Book Review: Maggie Sefton’s Cast On, Kill Off

Posted July 17, 2012 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

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Book Review: Maggie Sefton’s Cast On, Kill Off

Cast On, Kill Off

by Maggie Sefton

three-stars

Series: Knitting Mystery #10

Genres: Amateur Sleuth

This Hardcover has 294 pages and was published by Berkley Hardcover on June 5, 2012. Discover more about it at Goodreads. You can also buy it at Amazon

Tenth in the Knitting Mystery series revolving around Kelly Flynn and her knitting friends in Fort Connor (a.k.a., Fort Collins), Colorado.

My Take

It’s another sweet and cozy mystery that Kelly tackles. This one at Mimi’s behest. A good read that fulfills my need for a homey setting with loving and supportive friends in the mythical small-town environment of Fort Connor. Friends who know your quirks and still love you. Will always be there for you.

Even Detective Dan has come to respect Kelly’s discoveries — she’s perfected that friendly art of questioning. Now if only she’d spill all the important details when she hears them! It’s rather irritating when Sefton holds back on comments that obviously make a difference. It’s one thing when it’s innocuous, but what Kelly learns about Vera is overt enough that even I figured it out early on! It’s just not consistent with Kelly’s intelligence, although it does make it easier to stretch out the story and the “drama”.

Then, too, what is with the “lawyer Lawrence…”, “caterer Kevin”, and “pharmacist Christine”? A. It hasn’t been that long since we learned about Christine being a pharmacist and B. why not simply mention “my lawyer, Lawrence”. It reads more like notes Sefton made to remind herself who they are and forgot to take the notes out. Dorky. Sefton also needs to re-check the style guides on the rules for capitalization.

I have a bit of a disconnect on Vera. If she is such a strong person after the murder, why didn’t she ever stand up for herself before? Why not go to work for Leann if her sister is such a bitch?

Sefton has given her characters a lot of individuality and they share a sense of fun. I like how supportive people are in helping Zoe out of a bad situation.

I just love Sefton’s description of the colors and textures of the yarns in the shop and the camaraderie around the knitting tables. Makes me want to take up knitting! Which is really saying something when my tongue between my teeth and/or curling up tightly is an intimate part of my knitting efforts! All of me gets exhausted trying! But those descriptions…sigh…

There are a couple of useful tips on fixing a shawl that is too short on one side. I enjoyed the bar fight and Sefton did a nice drop about the inheritance.

The Story

It’s almost a race to see which happens first — Megan and Marty’s wedding or Kelly and Steve getting back together together. All of Megan’s fretting and worrying as she ticks things off her list while she and all their friends keep careful track of Steve and Kelly’s romantic progress. It’s in the midst of all this that Zoe Yeager leaves her abusive husband with life-ending results.

The Characters

Kelly Flynn is a curious accountant with a nose for crime and a squirrel-chasing, protective Rottweiler named Carl. She just can’t resist asking questions and nosing around. An athletic girl, she’s addicted to coffee and seems to be getting back on track with her former boyfriend, Steve Townsend. His architecture/construction business failed as the economy continued to nosedive and now he’s working in Denver for Sam Kaufman. It’s a good match business-wise and Steve is determined to rebuild his romance as well.

Their particular friends include Megan Smith, an IT consultant getting married in a few weeks to Marty Harrington, a lawyer and lover of food; Lisa Gerrard is a physical therapist living with Greg Carruthers, a teacher at the university; Jennifer Stroud is a real estate agent eking out the downturn by working at Pete’s Café as a waitress — and dating the boss, Pete Wainwright (the man has been in love with her for years!); Mimi Shafer, a.k.a., Mother Mimi, owns Lambspun where Kelly first met the girls and Mimi is married to Burt Parker, a retired Fort Connors detective who is now spinning in Mimi’s shop; and Curt Stackhouse, a rancher and Kelly’s adviser on her oil leases and Wyoming ranch, who is dating Jayleen Swinson, an alpaca rancher. Hilda and Lizzie von Steuben are sisters and retired schoolteachers who knit beautifully. Lizzie’s romance with Eustace Freemont is continuing albeit in short bursts since he’s in prison after events in Unraveled.

Zoe Yeager is a seamstress and designer making the dresses for Megan’s wedding. Oscar is her abusive husband. Vera Wilcott is Zoe’s sister and helps her with the sewing. Leann O’Hara is another seamstress in town and she has a bone to pick with Zoe.

Lieutenant Dan Morrison is a detective with the Fort Connors PD and seems willing to use Burt as a conduit for Kelly’s sleuthing results. Arthur Houseman is one of Kelly’s major clients. Christine is a pharmacist at Super Duper and a friend and client of Vera’s.

The Cover and Title

It’s sweet as ever with its cozy yellows and oranges sitting area in the Lambspun shop. A round table in the lower left holds a vase of flowers and a cup of needles side by side with an open bottle of champagne and two filled flutes. A low counter angles to the back, loaded with a bowl of yarn, cones of thread, and a tilting tabletop mirror in its stand. The colorful back wall is punctuated by a window on one side and a ceiling-height bookcase filled with a criss-cross of shelves loaded with a rainbow of yarns. In front of the bookcase is an easy chair piled with yarns and a cushion. All surrounding a simple white wedding gown adorned with a lacy knit shawl and a double strand of pearls around the mannequin’s neck.

The title perfectly combines the two themes of the series with its Cast On, Kill Off.


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