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Yarn to Go

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Dessert chef Casey Feldstein doesn’t know a knitting needle from a crochet hook. But after her aunt dies unexpectedly, leaving Casey to run her yarn retreat business, the sweets baker finds herself rising to the occasion—and trying to unravel a murder mystery…   When Casey finds out that her late aunt’s business, Yarn2Go, has one more yarn retreat scheduled, she decides to Dessert chef Casey Feldstein doesn’t know a knitting needle from a crochet hook. But after her aunt dies unexpectedly, leaving Casey to run her yarn retreat business, the sweets baker finds herself rising to the occasion—and trying to unravel a murder mystery…   When Casey finds out that her late aunt’s business, Yarn2Go, has one more yarn retreat scheduled, she decides to go ahead and host the event, despite her complete lack of experience as a knitter. At least the retreat is on the beautiful Monterey Peninsula.   But the idyllic setting is soured when a retreat regular is found murdered in her hotel room. Feeling a sense of responsibility, Casey begins to weave the clues together and detects a pattern which may shed light on her aunt’s suspicious death. Despite the danger, the last thing Casey plans to do is retreat. She’ll catch this killer…or dye trying.   Includes a knitting pattern and a recipe!


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Dessert chef Casey Feldstein doesn’t know a knitting needle from a crochet hook. But after her aunt dies unexpectedly, leaving Casey to run her yarn retreat business, the sweets baker finds herself rising to the occasion—and trying to unravel a murder mystery…   When Casey finds out that her late aunt’s business, Yarn2Go, has one more yarn retreat scheduled, she decides to Dessert chef Casey Feldstein doesn’t know a knitting needle from a crochet hook. But after her aunt dies unexpectedly, leaving Casey to run her yarn retreat business, the sweets baker finds herself rising to the occasion—and trying to unravel a murder mystery…   When Casey finds out that her late aunt’s business, Yarn2Go, has one more yarn retreat scheduled, she decides to go ahead and host the event, despite her complete lack of experience as a knitter. At least the retreat is on the beautiful Monterey Peninsula.   But the idyllic setting is soured when a retreat regular is found murdered in her hotel room. Feeling a sense of responsibility, Casey begins to weave the clues together and detects a pattern which may shed light on her aunt’s suspicious death. Despite the danger, the last thing Casey plans to do is retreat. She’ll catch this killer…or dye trying.   Includes a knitting pattern and a recipe!

30 review for Yarn to Go

  1. 4 out of 5

    JoAn

    Ms. Hechtman is a "new to me" author and I am glad to have found this series. Although I am not a knitter, I enjoy her descriptive writing and the characters that she is developing in this series. Thank goodness my library has several in this series.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Micky Cox

    What do you do when you have tried everything and always quit when the going gets tough in your latest adventure and everyone wants you to quit? You stick of course! Great new series, or at least new to me, with an excellent group of characters wrapped into a great plot of murder and knitting! I really need to learn to knit since my favorite characters all seem to know how! I really can't wait to see where the next book takes us!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Lori

    Casey Feldstein bakes muffins and desserts for a local restaurant. When she inherits her aunt's estate after her death due to a hit-and-run incident, she discovers a few hanging commitments, such as a knitting retreat scheduled for the hotel across the street. Since she can't refund the money, she decides to hold it. Her aunt scheduled a master knitter to teach sessions, a yarn-tasting at a local yarn shop, and more. Casey plans to hold the retreat and be done with that aspect of her aunt's busi Casey Feldstein bakes muffins and desserts for a local restaurant. When she inherits her aunt's estate after her death due to a hit-and-run incident, she discovers a few hanging commitments, such as a knitting retreat scheduled for the hotel across the street. Since she can't refund the money, she decides to hold it. Her aunt scheduled a master knitter to teach sessions, a yarn-tasting at a local yarn shop, and more. Casey plans to hold the retreat and be done with that aspect of her aunt's business forever. The hotel manager is eager to take over the yarn retreat business and pushes Casey from the beginning to hand over her aunt's business papers. The more he pushes, the less interested she is in handing them over to him. Then one of the knitters turns up dead. Casey discovers another knitter met her demise in what was termed an accident at the previous retreat. Are all the incidents related? Will the police or Casey find the murderer or will he or she go free? It's a fun book although some of the coincidences, particularly toward the end stretch the imagination. I identified the perpetrator a good ways before the end although there was another one whom I wished to be the culprit even more.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Tari

