Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss

Debbie Wiley | Crafty Cozies as Self-Care

January 13, 2020

Mindfulness and self-care are hot button topics right now in our fast-paced, technology-driven world. Whether it’s gratitude journals, vision boards, yoga, self-help books, etc, everyone nowadays is looking for ways to refresh and re-energize themselves, particularly with 2020 launching a whole new decade. Reading is also a way to rest and rejuvenate, particularly if it’s books that spark your imagination and creativity. What better place to look than cozy mysteries with a crafty theme?

I’ve seen hygge yarn in the stores, but it’s Sally Goldenbaum’s A MURDEROUS TANGLE that sent me to google to learn more about the hygge lifestyle. The Seaside Knitting Studio is hosting its first holiday hygge and all the members are looking forward to a quiet gathering knitting or crocheting before a warm fire in their comfortable clothes with hot spiced cider and homemade cookies. Unfortunately, a murder disrupts the town of Sea Harbor and now the Seaside Knitters are tracking down a murderer in their midst. Sally Goldenbaum’s warm and inviting characters make me want to pull out my loom and knit with soft music and the scent of lavender in the air. If you’re looking for a cleverly crafted mystery that also inspires you to change your own world for the better, then look no further than A MURDEROUS TANGLE.

Delta Douglas has a dream of opening a stationery store. In Vivian Conroy’s LAST PEN STANDING, Delta has a sketchbook full of ideas for her own designs when she arrives at the shop she now co-owns with Hazel, her best friend from college. I love that we get to attend a crafting event with Hazel and Delta! However, a murder derails the success of the crafting event and now Hazel and her brother are the prime suspects. Delta and the Paper Posse are determined to clear Hazel and her brother. Who can’t help but be inspired by someone pursuing their dream in crafting? Even better, the Paper Posse and their various outlaw names are a sheer hoot! The quirky characters are endearing, and I can’t wait to attend more crafting events with Delta, Hazel, and the rest of the Paper Posse!

Another fun and enjoyable idea is Peggy Ehrhart’s Knit and Nibble group in SILENT KNIT, DEADLY KNIT. Pamela Palmer and her friends combine the best of both worlds for their knitting group as they also bake scrumptious food for each meeting. Pamela’s daughter is in town and stumbles upon the dead body of the owner of a local craft shop and now Pamela and her friends are determined to uncover who the culprit is. SILENT KNIT, DEADLY KNIT is a lot of fun and makes me want to start my own version of Knit and Nibble!

MURDER AT THE ARTS AND CRAFTS FESTIVAL by G.P. Gardner takes us on a tour of a local arts and crafts festival from the perspective of the residents of the Harbor Village retirement community. Cleo Mack, a social worker and executive director, finds herself smack in the middle of a murder investigation when artist Twinkle Thaw is murdered on Harbor Village property. I love all the discussions on the various artwork, but the drawing class is my favorite highlight. MURDER AT THE ARTS AND CRAFTS FESTIVAL is just sheer fun! Besides, who isn’t tempted to try their hand at drawing afterward?

I look forward to bringing you more crafty cozies semi-regularly, including recent releases as well as a few gems you may have missed. What are some of your favorite crafty cozies?


A MURDEROUS TANGLE by Sally Goldenbaum

Seaside Knitters Society #3

A Murderous Tangle

Birdie, Nell, Cass, and Izzy are prepping their coziest handiwork for a holiday gathering in Sea Harbor, Massachusetts. But as murder makes waves in their tightly knit coastal village, can the Seaside Knitters prevent a deadly trend from catching on?
While the Seaside Knitters get ready to showcase their new Danish-inspired event, locals can’t stop talking about Tess Bean—a bright-eyed environmental activist with a way of charming both animals and humans alike. Birdie’s granddaughter is mesmerized by ethereal Tess’s passion for saving the earth and ocean, and even Izzy’s old Irish setter becomes attached to the young woman’s gentle touch . . .

Except not everyone is a fan of Tess and her strong opinions, especially after she starts questioning the “clean” practices of small-business owners. So when a popular bar owner whom Tess publicly calls out for bad practices is found dead from a fall off his club’s deck, it’s not long before she tops the suspect list for murder . . .

