Guest Post with Giveaway ~ A Finely Knit Murder by Sally Goldenbaum


Needles and Yarn…and Murder 

Do knitting and yarn and murder really make a good stew? I wondered about that early on when people kept asking me if I was going to kill someone with knitting needles. No, never! has always been my reply. (It’s the same with food. Nell, one of the seaside knitters, told me that she will never ever kill anyone with her wonderful delicacies.)

So why include a knitting element in the series, then, and would the seaside knitters be different if they didn’t knit, if they were simply “the seaside women”?

I didn’t pick a knitting theme because I’m an expert at it the craft. I’m not. I’m a knitter-in-training (the Seaside Knitters do a lot to help me out along the way—as do my wonderful local yarn shops and readers who offer me tips).        

All right, then, so why?

Here’s what I think:

I think the seaside knitters mysteries are as much about relationships and women’s friendship as they are about knitting. But the knitting provides a kind of centering, a place to bring the women together at Izzy’s Yarn Studio on a regular basis. It’s the place where their friendships are nourished and where they grow. A place where they interact, gossip, and develop their relationships in new ways. It helps, I hope, to keep the series fresh and interesting.

friendsIn the newest mystery, Murder at Lambswool Farm (Seaside Knitters Mystery #11) the knitters are busy helping Birdie with her new venture—turning a rundown farm into an organic garden, a beautiful place with grazing sheep and a barn transformed into a kitchen. And in their spare time, in the backroom of Izzy’s shop, they are busy creating hand knit vegetables and felted bowls (the pattern is included in the book) to hold them, centerpieces for Birdie’s first farm to table dinner at the farm. Their knitting provide a metaphor for the way Nell, Birdie, Cass, and Izzy think. Carefully and methodically they knit together the pieces of a puzzle to solve a crime, just like they do the eggplant and apples and plump golden squash that will fill the felted bowls.

Yarn also provides clues as the knitters work through the morass of elements that surround a murder. In the first book, Death by Cashmere, a beautiful cashmere sweater leads the knitters down a path. And in A Finely Knit Murder (just released in paperback) the seaside women are teaching a knitting class at Birdie’s granddaughter’s school, a project that takes them to the scene of a murder.

And lastly, I think yarn is simply so tangible and visceral and sensual that it provides a feeling that can easily soften the harshness of murder and, at the same time, heighten and stimulate the senses. It injects a sensuousness into the mystery, just like writing about food does. Sinking ones fingers into a skein of Izzy’s cashmere yarn, for example, or savoring Nell’s shrimp and pineapple kobobs (the recipe appears in Murder at Lambswool Farm)—and raising four glasses of Birdie’s chilled pinot gris—are sure ways to stimulate and sharpen the sensyarnes. They are all helpful assists in Murder at Lambswool Farm as the knitters of Sea Harbor explore the intricacies involved in the unraveling of a family clinic, the strange behavior of long-time neighbors, and making sense of the clues surrounding a dear friend’s awful death.

And although readers of the seaside knitters mysteries won’t learn to knit as they join Izzy, Nell, Birdie, and Cass on a Thursday evening in the yarn shop, I hope they take away from the stories—not only a feeling of mystery and puzzles, of friendship and caring—but the urge to sink one’s fingers into a tempting pile of cashmere and cotton and luxurious angora yarn.

My thanks for inviting me and the seaside knitters to stop by, and for all of you for dropping in.

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finelySeries: Seaside Knitters Mystery (Book 9)

Publisher: NAL (May 5, 2015)

Genre: Cozy Mystery

ISBN-10: 0451471601

ISBN-13: 978-0451471604
Buy: Amazon, Kindle, IndieBound, The Book Depository


In the newest mystery from the national bestselling author of Murder in Merino, the sleuthing skills of Izzy Chambers Perry and the Seaside Knitters are tested as death mars the beginning of the school year…

Seaside Knitter Birdie Favazza is thrilled that her granddaughter Gabby will be visiting for the fall and attending the Sea Harbor Community Day School. Gabby loves the school, with its newly-adopted progressive curriculum, and she loves that the Seaside Knitters are teaching knitting as part of the enrichment program. It’s a huge success, and on crisp autumn days, girls camp out on the terraces, knitting up hats for charity.

But not everyone is happy with the direction the school is taking. Outspoken board member Blythe Westerland has sparked tempers with her determination to unravel the current administration. Then, on the evening of an elegant school event, Blythe’s body is found near the school boathouse.

With a killer on the loose, Birdie is determined to keep Gabby safe. Working together, the Seaside Knitters carefully unravel the layers of Blythe’s complicated life, bringing faculty members and town residents under scrutiny. Before the cast-off rows are made on the students’ projects, the knitters will need to stitch together the evidence to see if a murderer has been walking beside them all along.

post-divider leftThanks to the publisher, I have one (1) copy of A Finely Knit Murder to give away.

Giveaway open to residents of the US only.
Giveaway ends on June 11th

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Winner will have 48 hours, from the time of notification to confirm their win or another winner will be chosen.

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sallySally Goldenbaum is the author of three dozen novels, most recently the Seaside Knitters Mystery Series, set in the fictional town of Sea Harbor, Massachusetts.

Sally was born in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, and now lives in Prairie Village, Kansas, with her husband, Don and a terrific Aussie, Sophie.

In addition to writing mysteries, Sally has taught philosophy, Latin, and creative writing, edited bioethics and veterinary healthcare journals, and worked in public television at WQED-Pittsburgh (then home to Mr. Rogers and his Neighborhood).

Sally's family includes her husband, Don, three wonderful adult children, their fine spouses, and six amazing grandchildren.

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  1. Della Williamson says:

    Great post.  Book is a must read.  Hoping to get it sooner.  Rather than later.  A new author & book is always so exciting.  Thank you, Lori for the heads up.  And thanks to Sally and publisher.  

  2. Gloria Walshver says:

    A great author of mysteries to read.

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