    I'd been wanting to start this series for a long time, and it definitely wasn't a disappointment. I loved the idea of a yarn retreat even though I don't knit. It was pretty cool how Casey wanted nothing to do with her aunt's retreat business, but it soon took on a new meaning for her. She may not have been a knitter and just learning at the retreat, but she discovered that she could help those people with other things. When one of the retreat members was killed, Casey started thinking about two I'd been wanting to start this series for a long time, and it definitely wasn't a disappointment. I loved the idea of a yarn retreat even though I don't knit. It was pretty cool how Casey wanted nothing to do with her aunt's retreat business, but it soon took on a new meaning for her. She may not have been a knitter and just learning at the retreat, but she discovered that she could help those people with other things. When one of the retreat members was killed, Casey started thinking about two previous deaths, one being her aunt's so-called accident, and wondered if those deaths were somehow connected to this one. With the help of a PI friend named Frank that she'd worked for as a temp, Casey slowly uncovered the killer's identity. I had this person in mind but was hoping it was someone else. At the end, Casey had a decision to make and when it was made, she felt happy that she'd done the right thing. I loved how the retreat members all started out as strangers but while working together, they became friends and looked forward to more retreats together. Everything was well wrapped up at the end and explained. The take down was short but effective. There had been a side mystery that was taken care of as well. I have all the books in the series so far, so it looks like I just need to work them in, because I'm anxious to continue reading.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Christine Williams

    I wasn’t too enamored with this first start. Casey, the main character, inherits her aunt’s yarn retreat business and she has to put on the last planned retreat because it’s too late to cancel. I think my main problem with this book was I didn’t really like any of the characters. As a matter of fact, I downright hated them. Casey is weak. I hated the manager of the lodge who kept pestering her to hand over her aunt’s files so he could continue the retreats. Casey should have told him to shove it I wasn’t too enamored with this first start. Casey, the main character, inherits her aunt’s yarn retreat business and she has to put on the last planned retreat because it’s too late to cancel. I think my main problem with this book was I didn’t really like any of the characters. As a matter of fact, I downright hated them. Casey is weak. I hated the manager of the lodge who kept pestering her to hand over her aunt’s files so he could continue the retreats. Casey should have told him to shove it. I also hated that Casey thought her hot cop neighbor was having orgies at his house since all the clues seemed to point that way. As a reader, I knew that there was going to be a better (and cleaner) explanation, so why even have Casey think this? It was just lame. The restaurant-owning husband of her friend was also a jerk and Casey and her pal just played it off that that was his personality. Um, no if he’s being an jerk, he needs to be called on it. Casey’s parents were also hateable and once again Casey doesn’t step and tell them to buzz off. I understand having a character weakness so they have room to develop and grow as the series progresses, but it was really just too much. I would give this book a pass. There are a million and one other cozies out there to spend time and money on. Amanda Lee’s embroidery mysteries are way better than this. I know embroidery is not knitting, but it’s similar!

  6. 4 out of 5

    LORI (Dollycas) CASWELL

    Casey has history of not completing what she starts but decides to complete something her aunt started even though she hasn’t a clue on how to run a yarn retreat. With the help of her friend, Lucinda, and master teacher, Kris, she just may be able to pull it off and close her aunt’s business with no strings left hanging. But then one of the retreat regulars is found dead in her hotel room. Casey has an inkling the police are missing something. Let’s face it they still have not caught the person w Casey has history of not completing what she starts but decides to complete something her aunt started even though she hasn’t a clue on how to run a yarn retreat. With the help of her friend, Lucinda, and master teacher, Kris, she just may be able to pull it off and close her aunt’s business with no strings left hanging. But then one of the retreat regulars is found dead in her hotel room. Casey has an inkling the police are missing something. Let’s face it they still have not caught the person who committed the hit and run that killed her aunt, so she doesn’t have much faith in their abilities. She starts to knit the clues together and she plans to unravel all the knots and catch the killer herself if she has to… Dollycas’s Thoughts Set in Monterey, California, Betty Hechtman’s new series is off to a fantastic start. Casey Feldstein is a 35 year old woman whose life has taken several different directions much to her parent’s dismay. The latest turn has taken her to California to her aunt’s guest house. She has a job doing what she loves baking desserts for a local restaurant and baking muffins for several other businesses. Then her aunt is killed and she is left handling the details of her estate. I fell for this character very quickly along with all the supporting characters. Lucinda is the perfect sidekick, her husband Tag is ultra obsessive compulsive and it drives Lucinda crazy but she loves him. Casey’s old boyfriend arrives on the scene with her parents in hopes are getting her to settle down and do something they approve of. Dane, the neighbor, who is also on the police force, adds to the romantic tension and the humor in the story. The mystery is extremely well presented and woven through the entire story with ease. There really are three deaths and they may or may not be connected. It was really very interesting to follow all the clues and put everything together. Hechtman is also the author of The Crochet Mysteries that feature Molly Pink, and an avid crafter so she knows what she is doing in the cozy mystery department. She has not only given us a wonderful story to kick off this series but has laid the groundwork for many more installments. If you are not familiar with her work you can start with this one and then you can get started on her other series. The eighth book in that series, FOR BETTER OR WORSTED.,comes out in November.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sarah {The Bookish Knitter}

