Cast On, Kill Off, by Maggie Sefton (review)

July 20, 2012 Book Reviews 0 ★★★

Cast On, Kill Off, by Maggie Sefton (review)Cast On, Kill Off by Maggie Sefton
Series: Knitting Mystery #10
Published by Berkley on 6/05/2012
Genres: Cozy Mystery, Mystery
Format: Hardcover
Source: the library
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Also in this series: Close Knit Killer, Yarn Over Murder, Purl Up and Die, Knit to Be Tied, Only Skein Deep
Also by this author: Close Knit Killer, Yarn Over Murder, Purl Up and Die, Knit to Be Tied, Only Skein Deep

Wedding bells are ringing in Fort Connor, Colorado, and the House of Lambspun knitters are abuzz with excitement. But when a murder interrupts the wedding planning, Kelly Flynn will have to solve this crime fast to ensure the killer doesn’t wind up on the guest list…

Kelly Flynn’s knitting pal, Megan, is about to get hitched, and all the planning is falling into place. Megan has found the perfect seamstress, Zoe Yeager, to create the dresses for Kelly and the other bridesmaids. And each bridesmaid is knitting her own loose-knit shawl to drape over the lovely dresses. But Zoe has more than bolts of fabric and seam-cutters stashed away in her shop—she’s harboring a secret. Bruises on her face show a troubling side of her marriage, and just after she finds the courage to leave her husband, Zoe’s found dead from a single bullet shot.

Though her husband is a key suspect, it turns out there are others who might have had designs on Zoe’s death. One is fellow seamstress Leann O’Hara, who recently discovered Zoe won a bridal gown design contest with one of Leann’s own designs. Now it’s up to Kelly and her knitting pals to use their sleuthing savvy to solve the case, while helping Megan stay cool and collected as the big day approaches. They’ll have to stitch up all the loose ends before they can don their dresses and shawls and escort Megan into the land of happily ever after…

Cast On, Kill Off, the tenth in the Kelly Flynn series, is typical Maggie Sefton knitting mystery fare: a quick, light read, suited for summer reading and written for cozy mystery lovers.  

CPA and hobby knitter Kelly Flynn and her friends are in the the midst of preparations for Megan’s wedding.  When the designer and seamstress of the bridal party’s gowns is shot, Kelly is drawn into the investigation.

Fans of the series will be pleased to encounter the usual cast of secondary characters, including Kelly’s former (and perhaps future) boyfriend, Steve.  But they may be somewhat disappointed in the mystery itself, which is even easier to solve than in previous books.  I spotted the true killer early on, and from a few other reviews I’ve read, I’m not the only one to have done so.  In fact, the last several Kelly Flynn mysteries have lacked some of the sparkle and fun of the early books in the series, though I felt Cast On, Kill Off was at least better than its immediate predecessors.

 If you love Sefton’s knitting mysteries, you will probably enjoy Cast On, Kill Off.  If you’re new to the series, start at the beginning with Knit One, Kill Two.  (See below for a description of the series and a list of the titles in order.)

A little background on the series:  (adapted from a 2010 post on this blog Set in a thinly-veiled Fort Collins, Colorado, the Kelly Flynn mystery series features CPA and novice knitter Kelly Flynn and her growing circle of friends at the House of Lambspun yarn shop, which sits next door to the house Kelly has just inherited from her murdered aunt. (The shop, too, is based on a real store.)  The series belongs in the cozy genre without being overly light, and the characters are, for the most part, not mere cardboard cutouts, a serious flaw in some other “light” mystery series. The books are entertaining and sometimes funny, although the crimes themselves are serious.  Kelly herself is an engaging character: curious to a fault,  impetuous and a bit too quick to jump to conclusions (and into dangerous situations), but courageous and fiercely loyal. 

My main quibble with Sefton’s books, and it’s a small one, is that Kelly is a dangerous person to be around: book after book, her acquaintances keep turning up dead. Still, that’s a fault of many amateur-detective series; if you’re prepared suspend disbelief on that point, the books are quite fun, and the Colorado setting is a plus.  A secondary quibble, as I alluded to above, is that several recent titles have fallen a bit flat. Despite these flaws, I’ve enjoyed Sefton’s series enough to follow it through ten books as of this post.  

Incidentally, you don’t have to know how to knit to enjoy reading these books, but if you do knit, there is a free and simple knitting pattern at the end of each book.

The Kelly Flynn Mysteries in series order:   
Knit One, Kill Two
Needled To Death
A Deadly Yarn
A Killer Stitch
Dyer Consequences
Fleece Navidad
Drop Dead Stitch
Skein of the Crime
Cast On, Kill Off  

About Maggie Sefton

Maggie Sefton grew up in northern Virginia, got her degree in Literature & Journalism, and raised four daughters (now grown and embarked on their own careers.) She lives in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains with her two dogs. She writes the Knitting Mysteries starring Kelly Flynn as well as the Molly Malone suspense series set in Washington, D.C.

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