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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

BLOG TOUR: Murder in Merino by Sally Goldenbaum

Why hello there!
Welcome back to the site that aims to please the reader in you with a variety to satisfy the most particular of palettes....Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.

Today, we're sampling from the Cozy Mystery side of things with a book belonging to the Seaside Knitters series.  Never heard of it?  No worries!  There's a first time for everything.  Thanks to Lori over at Great Escapes Book Tours, I have the chance to shine the spotlight on the eighth addition and between knits and purls, there's a murder most heinous!  Ready to read all about it?  Please join our blog tour already in progress and today's book of choice....

NAL Hardcover

About the book....
It’s autumn in Sea Harbor and as the tourists leave a mysterious guest arrives. When she’s implicated in a crime the Seaside Knitters must quickly table their knitting project and search out a motif for murder.

Fall is usually a relaxing time in Sea Harbor, but it’s turning out to be a busy season for Izzy Chambers Perry. Not only is she helping the Seaside Knitters make a magnificent throw to celebrate the fortieth wedding anniversary of her aunt and uncle, she and her husband are finally selling the cottage she lived in before they married and had a darling baby girl. To Izzy’s surprise, newcomer Julia Ainsley seems determined to buy the home—although she’s never set foot inside.

But on the day of the open house, things take a tragic turn. A body is uncovered in the cottage’s backyard. When the police find Julia’s name and phone number in the victim’s pocket, this slender thread of evidence makes her a person of interest. Soon the spotlight of suspicion widens to include old friends and town leaders, as a tragic happening, long buried in the sleepy seaside town, is slowly brought to the surface.

Before the Endicotts’ joyful anniversary celebration can be realized, the Seaside Knitters must work to unravel the real reason Julia Ainsley has come to their town and the tangled and tragic ties from the past that bind friends and townsfolk together.


Alrighty guys, it's time to break out the pros and cons list.  Why?  Well, because sometimes that's just the best way to tackle things and for me, it'll help break this one down.  Ready?  Set?  List!

1.)  Despite not having been to Sea Harbor physically, I DO feel as though it would be a great community to live in, grow in, and just in general, build a life around.  The sense of love felt throughout the town between neighbors, friends, and even acquaintances (well, except for those killing off those that weren't meant to make it through the story...*ahem*...and even still, there IS love), was palpable through the pages and heart warming across the miles.  The author surely built a place we'd all love to find one day.

2.)  The incorporation of other hobby interests into the story allows readers a chance to continue the experience after the final page is turned.  The ladies favorite pasttime (well, aside from gossip ^_^) of knitting as well as the gents interest in cooking are worked into a special addition which includes both a pattern or two and a recipe so the next time your reading or craft group meets, TADA!  Instant party perker upper.

3.)  I'm sorry but that cover is just perfection for the series name.  It blends the craft with the location, the beauty of nature with the comfort of settling in for a spell with a furry friend and a hobby at hand.  Definite points for this choice!

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1.)  TOO MANY CHARACTERS.  Whoops.  I didn't intend to type that in capital letters and yet, I'm leaving it.  I'm a minimalist person when it comes to the cast of characters I want to see in a story.  No, I'm not telling ANY author how to write their work of wordy art, I'm simply saying FOR ME, if you're going to introduce a slew of characters, they need to have something memorable to keep their persona in my mind, or perhaps be introduced story wise over the course of a series.  Now, this IS the eighth addition to this series, so perhaps, just maybe that IS the case with the other books...but being brought into the fold at this point, I kinda knew how Jules felt; outsider looking in.

2.)  The storyline really drags more than necessary.  Honest to Abe truth here, I found myself skimming parts and just for kicks at one point, I literally flipped several chapters ahead....without missing a beat.  *blink*  To me, that says there's a lot of filler, a lot of things that maybe sorta kinda survived the final edits that didn't really need to be there.  I'm not saying they don't serve a purpose in perhaps building up a scene or connecting past and present, but to the story at hand, it mattered not.

3.)  It's a cozy but in the usual sense.  It's not the same old same old story or anything but it follows the usual formula thereby I have my seemingly recurring complaint.  Parts of the plot, persons of suspicion, and even bits of the final outcome are predictable.  It takes 30 pages to come to a written conclusion of what the reader has already picked up on with the first page and a half.  I'm one for story building, but I like my mysteries to have a little more mystery.

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So, in conclusion, though not the series for me (*sigh*), I can definitely see it hitting a home run with fellow knitters (*makes note to share with one particular friend*) and those with a bigger cozy repertoire under their proverbial belts.  DO get swept away by the location.  DO try to solve the murder as it unfolds while putting the other mysterious pieces in order....just don't look TOO deeply lest it spoil itself before the final reveal.  


About the author....

Sally Goldenbaum is a sometime philosophy teacher, a knitter, and an editor, and the author of more than thirty novels. Sally became more serious about knitting with the birth of her first grandchild and the creation of the Seaside Knitters mystery series. Her fictional knitting friends are teaching her the intricacies of women’s friendship, the mysteries of small-town living, and the very best way to pick up dropped stitches on a lacy knit shawl. 



Special thanks to Lori at Great Escapes Book Tours for the chance to bring this tour to you.  (THANKS!) To catch the rest of this bookish train as it makes its way through the blogosphere, be sure to check out all the stops on the official tour page.  This title is available now via NAL Hardcover, so be on the lookout for it on a bookstore shelf near you.  Looking for a quick virtual shopping trip?  Check out Amazon and Barnes & Noble (to name a few) for a quick bookish fix.

Until next time....happy reading!


Tracy Terry said...

Loving the cover but alas for me those cons far outweigh the pros.

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