    3.5 Stars I have to admit that I had high hopes for this book. A cozy mystery about reading that has a black cat on the cover? Sign me up! Unfortunately the story wasn't as great as I was hoping, but I believe a lot of that had to do with the narration. It wasn't that great and I do plan to continue with the series, but I may end up reading them on my e reader. This is the story of Casey who has unknowingly inherited her Aunt's yarn retreat business, after her aunt died in a hit and run accident. 3.5 Stars I have to admit that I had high hopes for this book. A cozy mystery about reading that has a black cat on the cover? Sign me up! Unfortunately the story wasn't as great as I was hoping, but I believe a lot of that had to do with the narration. It wasn't that great and I do plan to continue with the series, but I may end up reading them on my e reader. This is the story of Casey who has unknowingly inherited her Aunt's yarn retreat business, after her aunt died in a hit and run accident. Casey doesn't believe her aunt's death was an accident and that comes into play later in the book. Casey knows nothing at all about knitting, and that worked in the books favor. If you are not a knitter, the book does a great job of explaining a lot of the terms and techniques, without sounding like you are reading a beginners guide to knitting. The mystery aspect was interesting; you have Casey's aunt's death, but the main plot is the murder of one of the participants at the retreat. It almost plays out like 'And Then There Were None' by Agatha Christie with each of the participants thinking it was each other who was the murderer. Being a cozy mystery, which tend to be a little easier to guess who the murderer was; it did come as a surprise to me when you find out whodunit. All in all it was enjoyable, especially if you are an avid knitter like myself. Challenges: ♥ Pass the Parcel Round 9 - Week #7 - Read a book by a female author ♥ Candyland Quarterly Challenge - Task: #26 - Read a book whose author's first or last name begins with either an A or E or read a book set in California. ♥ RRRC October 2017 Monthly Challenge #6 - Wear Something Gaudy Day

  8. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    I thought the story was enjoyable but a couple of things bugged me. First, how does someone who is underemployed afford a Mini Cooper? Second, the use of the words "throw up" continually used as a noun. I felt like I was reading a conversation between preschoolers. And I REALLY disliked Casey's mother.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    I enjoyed this book, for the most part. The story was a nice light read that I sped through. I'd like to see more of Casey. I will say that the entire Dane/Dr. Sammy thing felt rather forced and I got tired of Casey telling us how she didn't feel about Dr. Sammy. We will see how it plays out in future books, I guess. What I didn't like was that my copy had many typos, spelling and grammatical errors that I found distracting. Whoever the copy editor was fell down on the job! I expect to find error I enjoyed this book, for the most part. The story was a nice light read that I sped through. I'd like to see more of Casey. I will say that the entire Dane/Dr. Sammy thing felt rather forced and I got tired of Casey telling us how she didn't feel about Dr. Sammy. We will see how it plays out in future books, I guess. What I didn't like was that my copy had many typos, spelling and grammatical errors that I found distracting. Whoever the copy editor was fell down on the job! I expect to find errors like that in ebooks, but not in hard copy form, so it was even more jarring to me. For instance, this one sticks in my head because it was at the end of the book on page 292, '"How do you feel about cobbler for monday?" i said when lucinda answered the phone."' What happened to capitalization?? Small thing, big distraction. The story was okay though, so I will read the next in the series and see how it goes.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Christine (KizzieReads)

