Thank you, Dolly, for inviting me back to one of my very favorite places to spend time. A warm hello to those I’ve ‘met’ in this cozy corner before, and a welcome to those who are new to me. Thanks so much for dropping in.
The release of Murder in Merino (#8) this week has made me think more about the seaside knitters’ town—a place that has become very dear to me. My home is in land-locked Kansas, but I live in another home, another town, in my imagination (it’s the perfect way to get a second home without having to buy one!).
Sea Harbor is where my friends Nell, Birdie, Izzy, and Cass live and love and solve mysteries. I love being with them, walking the streets of Sea Harbor, stopping in at the bookstores and cafes, walking the miles and miles of beaches that surround Cape Ann.
I’d love to have you join me there. My friends would welcome you warmly with a glass of wine or tea, or maybe dinner on Nell and Ben’s deck. They’d take you to Izzy’s yarn shop, maybe a sail on Sam and Ben’s prized Hinckley, or a stroll along the beaches that surround Cape Ann.
Recently that’s what Jules Ainsley did in Murder in Merino—appeared in my home away from home. She slipped into Sea Harbor like a ghost in the night, checking in at Mary Pisano’s B&B. She was seen every day, running through the streets and along the beaches, embracing the town, talking to strangers. But who is she? the townsfolk asked. And why is she there? No one was sure…
Now that you’re here with me in this beautiful place, let’s follow Jules, see the town through her eyes, and just maybe figure out what she’s up to…
Jules is a jogger. Today she’s up early for breakfast, then heads down the long B&B drive. When she sees Birdie in the driveway that leads up to her home above the sea, She stops to say hello, but soon she’s off again, running along Harbor Road, stopping first to talk to Harry Garozzo outside his deli, and then slowing to look into shop windows or pick up a book.
She stops at a yarn shop and is lured inside by a display of the most beautiful merino yarn she’s ever seen. Izzy welcomes her—and you—and introduces everyone to Purl, her shop kitten, before showing us around. Noticing Jules’ is on a jog, Izzy suggests a new running path—along a beach near a house Izzy used to live in.
“But run by and say hi to my friend Nell first,” she says.
And so we follow Jules to the airy house in the shady neighborhood just a short jog away. Nell invites us to sit on the deck and brings out tray of iced tea, some blueberry scones, and listens patiently as Jules asks a million questions about the town, its history, the people who live there. And when the questions end, we all fall in love with Nell’s garden, just down the deck steps—the backyard where Izzy married Sam, and to a pathway near the edge of the woods.
It’s a shortcut to the beach, Nell says, so we follow Jules through the pines and maples, along the well-worn path to the sea.
Soon we’re following her along the tide-tended beach, the sand as smooth and silky as some of Izzy’s yarn. Jules waves at a fisherman, pushing his boat into the ocean, and then she continues on until the beach ends at an outcropping of giant granite boulders. She heads up a small windy hill.
And then she stops. Suddenly, staring up the side of the hill. A car honks at her and she moves slowly to the side of the road, her eyes still glued to something we can’t see.
We move closer. Through the tangle of grasses and bushes and scrub trees, a row of small houses hug the top of the hill, their backyards just barely visible. A neighborhood.
Jules is frozen in place, her expression a mixture of awe and shock.
We look again—and again we see scrap trees, tangled vines, stunted trees.
And then we look at Jules, and a strange sensation passes through us, a cold wind. Whatever it is that Jules Ainsley sees through those branches—she is changing before our eyes.
And we don’t know why.
We head back to Nell’s for lunch, leaving Jules still staring up the hill. And we’ll wonder along with the seaside knitters what has shaken this mysterious woman. We’ll wonder why she has come to Sea Harbor.
We’ll wonder who or what she saw in the small hill beside the sea. And perhaps, as you sip a glass of wine and watch the gulls dip into the sea, you’ll help Nell, Cass, Birdie, and Izzy discover the secret to Jules’ strange behavior.
And they’ll welcome you warmly to your new home away from home.
When Jules Ainsley is implicated in the murderer of a well-loved bartender, the seaside knitters are pulled into the murder that shakes the whole town. In their search, Nell, Birdie, Cass, and Izzy spare no one—not neighbors or friends, not visitors or shopkeepers—as they probe into a past long buried, seeking a murderer who may be walking right alongside them on Harbor Road.
About This Author
Sally Goldenbaum is a philosophy teacher, knitter, editor, and the author of more than two-dozen novels.
Please visit her on Facebook.
Or at her Website: sallygoldenbaum.com
Murder in Merino:
A Seaside Knitters Mystery
8th in Series
An Obsidian Mystery (May 6, 2014)
An Imprint of New American Library
Published by The Penguin Group
Hardcover: 320 pages
E-Book File Size: 2193 KB
Amazon: ASIN: B00FFFN7UK
B&N: ISBN-13: 9780698146686
It’s autumn in Sea Harbor, and as the tourists leave, a mysterious guest arrives. When she’s implicated in a crime, the Seaside Knitters must quickly table their knitting project and search out a motif for murder.
Julia Ainsley has come to Sea Harbor and she is not your typical tourist. She quickly knits herself into the fiber of this seaside town, even wanting to purchase a house, Izzy’s house, even though she has never set foot inside.
The realtor has already set up an Open House and Julie receives a mysterious call from a man asking her to meet him before the Open House starts. But when she arrives he is nowhere in sight. Deciding to take a quick look around the property Julia finds more the a beautiful view. She finds a dead body in the backyard. Her name and phone number are found on the body and she becomes the police’s prime suspect.
Things take a drastic turn as secrets kept for years are revealed and old friends are linked to both Julia and the dead man. The Seaside Knitters must work to unravel the real reason Julia Ainsley has come to their town—and the tangled and troubled ties from the past that bind friends and townsfolk together.
The characters in this story continue to amaze me. They are so welcoming even when they have a few doubts about a newcomer. They all support each other through life’s daily drama and celebrate together the milestones. This time it was Nell and Ben’s 40th wedding anniversary and young woman who seems just work her way into their lives. They also pull together to find a killer even when they can’t believe where the clues are leading.
Sally Goldenbaum makes every trip to Sea Harbor pure pleasure with the great characters, the beautiful setting and a top-notch whodunit. I started to see where this story was headed and thought I had to be wrong and with that final twist thankfully I was and I was still knocked for a loop when it all came together.
In addition to being a cozy mystery these stories are also about the powerful friendship this group of people have. They meet each week at Ben and Nell’s for a wonderful dinner. Ben is the chef and everyone brings something to add from a bottle of wine to a pie for dessert. They share their lives and dreams and dilemmas and if there is a murder to solve they talk it out together. If a member is missing everyone worries. If there is a joy to share everyone celebrates. Friendship like this today seems to be rare with everyone having so much to do and no time to relax. Our heads are staring at our phones or computers. We text and email and don’t take time to just stop and enjoy our friends. We could all learn a little something from the wonderful people of Sea Harbor.
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Thanks to the people at Penguin I have 2 copies of Murder in Merino
and 1 paperback copy of Angora Alibi to give away!
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”