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  • A lighthearted cozy mystery!

    On Skein of Death by Allie Pleiter is the debut of A Riverbank Knitting Mystery series. Libby Beckett is newly divorced and has taken her settlement to fulfil her dream of opening Y.A.R.N. Her dream is threatened when the three-day event she organized is canceled after the Norwegian knitwear designer is found murdered. Libby cannot rest until she learns the identity of the guilty party. There were some elements I liked and others that I did not. I enjoyed the beautiful descriptions of the yarn shop, the yarn, the finished creations, and the gorgeous knitting needles. I also liked the picturesque descriptions of Collinstown, Maryland with its charming shops and friendly residents. The story is told in the first person which leads to a lot of internal thinking by Libby. There is repetition of information (details about characters and especially the murder). The whodunit was straightforward. Perle Langager is murdered in a fashion that suits the story. There are a limited number of suspects with the guilty party extremely obvious. I kept hoping for a surprise character or twist. The reveal wrapped up the mystery leaving no lingering questions. There is humor scattered throughout courtesy of Libby’s mother and her gaggle of friends. There is romance as well between Libby and her old high school beau, Gavin who is the current mayor. This is relaxing tale that will appeal to readers looking for lighter fare. On Skein of Death is a blithe cozy mystery with creative yarn art, a cute canine, a dead knitwear designer, a sleuthing shop owner, plenty of pie, and creative knits.

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  • Darn Good!

    I love to make a start on a series from book one instead of partway through so as a lover of cozy mysteries, I jumped at the chance to read this, On Skein of Death by Allie Pleiter. I got to meet divorced Libby Beckett, who has returned to Collinstown, Maryland, her hometown. She is opening Y.A.R.N., her very own knitting shop. Y.A.R.N. is short for "You're Absolutely Ready Now." When a prominent Norwegian knitting designer, Perle Lonager is found murdered with a skein of red wool wrapped around her throat, her head acutely tilted, Libby steps in to do some detective work and sleuthing. I really enjoyed this intriguing story and I liked Allie Pleiter's portrayal of Libby who had so much passion for her dream shop. Libby's English Bulldog, Hank played a good part, too. The supporting characters were also well-drawn, such as Margo, Libby's friend and the owner of "Perfect Slice" just across the road from Y.A.R.N., who is known for her shortbread and pies. The mystery itself was well done; there was plenty of viable suspects and the madcap tale delivers on humour, courtesy of Libby’s mum Rhonda, and Rhonda's friends, the Gals. With a soupcon of romance in the mixing pot too, I'm already looking forward to seeing what's in store for Libby and Hank in book 2. Even those who have no particular interest in knitting or crafting will doubtlessly enjoy On Skein of Death. Thanks to Great Escapes Book Tours, Allie Pleiter and Berkley Publishing for a complimentary copy of On Skein of Death at my request. This review is my unbiased opinion.

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  • ON SKEIN OF DEATH by Allie Pleiter

    ON SKEIN OF DEATH by Allie Pleiter is the first book in the A Riverbank Knitting Mystery series. It is the well-crafted cozy mystery centered round Libby Beckett, her adorable pooch - Hank, her shop - Y.A.R.N. (Your Absolutely Ready Now) and her home town Collinstown, Maryland. Recovered from a divorce, she found her calling when she opened up her yarn shop. She’s thrilled at the prospect of her first big event – a series of personal appearances by Norwegian knitting celebrity Perle Lonager – and boosting her store in the profit margin with its success. Prior to arrival Perle is making last minute changed to the schedule. She added the fact that Henrik would be accompanying her as well as eluding to a big announce that was going to made at the lecture. Upon arrival in town, she seems somewhat of a Nervous Nellie, but Libby writes it off the actions as artistic eccentricity. The whole town is jumping on the Perle bandwagon with even George Baker, the mayor, declaring it Collinstown Yarn Day. Although the “girls” yarn bombing the trees downtown, sent him off in tyrant making his nickname of King George quite appropriate. When Perle’s found murdered in the theater shortly before the lecture was to start, strangled by a bundle of red yard with a set of her new line of needles in her hands, evidently used as weapons trying to fight off her attacker, things move swiftly to the realization that there is a murder walking amongst them in their quaint little town Libby is thrown into amateur detective mode as she tries to help Chief Frank Reynolds as much as she can and in an effort to get justice for Perle. All the while, her store will be taking a financial blow instead of making a big profit. Gavin Maddock, Libby’s high school sweetheart and now Chamber of Commerce president, is worried about how all this will affect the city, but he’s more concerned with Libby’s safety. During all the crime solving, his daughter, Jillian – who Libby is teaching to knit - and Libby’s Mom seem to be in cahoots trying to bring the long ago couple back together again. The suspect list seems to be one of four people – Nolan, Perle’s nephew; Henrick – her boyfriend; Derek Martingale, her agent; or someone unknown. With the help of Linda - an Y.A.R.N. employee and friend, Margo – local bakery owner and another dear friend, Gavin – old boyfriend who she still seems to have feelings for, her Mom and the girls, and Chief Frank, can they figure pick out the clues and stitch them up without dropping the ball to figure how who had killed Perle in order to knit this case closed? ON SKEIN OF DEATH is a fast paced, page turner cozy mystery that you won’t want to put down. Love the way Allie Pleiter keeps you on your toes with several suspects and leading you on different paths to find out which one really did the deed. I’m really excited about this new series and I’m looking for more adventures with Libby. With all the delightful and colorful characters, there will be ample avenues for the series to go. After her declaration to George that she’s going to run for the Mayor of Collinstown, it will be fun to see how the next election in Collinsville goes. I’m betting King George doesn’t go down without a fight – or a murder. Thrilled with book #1 and greatly anticipating book #2. FIVE STARS!

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