    This was such a cute story. I loved the fellowship of knitters when they get together. Even strangers become friends over a love of something, and seeing how most of the characters grew, was a really special thing. Some people were annoying, but overall, I really liked the characters by the end. I had totally did not see the ending coming. I thought it was someone else, and was completely taken aback when all was revealed. Can't wait for the next one.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Christine

    This is the first book in the Yarn retreat series. Casey Feldstein takes the task of running her aunt's yarn retreat after she dies. Casey knows next to nothing about knitting. She has a couple of people helping her run the retreat so she can close up her aunts business. One of the retreaters gets killed early on in the retreat. Casey doesn't trust the police to find the killer since they still hadn't found the hit and run driver that killed her aunt. She tries to put the pieces together of who This is the first book in the Yarn retreat series. Casey Feldstein takes the task of running her aunt's yarn retreat after she dies. Casey knows next to nothing about knitting. She has a couple of people helping her run the retreat so she can close up her aunts business. One of the retreaters gets killed early on in the retreat. Casey doesn't trust the police to find the killer since they still hadn't found the hit and run driver that killed her aunt. She tries to put the pieces together of who would have wanted the victim dead. I really enjoyed this book. I felt connected to Casey immediately. The supporting characters were well developed. Casey's ex boyfriend and her parents coming to town made for an interesting side story. I also liked Casey calling her ex boss for detective advice. I hope we see more pf him and officer Dane as well.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Barb

    Having really enjoyed all of Betty Hechtman's crochet series, I was prepared to like YARN TO GO, the first in her Knitting Retreat series. This book totally exceeded my expectations. The setting is amazing: an old, rustic resort near the tip of the fog-bound Monterey Peninsula. The characters are well fleshed-out and quirky. The plot is really thoughtful and devious. I never saw it coming. And the pacing is just fast enough that you can't quite catch your breath. For knitters, the enclosed patte Having really enjoyed all of Betty Hechtman's crochet series, I was prepared to like YARN TO GO, the first in her Knitting Retreat series. This book totally exceeded my expectations. The setting is amazing: an old, rustic resort near the tip of the fog-bound Monterey Peninsula. The characters are well fleshed-out and quirky. The plot is really thoughtful and devious. I never saw it coming. And the pacing is just fast enough that you can't quite catch your breath. For knitters, the enclosed pattern is EASY, but after all, Casey, our retreat leader, is just learning how to knit. I'm hoping for more challenging projects in future books. And I'm definitely going to continue to read this series!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Carly McEathron

    As far as "cozy myseries" go, most I find obnoxious and completely unlikely (seriously, how many Cookbook Nooks can the economy support? I'm thinking zero.). I am so refreshed to find Yarn To Go does not fall victim to those pitfalls. The characters, and the crime, are completely believable, and the character development was just detailed enough to make me sympathetic but left enough hanging that I want to read the second in the series. Great job Betty Hetchman!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Karen B.

    I have recently discovered Betty Hechtman and have begun to love her work. My first experience was with the crochet books and now I am reading her knitting (yarn retreat) mysteries. Of course one of the reasons I like her early crochet mysteries and now the yarn retreat mystery is that they are available in audible so that I can crochet while listening. I don't knit but still this book was entertaining. What I like about her books is that the murderer is always someone you meet in the book but d I have recently discovered Betty Hechtman and have begun to love her work. My first experience was with the crochet books and now I am reading her knitting (yarn retreat) mysteries. Of course one of the reasons I like her early crochet mysteries and now the yarn retreat mystery is that they are available in audible so that I can crochet while listening. I don't knit but still this book was entertaining. What I like about her books is that the murderer is always someone you meet in the book but don't really suspect and when the killer is revealed it is a surprise (for me it was) and the pieces fit together. Casey is a dessert chef and doesn't know anything about knitting but her aunt had died after setting up a knitting retreat and Casey thinks she should see the retreat through. She decides to host the event even though she knows nothing about yarn or knitting. One of the people on the retreat is murdered and Casey takes on the responsibility of figuring out what happened.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Mary Ann