In addition to a murderer walking their streets, the knitters are also grappling with an unusual wave of thefts up and down Harbor Road. Now, as Birdie’s granddaughter struggles to protect her mentor’s reputation, the Seaside Knitters must solve a dangerous mystery that not only threatens to unravel the fabric of their community and the approaching holiday, but also the lives of those they care about the most . . .

Mystery Cozy | Mystery Hobbies [Kensington, On Sale: November 26, 2019, Hardcover / e-Book, ISBN: 9781496711083 / eISBN: 9781496711106]


LAST PEN STANDING by Vivian Conroy

Stationery Shop Mystery #1

Last Pen Standing

Will this paper trail run cold?

As the new co-owner of Tundish Montana’s stationery shop WANTED, Delta Douglas knows how to organize a killer crafting event. Creativity and cardstock are all she needs to move one step closer to her ultimate dream: developing her own line of crafting products. But on the night of the workshop, at the swanky hotel venue, glitter isn’t the only thing found sprawled on the floor. A hotel guest is discovered dead in the bar, and amid the confusion, Delta’s best friend is suspected of the crime.

Enlisting the help of her Paper Posse and Spud, her canine sidekick, Delta dives into the investigation. But with many high-powered suspects on the line, Delta soon realizes her sleuthing may come with deadly consequences.

Mystery Cozy [Poisoned Pen Press, On Sale: September 24, 2019, Mass Market Paperback / e-Book, ISBN: 9781492684039 / eISBN: 9781492684046]

Can Delta and the Paper Posse catch a killer?



A Knit & Nibble Mystery #4

Silent Knit, Deadly Knit

When murder silences the Christmas cheer in charming Arborville, New Jersey, Pamela and her Knit and Nibble pals must unravel the most bone-chilling mystery this side of the North Pole . . .

Pamela has been in merry spirits since her artsy daughter Penny returned home from college for the holidays. But their mother-daughter bonding time gets cut short when a terrified Penny stumbles upon the dumped body of Millicent Farthingale, a wealthy craft shop owner who was popular for all the wrong reasons. From a scheming business partner to a seedy husband several years her junior, Millicent attracted scammers so in love with her assets, they’d toss her down a chimney to get their paws on them. Now, with only a hand-knit red scarf connecting the killer to the crime, Pamela and the Knit and Nibblers could use some extra creativity as they find out who’s really naughty or nice in Arborville—because going up against a looming culprit is DIY or die!

Knitting tips and delicious recipe included!

Mystery Hobbies | Mystery Cozy | Holiday [Kensington, On Sale: October 29, 2019, Paperback / e-Book, ISBN: 9781496723635 / eISBN: 9781496723666]

Perfect cozy mystery to curl up with by the fire



A Cleo Mack Mystery #3

Murder at the Arts and Crafts Festival

It’s late March in Fairhope, Alabama, and artists from around the country are flocking to the bayside town’s Arts & Crafts Festival. The annual tradition has something for everyone, only this year, the main attraction is murder . . .

Cleo Mack’s life has been a whirlwind since she inadvertently became the executive director of Harbor Village, a retirement community bustling with energetic seniors. Juggling apartment sales, quirky residents, and a fast-moving romance is tricky business. But on-the-job stress develops a new meaning when Twinkle Thaw, a portrait artist known to ruffle a few feathers, arrives unannounced for the weekend’s festival and drops dead hours later—mysteriously poisoned . . .

Twinkle’s bizarre death doesn’t seem like an accident. Not with a sketchy newcomer slinking around town and a gallery of suspects who may have wanted her out of the picture for good. As Cleo brushes with the truth, she soon finds that solving the crime could mean connecting the dots between a decades-old art heist and an unpredictable killer who refuses to color inside the lines . . .

Mystery Cozy | Mystery Hobbies | Mystery Woman Sleuth [Lyrical Press Underground, On Sale: December 3, 2019, e-Book, ISBN: 9781516109043 / eISBN: 9781516109036]

Who killed Twinkle Thaw?

No Comments

Comments are closed.