What if you inherited a lucrative small business that involved a sector you knew nothing about? Would you try to keep it going or would you abandon it? Casey Feldstein, a dessert chef, found herself in just that position when she inherited her aunt's knitters' retreat company, Yarn2Go. Although Casey didn't know how to knit or crochet, she decided to keep her aunt's legacy alive.
There is nothing like being awakened by a ringing phone and finding a pair of yellow eyes staring back at you. I think Julius knew I'd never had a pet and he'd taken it on as his duty to train me in the art of cat cohabitation, which included sitting on my chest when he wanted breakfast. His yellow eyes blinked at me as if to say, "Would you get up and get me some food. Preferably that stuff in the can with the fabulous fishy odor."—Silence of the Lamb's Wool by Betty Hechtman (Penguin Random House / Berkley Prime Crime, 2014, p. 1)
- Setting: Cadbury on the Sea, California (near Monterey); modern times
- Circumstances: Casey has organized a sheep to shawl class but when one of the participants is found dead, the trip may be over before it starts. Although initially ruled a natural death, Casey has her doubts. Can she find the truth about the death, stop the retreat from falling apart, and keep up with her baking?
- Characters: Casey and her mother; knitters and friends, especially Lucinda, Bree, Olivia, Scott, Wanda, and Nicole; the cute cop next door; various townsfolk, spouses, and law-enforcement people
- Genre: cozy mystery
- What I liked: Casey is a great character, who is smart and thinks before she acts. I like her determination and that she is still trying to decide on a life path. Part of the book's appeal is the group of knitters, who all have different skill levels, different personalities, and different goals. It's hard for me to resist a cozy mystery that focuses on some of my passions (in this case, knitting and baking). I thought it was realistic that Casey's mom would be worried about her daughter's choices. I loved the California coastal setting. And, of course, I found the mystery to be fun and a little twisty. That Casey has the chance for a little romance adds a little heat.
- Recommendations: Anyone who likes light mysteries and/or fun escape reading will like Silence of the Lamb's Wool, with its great characters, crafty focus, and tight plot.
- Extras: The book ends with a beginner shawl pattern and a few dessert recipes. If you've never been to a yarn festival, keep your eye out for one near you; I particularly love the sheep to shawl demonstrations and the border collie demonstrations.
Thanks to Berkley Prime Crime, I can offer one of my readers with a U.S. mailing address a copy of Betty Hechtman's Silence of the Lamb's Wool. All you have to do to be entered for a chance to win is to fill out the following form. I'll pick a winner via random number generator on July 21. Once the winner has been verified, I'll erase all personal information from my computer. Good luck!