Monday, July 04, 2016

US Cozy Review: Yarned and Dangerous by Sadie Hartwell

As it's 4 July, I thought it would be appropriate to post another entry in my irregular feature: US cozy review.

Yarned and Dangerous by Sadie Hartwell, November 2015, Kensington Publishing ISBN: 1617737178

YARNED AND DANGEROUS introduces New York fashion designer Josie Blair who is persuaded by her mother to take some time away in the country to look after her great-uncle Eb who has broken his leg in the car accident that killed his new wife Cora. As well as looking after Eb, Josie is to wind up Cora's wool shop, Miss Marple Knits.

Josie sets off to Dorset Falls, Connecticut with her cat Coco. Her lascivious boss has fired her for leaving on short notice but she hopes that given a bit of time he will re-hire her.

Her great-uncle receives her without enthusiasm but Josie gives as good as she gets.

Josie spent a couple of her teenage years growing up in Dorset Falls so she knows a few people and soon rekindles a friendship with Lorna who runs the general store however she also has a few enemies, including the mother of her ex-childhood sweetheart who didn't like her before and certainly doesn't like her now and definitely wants her hands on the wool shop.

Another potential buyer for the woolshop is Lillian Woodruff who also takes a dislike to Josie, however not for long, as the next day Josie discovers Lillian's dead body in the back room of Miss Marple Knits...

Josie is not an amateur sleuth and in the main is content to leave matters to the seemingly capable local police. Josie has plenty on her hands with looking after Eb and the closing down of the shop and dealing with her own mixed feelings about going back to New York. As well as Lorna she makes a friend in Mitch, the grandson of Eb's neighbour. She also receives help from two friends of Cora, Helen and Evelyn, though she's not sure whether she can trust them. What are they doing in the abandoned shop opposite?

YARNED AND DANGEROUS is an enjoyable, quick read. Set in a cold and rundown town (for a change) it focusses on Josie's journey from a townie thinking about designer handbags – to someone who feels at home in Dorset Falls. There is intrigue and Josie does save the day in the end but she doesn't pursue many leads herself. There are quite a few references to wool but as Josie is a non-knitter there are few technical terms so non-knitters will be fine. Despite the prominence of Coco on the cover, she doesn't make many appearances but maybe she will be more visible in the sequel, A KNIT BEFORE DYING, which I'm looking forward to.

Karen Meek, July 2016

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