any of her questions, nor to those of the emergency personnel whom Kelly has called. The girl, Holly, a student at the local college, is under the influence of drugs, and turns out to be dating the son of one of Kelly's acquaintances from the knitting shop.
Holly appears to be turning her life around, but a few weeks later, she is found dead in nearly the same place. Though this overdose is ruled an accident, Kelly is not convinced that Holly returned to her old habits, and begins to ask questions. An accountant, her mind works methodically, and she soon begins to fit puzzle pieces together.
Meanwhile, Steve, Kelly's significant other, has been having financial troubles. He declined financial assistance from Kelly and other friends, and was forced to take a second job in Denver, so he stays there with a friend during the week. When he's home in Fort Connor, he always seems to be working or sleeping and their time together is not of the best quality.
Lambspun, the yarn store across the street from Kelly's home provides not only the backdrop for the story, but Kelly's surrogate family. The author's vivid descriptions of the lush fibers in the shop are plentiful and intoxicating.
It's evident that Ms. Sefton feels very strongly about the serious subject of drug abuse, and this book is one of the better ones in the series, though the ending, a cliff-hanger that obviously leaves an opening for a ninth in the series, is frustrating.
*Review copy received from the publisher.