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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

More Cosy Needlework Crime: Maggie Sefton's Kelly Flynn

This is another series of cosy crime I enjoy reading. 
Maggie Sefton lives in Colorado. She began her writing career with historical novels but switched to mysteries when she realised murders were at the core of her historical novels. Her knitting mysteries feature Kelly Flynn, an accountant who has left the corporate world of New York to freelance in Colorado. 

In the first of the series, Knit One, Kill Two Kelly investigates the death of her aunt. In subsequent books, Needled to Death, A Deadly Yarn, A Killer Stitch, Dyer Consequences, Fleece Navidad, Drop Dead Stitch, Skein of the Crime, and Unraveled,  the bodies keep coming.
In Needled to Death Kelly discovers a body while taking a group visit to an alpaca farm. A Deadly Yarn sees Kelly investigating the apparent suicide of a friend and A Killer Stitch revolves around the death of an alpaca sheep rancher with a 'love and leave them' attitude.  In Dyer Consequences  Kelly is battling vandalism of her home as well as dealing with the death of a member of her knitting group in a dye vat in the shop's basement. You get the idea - observation, integrity and relationships applied in a community the reader comes to know and identify with.

One thread of the books is Kelly's developing relationship with Steve, a local builder. Steve goes out of business in the economic downturn and breaks up with Kelly in the process. Her knitting and real estate friends help  her out. The global financial crisis is playing out in small town Colorado.

In the latest book, Unravelled,(which made the New York Times best seller list the week it came out) Kelly is  visiting a property in a canyon with her friend Jennifer when yet another body is found. One of Kelly’s clients falls under suspicion as does the friend of a friend. Kelly takes a photo of the gun at the murder scene and follows up, digging out information that eventually leads to an arrest.

Kelly also runs into Steve at a meeting and ends up playing volley ball against him. They start the long process of being in contact again. While this is a fairly predictable story with no great character development it is a pleasant read and a interesting to see an author dealing with very current economics in a domestic setting.
Each book has a knitting pattern and a recipe at the back. I haven't tried any of them.
Knit One Kill Two has pattern for Kelly's first, very basic, scarf, a simple template pattern for a sleeveless pullover and a recipe for Maggie's Cinnamon Rolls. Needled to Death has a Blueberry pie recipe, and patterns for an eyelet yarn scarf and a shell for a seed-stitch vest. Dyer Consequences has a recipe for pecan pie and a pattern for a knitted collapsible cloche. Fleece Navidad has a range of holiday knitting patterns (easy mittens, sweetheart gloves, a ribbed hat and two Christmas stockings) and a range of recipes (cinnamon rolls, pumpkin nut bread, ginger snaps,chocolate pecan rum balls, hot mulled wine, chocolate mint fudge and Carl's Doggie Christmas Cookies). Skein of the Crime has a triple layer carrot cake and a braided knit scarf while Unravelled has a knitting pattern for Sweet Summer Tee and recipe for Yummy chocolate cake.

This series seems to be available for Kindle as well as the paper formats, and Unravelled  is available as an audiobook. 

Maggie Sefton  also has a series of mysteries set in the real estate world and featuring Kate Doyle as sleuth. I haven't read any of these. She has a very clear and straightforward website at with useful information about her books and how she became a writer.


Karyn said...

I might have to look out for these. I have been making my way through Debbie Macombers knitting based books; no crime in these, just stories about friendshiop and life. They remind me a lot of Maeve Binchy's novels. Working in a wool shop, it is fun to read stories set in another wool shop, in a country far far away!!

Do you have a Kindle? I am thinking about it but haven't made up my mind.

Jillian said...

Yes, I do have a Kindle, and also a Sony eReader. I now use them all the time. They are easy to use anywhere and good on the eyes. Easier than a suitcase bulging with books when I travel and it eases the demand for yet more bookshelves at home.

The real problem is availability of titles in Australia. It is getting better, but the Australian publishing industy is slow to adapt. I bought my Sony eReader in the USA and loaded it up with books while in the States where there is a huge amount available.

I don't read craft books electronically, though. I think the iPad is probably good for that, but the diagrams and photos require better graphics than most electronic readers have at present.
Way to go for novels or other text-based books though.

Jillian Mary said...

No sooner said than done. I LOVE my Kindle, and I'm looking forward to reading the two I just downloaded. These look like fun. Thanks for sharing, Jillian.

Anonymous said...

I've never read any of these books. They sound great - katherine