Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am excited to share my thoughts with you today about
Knit or Dye Trying!
Knit or Dye Trying (A Riverbank Knitting Mystery)
2nd in Series
Setting – Maryland
Berkley (April 5, 2022)
Mass Market Paperback : 304 pages
ISBN-10 : 0593201809
ISBN-13 : 978-0593201800
Kindle ASIN : B093YRVK42
Business is booming for Libby Beckett and her fabulous Maryland shop, aptly named Y.A.R.N., but when a town festival brings a fatality with it, Libby gets all tangled up in murder.
As spring comes to Collinstown, the village launches a food festival to draw a new group of tourists. Libby, the proud owner of Y.A.R.N., has planned a yarn event to provide an alternative option to a foodie weekend. Artisan fiber dyer Julie Wilson—known for her work with animal-friendly, plant-based knitting fibers such as bamboo and hemp as well as her brilliant use of color—will hopefully draw a crowd with a special dyeing workshop.
The festival begins, but it draws more than crowds. First, a flock of sheep parades down the street, herded by farmers protesting Julie’s antiwool stance. Then Julie’s celebrity chef sister appears, and the siblings resume a long-standing rivalry. Despite all this, Julie’s workshop has sold out. Libby is thrilled, and they’re preparing for a full house. But the night before the event, Julie is found alone in the warehouse event space—dead. The witty “Watch Julie Wilson Dye” workshop title now has a terrible new meaning—and it’s up to Libby to catch a crafty killer.
As a clever marketing ploy, the village of Collinstown pulls out all the stops for the 1st See More Than Sea Food Festival. Not owning an eatery Y.A.R.N. owner Libby Beckett came up with her own twist, a Wield More Than Wool weekend. She invites Julie Wilson, an outspoken advocate for plant-based knitting fibers to speak at her event and do some demonstrations of her unique yarn dyeing methods. But everyone does not welcome the outspoken advocate with open arms. Local farmers organize a protest march complete with real live sheep baaing their way down the street. Also in attendance for the festival is Julie’s celebrity chef sister and there appears to be no love lost between them. Excited that her workshop is sold out Julie is not going to let her sister’s presence ruin her weekend and Libby is delighted. This could really be a stellar event for Y.A.R.N.
The night before the event Julie has everything she needs at the warehouse where her event will take place and gets to work dyeing the special fibers exclusive for the weekend. But when Libby goes to check on her the door is barred and the ventilation fans are off. Sadly, help arrives too late for Julie and Libby has a murder on her hands. Can she knit the clues together to catch Julie’s killer or will she get tangled up in the skein of their crime?
Having met many of these characters in the first book I was excited to dive right into Knit or Dye Trying. Libby Beckett is such a great protagonist. She is creative, hard-working, and truly loves her craft and sharing it with others. Her weekend would have been fantastic had it been able to take place. I am in awe of the 13-year-old Jillian’s talents. Libby just taught her to knit in the last book and she is excelling at a fantastic pace. Readers get a more in-depth look at all of Libby’s friendships including her relationship with the village Mayor Gavin. All come across as true to real life, especially in a small town like Collinstown. Libby’s bulldog and Y.A.R.N. mascot Hank continues to steal my heart too.
The author does portray small-town life very well. I was happy to see one character get taken to task. The sheep protest parade is something I could see happening. Animal rights vs. a farmer’s livelihood would be a hot-button issue. No sheep were injured by the spray paint and what would be more surprising than a flock of sheep just passing through town. Funny while getting the point across.
The mystery caught my attention from the start. Family tensions between Julie, her chef sister Monica, and Yale her brother-in-law really drive the story. Their competition and contention with each other has been building for a while but could it lead to murder? Or were the farmers so upset one of them went a step too far in the angst? The author does an excellent job twisting up motivations and opportunities. The method of death was scary and unique but not totally unexpected after reading Julie’s requirements a few times I knew they were key. The way the story played out though was surprising and heartbreaking.
I love reading crafty stories like this one. Before my accident 20+ years ago I enjoyed doing so many crafts including knitting and crochet. A place like Y.A.R.N. would have been a place where I would have spent many hours. All the new fibers in their vivid colors would have had me under their spell. Y.A.R.N. “You’re Absolutely Ready Now” is the meaning Libby started with when opening her store. Many of her customers have added their own ideas using those letters. For me, it means “You’re A Reader Now” because while I can no longer do the crafts I love but I can enjoy books about people who can, and when it’s a cozy mystery I can be an armchair amateur sleuth too.
Ms. Pleiter has knit together a fantastic group of genuine characters with a very well-plotted mystery in Knit or Dye Trying. She adds just the right amount of humor and romantic tension to keep cozy lovers blissfully happy.
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About Allie Pleiter
An avid knitter, coffee junkie, and firm believer that “pie makes everything better,” Allie Pleiter writes both fiction and non-fiction working on as many as four novels at a time. The bestselling author of over fifty books, Allie has enjoyed a twenty-year career with over 1.5 million books sold. In addition to writing, Allie maintains an active writing productivity coaching practice and speaks regularly on the creative process, publishing, and her very favorite topic—The Chunky Method of time management for writers. Visit her website at www.alliepleiter.com to learn more.
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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.”