Thursday, May 10, 2018

Only Skein Deep - Cozy Mystery Review

Rating: Good
Source: Publisher

In the latest novel from The New York Times bestselling author of Knit to Be Tied, Kelly Flynn and The Lambspun Knitters are eagerly awaiting a bundle of joy but find themselves heaped with trouble instead

Genre: Mystery - Cozy

Why I Picked This Book:
  I had read a previous book in the series and enjoyed it.

My Impression:
  I can see why this series is so popular!  Sefton has created a wonderful cozy world in the Lambspun Knitters community.  There is quite the diverse cast of series regulars but the fact that they're gathering in a shop allows for new characters to appear naturally.  As well, it feels natural that these people would spend time together as they have the common interest of knitting.  

I've found with long running series such as this one there is occasionally a book that is far more about the progression of the character than the actual mystery.  While these books tend to be a treat for the devoted reader they're not the best for newcomers to the series.  That's kind of how I felt about this one.  There is a murder but it and large chunks of the investigation happen off page and are just discussed among the characters.  Since I don't have an established relationship with the characters I wasn't as interested in Kelly's pregnancy or their personal lives as I would be if I'd been reading from the beginning.  As well I found some of the dialogue a bit clunky.  While I appreciated Sefton avoiding the dreaded info dump the way she included information in dialogue felt unnatural at times as characters were frequently relaying information to other characters that would have been very much common knowledge to them.  The unnaturalness was a bit jarring at times - especially since this book relied almost exclusively on dialogue to advance the mystery.  

I think this series has a lot of potential.  I like Kelly and the Lambspun Knitters a lot and would love to visit the yarn store and have someone teach me to knit!  However, I think this book was intended more as a treat for regular readers versus a standalone for newcomers to the Lambspun world.   While I did enjoy my visit quite a bit and am looking forward to trying another mystery though I think I'll start with an earlier book.  

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?
  Definitely!  I loved the world Sefton created and am looking forward to going a little further back into the series.

Would I Recommend this Book?
  If you're a long time reader of the series than definitely.  If you're not I'd recommend the series but maybe start at the beginning.


  1. Another very clever title. Good points about the book. I think that the thing about a lot of these series books is getting to know the characters over time.

  2. I am a longtime reader of this series. Since the beginning and I think I might 3 books behind. I agree with what you said about it, even though I haven't read it. Kelly's pregnancy would be a treat for those who have read about her journey in Colorado from the start. And yes, the cast has gotten bigger and bigger over the series. I may be wrong, but I kind of feel that Maggie Sefton is probably drawing this series to a close. Possibly not. I saw her recently at a mystery convention, but didn't get a chance to speak with her personally. That would be a question I'd ask.

    So, I think you would like this series. It's fun and you get involved with the characters. My advice - as usual - begin at the beginning to see the set-up. Thanks for featuring it!

  3. Thanks so much for introducing me to this author and series! I am going to start at book one. Great review!

  4. Good to know that this series would be best read in order. I can understand how the characters overshadowed the mystery in this one. Great review!

  5. Thanks for telling me to start with earlier books in the series, Katherine.

  6. It sounds like a cozy little world (notwithstanding the murder ha ha) and that's what I like about cozies- the little towns, the tight knit characters, just the sense that it's a comfort read- I haven't read a cozy in a while but sometimes they hit the spot!

  7. I haven't tried this series before. Thank you for the warning to start at the beginning! I will have to do that.

  8. Ack! I'm a knitter and I haven't read this series yet. Shame on me.