A Dark and Stormy Knit, by Anne Canadeo (review)

January 15, 2014 Uncategorized 10


Knitting graffiti, in Plum Harbor? Maggie Messina doubts it could ever happen in her quiet village. Until the new parking meters on Main Street are found covered with cat-faced cozies. In the dark of night, the mysterious Knit Kats have struck again! The infamous gang of stitching graffiti artists are totally harmless, and their pranks all in good fun. Or so Maggie and her friends think. Until a yarn-covered corpse is discovered a few days later — the tangles identical to Knit Kat handiwork.

These threads of evidence should be easy to follow. But the clever Knit Kats hide behind a website and secret identities. The murderer could be anyone. A familiar face in town, even a copy Kat. But when Maggie’s assistant, Phoebe, becomes the prime suspect, the knitting friends know the police have dropped a few stitches. With no time to rest on their needles, the Black Sheep set out to unmask the crafty killer. No simple task, when all Knit Kats look the same in the dark.


This is the first Black Sheep Knitting Mystery I’ve read, but it won’t be the last.  As both a cozy mystery reader and a knitter, I am always delighted to find a new series that combines both, and this is one of the best I’ve come across in a while.  Taut and well-written, the mystery kept me turning pages while the protagonists, yarn store owner Maggie and her quirky college-age assistant Phoebe, slowly became my friends.  Canadeo doesn’t cheat; the reader has all the clues that Maggie does, and the mystery unfolds with more than the usual twists and speed bumps of the average cozy.  I found the book a little meatier and more serious than some of the fluffier cozies I’ve read.

The involvement of the Knit Kats starts out lighthearted but becomes more sinister with the disappearance of one student and the death of another.  A stalker ex-boyfriend and two professors who may each be hiding secrets add to the list of suspects.  The resolution, when it came, did involve some outside information, but in a realistic way.

One of the things I really appreciated is that I was able to jump in at book 6 without feeling like I was missing anything important.  While Maggie, her shop, and her friends clearly have a history with murder as well as with their knitting group, Canadeo deftly fitted in any necessary information without awkward info dumps.  This is one series which can apparently be read out of order without too much difficulty – though I certainly plan to catch up on previous installments! 

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Rating: 4 stars

Category: Cozy mystery
Series: Black Sheep Knitting Mystery #6
Publisher: Gallery Books
Release date: Jan. 14, 2014
Book source: Review copy from the publisher

Links:      Goodreads       Amazon       Barnes & Noble  

About the author:
Anne Canadeo lives and knits in Northport, New York.  She is the author of the Black Sheep knitting mystery series, and she has also authored the popular Thomas Kinkade series writing as Katherine Spencer.  (bio source: publisher)

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10 Responses to “A Dark and Stormy Knit, by Anne Canadeo (review)”

  1. Yvonne

    This sounds good and I like that you didn’t have to start at the beginning. It’s good to know you can jump right in. Great review!

  2. Lindsay

    I’ve tried a few cozy knitting mysteries and wasn’t too impressed. I’ll have to give this one a shot!

    • Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard

      Cozies really vary in style and quality. I consider Agatha Christie’s mysteries to be cozies, and a lot of other British authors. I’ve also read some really, really light fluff — some of which I’ve thoroughly enjoyed and some of which I’ve found too light, or downright annoying.

  3. kimbacaffeinate

    I so love series that have complete books in them allowing the reader to jump in mid-stream. I also like that this was a little meatier. Wonderful review Lark!

    • Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard

      Thank you, Kimba! This isn’t the one I was discussing with you, by the way; that review is coming later. I did enjoy this one quite a bit – but then, I prefer my mysteries to be, as you put it, a little meatier rather than all fluff.

  4. Pamela D

    I will have to check this cozy mystery out. I read a couple of cozy mysteries that were knitting related a few years ago, and they were pretty awful. This one sounds cute.

    • Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard

      I’ve read good ones and bad ones, and one series that started out pretty well but has really gotten formulaic. This one held up pretty well, and it’s the sixth in the series, so I’ll be tracking down the previous five to see if they’re as good.

    • Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard

      I usually prefer to start at the beginning, too, but sometimes you just can’t. Several times in the last few months I’ve been given the opportunity to read the latest book in a series I’d been interested in starting but hadn’t gotten around to yet. For three out of four cases, I’m glad I did.