Review: A Crafter Knits a Clue by Holly Quinn


Sammy Kane just moved back to her hometown to run a craft store. But when the owner of a nearby yarn shop is murdered, Sammy will needle little help finding the killer.

When a heartbroken Samantha “Sammy” Kane returns to her hometown of Heartsford, WI, for her best friend Kate’s funeral, she learns that Kate’s much-loved craft store is in danger of perishing with its owner. Confounding all her expectations of the life she would live, Sammy moves back home with her golden retriever and takes over Community Craft. A few doors down Main Street, fellow new arrival Ingrid Wilson has just opened the Yarn Barn, a real “purl” of a shop. But when Sammy strolls over to see if Ingrid could use a little help, she finds Ingrid’s dead body—with a green aluminum knitting needle lodged in her throat.

Detective Liam Nash is thrown for a loop as every single citizen of Heartsford seems to have a theory about Ingrid’s murder. And nearly everyone in town seems to be a suspect. But the last time Sammy did any sleuthing was as a little moppet. And this is not fun and games. Sammy is eager to help the handsome Liam—who seems to be endlessly inventive in finding reasons to talk with her—and when Liam arrests affable woodworker Miles Danbury, Sammy puts everything on the line to help clear Miles.

As the case comes dangerously close to unraveling, Sammy must stitch the clues together. But the killer has other plans—and if Sammy’s not careful, she may wind up in a perilous knot in A Crafter Knits a Clue, the first warm and woolly yarn of Holly Quinn’s new Handcrafted mysteries.

A Crafter Knits a Clue by Holly Quinn.  Book 1 in A Handcrafted Mystery series.  Published by Crooked Lane Books, October 2018.  I received this Kindle ARC from Netgalley for an honest review.

This was an entertaining cozy mystery that did not waste any time getting to the murder. BAM! Happened right away and we are rolling fast in to what is going on in this small town murder.  The whole book had decent pacing.  There were a few chapters every now and then that didn’t really progress the mystery and was more just about showing Sammy and her friends and family hanging out.  Even though those chapters didn’t progress the murder solving, it did a nice job showing the small town community and didn’t make the story drag.

While this was a very typical cozy mystery, I was so happy to see that the whole I-moved-back-home-because-of-my-horrible-ex-husband troupe wasn’t used!   There are so many more reasons for moving to a small town or back home and I am tired of the ex-husband being the excuse.  Sammy, instead, comes back home for her friends funeral.  Her friend, Kate, ran a craft store and Sammy takes it over after Kate passes away.  I really enjoyed that reason for coming back home.  I wish more cozy mysteries would think of something different like this when their main character moves to a small town.

The actual mystery was pretty decent and I enjoyed watching it unfold.  There are a ton of suspects and it had me stumped up to the very end.  Sometimes cozies end up being a little too easy to predict and I was pretty happy that that is not the case with A Crafter Knits a Clue.

My biggest problem with this novel was the characters.  First off, there are just too MANY characters.  I get that we want to show off all the quirky characters in town, but, I’m sorry… my ADD brain can’t keep up with 10+ side characters!  It was just too many!!  Also, I’m not a fan of kids and I found Sammy’s sister, Ellie, with her 2 year old baby and new mom attitude annoying.  She totally mom’d it up, A LOT!  I could have done without the baby all together.  I’m sure other people found her and the baby cute, but the sister and her kid just didn’t work for me.  The main character Sammy is a very caring and curious person and I found her likeable.  However, sometimes she was just way too impulsive and reckless.  It became a little frustrating and sometimes I was yelling at her to shut up or stop what she was doing.

I always enjoy cozy mysteries that have a crafty side to them.  Community crafts is the heart of this book and I am looking forward to seeing what kind of crafty things show up in the future for this series.  I don’t knit, but I thought it was pretty cool how in the back of the book there is a very detailed description of all these different kinds of yarn, as well as 2 knitting patterns for socks! Looked very user friendly and easy to follow.

Over all, A Crafter Knits a Clue was a fun start to a new handcrafted mystery series.  While I had a few issues with characters, the murder mystery was entertaining and kept me guessing.  It was a very quick read with lots of crafting going on.  I look forward to seeing where the series goes from here.


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