This month, as part of my series looking at the most popular and recommended Cozy mystery series by site readers, I’m taking a look at the first in Peggy Ehrhart‘s Knit & Nibble Mystery Series, titled Murder, She Knit. This is another “relatively” recent Cozy, starting in 2018.
Pamela Paterson is a widow living in the small town of Arborville, New Jersey, whose only daughter has recently left home for college, as well as an associate editor of Fiber Craft, a crafting magazine. Additionally, she’s a founding member of the local knitting club, Knit and Nibble. At the beginning of the novel, she reconnects with one of her husband’s colleagues, architect Amy Morgan, who has recently moved to Arborville to teach at the local community college. As Amy is a fellow knitter, Pamela invites her to join the next Knit and Nibble meeting.
Unfortunately, Amy never makes it to the club meeting, which Pamela at first assumes is because she forgot the house or had something come up. However, after the meeting, while looking for a dish she had left out for a local stray cat (Catrina), Pamela finds the real reason – Amy’s body, dead in a nearby hedge, stabbed to death by a metal knitting needle. Naturally, it will eventually fall on Pamela to help investigate the case – with a little help from her daughter, Catrina, and her fellow Knit and Nibblers.
Aside from the murder (and no doubt many more in future books), Arborville is a very pleasant suburban community, with both plenty of local charm and friendly characters. Most of the cast is relatively “grounded” – there are few “zany” or “wacky” locals, and Pamela is already a well-established member of the community, having lived there for several decades. On the whole, it gives off a warm, comforting feeling – again, except for the murder parts, which are almost always a bit incongruous with the theme of Cozy settings.
All told, this is a very nice modern Cozy with a more relaxed and less manic setting than can often be found in modern Cozies. I also appreciated that the main character appears uninterested in an immediate romantic interest, despite her friends and daughter pushing her towards one – I don’t mind a bit of romance in my Cozies, but often it becomes too much of a central focus, so this was a nice change of pace. The knitting theme is also relevant to the mystery, giving it something of an advantage over mysteries where the theme is just sort of something the sleuth does on the side disconnected from the crime. I would recommend this to any fan of modern Cozies, particularly one who is interested in knitting or other needlework.
If you’re interested in seeing other most recommended or popular Cozy Mystery authors/series, please visit the Most Popular & Recommended Cozy Mystery Series page on my site.
PS: This Cozy includes both a brief knitting tutorial for a scarf and a recipe for an apple cake.