Knit to Be Tied (Maggie Sefton)

June 6, 2016 Book Reviews 4 ★★★

Knit to Be Tied (Maggie Sefton)Knit to Be Tied Series: Knitting Mystery #14
on June 7, 2016
Pages: 288
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Also in this series: Cast On, Kill Off, Close Knit Killer, Yarn Over Murder, Purl Up and Die, Only Skein Deep

The New York Times bestselling author of Purl Up and Die returns as Kelly Flynn and the Lambspun Knitters must come together before their whole town unravels . . .

In Fort Connor, Colorado, the friends at the House of Lambspun knitting shop are welcoming a new face into the fold. Shy, sweet, and pregnant Nancy Marsted would like to knit a baby hat, and the Lambspun ladies are more than happy to show her the ropes. They share their own pregnancy yarns and soon learn the father of Nancy’s baby isn’t quite the man she dreamed he was. He’s a cad.

Then one dark night a speeding car fatally mows down the dad-to-be and strikes a cyclist, spinning the town into a frenzy. Everyone worries that a crazed killer is on the loose. Now it’s up to Kelly and the gang to put down their needles and cut to the chase before the culprit is driven to kill again . . .

I received a review copy of this book from the publisher.


Sefton’s newest Knitting Mystery is more for fans of the series than new readers; the former will enjoy seeing what Kelly and her friends are up to besides solving mysteries, while new readers may find the mystery a bit thin.

These days, Kelly Flynn does much of her sleuthing in conversations rather than through direct action. In Knit to Be Tied, many of those conversations seem to occur spontaneously, dropping important clues in her lap without much effort on her part. On the one hand, this is much more realistic than the usual sleuth actively hunting for clues (and often getting herself into trouble.) On the other hand, there’s not a lot of suspense with this approach, and I was able to identify the murderer quite early on.

One thing I  appreciate about this series is that Kelly has matured and become more sensible as time goes on. A few close calls in early books mean she is more cautious about putting herself into dangerous situations. (There are none in this book.) She also has a better-than-usual—and far more realistic—relationship with the police than most cozy heroines. Her friendship with ex-police detective Burt, who has friends on the force, allows her to funnel information to them, and she usually does so rather than withholding it as so many cozy mystery protagonists do.

As I’ve come to expect (and enjoy), this book focuses as much on the lives of Kelly and her friends as on the mystery. This time, there are significant events and developments in the lives of several friends as well as Kelly herself. Purists might object, feeling the balance ought to weigh more heavily on the mystery side, but to be honest, Kelly, the Lambspun yarn store, and her bunch of friends are a big part of what keep me reading the series. There is a real Lambspun shop, by the way, and it’s almost exactly as it is described in the books, though the characters are completely fictional as far as I can tell. I visited Lambspun back in 2013, on our way home from taking our daughter to college, but I never got around to posting my pictures. I’ll write up my visit if I can ever find the photos!

Sefton always includes a knitting pattern at the back of the book, and often a recipe as well. I was rather surprised that neither the pattern (a headband) nor the recipe (cranberry orange nut bread) appeared in the book, but both look worth trying.

I don’t recommend jumping into the series with this book; for one thing, the mystery really isn’t that compelling in this one. (Sorry!) Instead, go back and start at the beginning with Knit One, Kill Two for an introduction to Kelly and the gang, Lambspun, and the pleasant (if sometimes perilous) Fort Collins, Colorado.



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.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • Clean Sweep ARC Challenge (May 2016)
  • Cruisin' Thru the Cozies 2016

4 Responses to “Knit to Be Tied (Maggie Sefton)”

  1. Katherine @ I Wish I Lived in a Library

    I read the previous book in the series and really enjoyed it and this sounds great as well! I love that Kelly learns from her mistakes. It always drives me a bit crazy when the sleuth in a mystery series continually confronts the killer by themselves. I’m really looking forward to this one!
    Katherine @ I Wish I Lived in a Library recently posted…Scarlet – ReviewMy Profile

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      Oh, I agree with you on that one — TSTL is bad, but TSTL in book after book is infuriating — especially in a character who is supposed to be smart. Which is one reason I like Kelly: she does learn from some early experiences.

  2. holdenj

    I really enjoy this series and love the setting too!

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      It was a lot of fun to visit Lambspun a few years ago! If I can ever find my photo files, I’m definitely doing a post about it.