    Yarn To Go Casey works as a baker in a restaurant and selling muffins around town. It is something she is good at and enjoys. She had just lost her aunt recently to a hit and run accident and had just learned from her boss, Tag, that her aunt had collected monies and started getting things together for her Yarn Retreat business. It is too late to return the monies and cancel, so she goes forward with the plans. It is to be the end of the business since her aunt is gone. They all gather at the ho Yarn To Go Casey works as a baker in a restaurant and selling muffins around town. It is something she is good at and enjoys. She had just lost her aunt recently to a hit and run accident and had just learned from her boss, Tag, that her aunt had collected monies and started getting things together for her Yarn Retreat business. It is too late to return the monies and cancel, so she goes forward with the plans. It is to be the end of the business since her aunt is gone. They all gather at the hotel across from her home and she meets the people who are going to make up the group, women mostly, but one man. She learns that the lady who teaches the classes has a business called Yarn in a Box that allows people to fill out information and then get a project meant just for them. She learns about the people and finds out, after the death on the first night, about the connections of the deaths. She begins to look at the deaths and puts together information, calling on a former boss as she works.    This is the first in the series and I had read some of the others out of order and was pleasantly surprised with the story as it gave some information that was not in the other books and helps move the story along. The books can be read out of order, I know that I will continue to read the other stories. 

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kristi

    Casey Feldstein is completely out of her depth when she inherits her late aunt’s business, Yarn2Go. How is a non-knitter going to run a yarn retreat? When one of the participants is found dead, Casey finds herself compelled to discover what happened. Can Casey solve the mystery before the murderer strikes again? I am an avid knitter, and I really enjoyed how it was incorporated into the book. I rated the book three stars instead four because I figured out the murderer's identity approximately hal Casey Feldstein is completely out of her depth when she inherits her late aunt’s business, Yarn2Go. How is a non-knitter going to run a yarn retreat? When one of the participants is found dead, Casey finds herself compelled to discover what happened. Can Casey solve the mystery before the murderer strikes again? I am an avid knitter, and I really enjoyed how it was incorporated into the book. I rated the book three stars instead four because I figured out the murderer's identity approximately half way through the book. The book was still good, but not as much fun.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Colleen Earle

    I am such trash for this genre Loved the knitting aspects, unlike the last cozy I read that talked about knitting the mc didn’t know how to knit and it was a lot of fun watching her learn her art. The cast of characters was really well balanced. I didn’t guess who the murder was until the reveal which was nice I’m glad I bought the whole series already

  18. 5 out of 5

    Chaitra

    Not bad for a first book, but I was a little uncomfortable about where the main character is at the end. I mean, I understand that she decided Paris wasn't for her. But I also didn't like that so many people kind of sort of pressured her into staying. But I also liked Dr. Sammy, and I would love to see more of him. I also liked Casey herself.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sheila Burke

    I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. This was my first book by this author, and I found the story original, creative, well-written, well-paced, and entertaining. Hoping to find more books from this author at my library. Well worth the time to read.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Bonnie

    A little slow in places but this is the first book of a series so it needs to "set up" the premise. Still it was good and I will read at least one more before I decide whether to pursue this series.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie Reece

    Enjoyed it. Nice and fun but a mystery all the same. Would definitely read the series.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Cathy Cole

    Casey Feldstein is a likable young woman with a talent for making mouth-watering desserts. The unfortunate thing is, she doesn't seem to have a talent for sticking with anything for very long. Of course that may have something to do with her overbearing, oh-so-superior, meddler of a mother, bless her heart. (You Southerners know what I mean.) Casey also happens to be surrounded by an interesting group of secondary characters. Her best friend Lucinda runs a popular local restaurant along with her Casey Feldstein is a likable young woman with a talent for making mouth-watering desserts. The unfortunate thing is, she doesn't seem to have a talent for sticking with anything for very long. Of course that may have something to do with her overbearing, oh-so-superior, meddler of a mother, bless her heart. (You Southerners know what I mean.) Casey also happens to be surrounded by an interesting group of secondary characters. Her best friend Lucinda runs a popular local restaurant along with her OCD husband, Tag (whom I see as a potential rich vein of plot twists). Hotel manager Kevin St. John is a perfect thorn in Casey's side, and those attending the retreat are certainly a good blend of differing personalities. The hook-- knitting retreats-- is more than a hook and plays an important role in the book. In fact-- with my own rekindled interest in knitting-- it sometimes overshadowed a very good mystery. With Casey being a complete novice, author Betty Hechtman was able to "show us some of the ropes," as well as really showcase what a yarn retreat is all about. I found myself paying just as much attention to what handmade items the retreat members were wearing, how each of their local groups operated, and how Casey's aunt was a genius in choosing individualized projects as I did to clues so I could identify the killer. With the beautiful setting, a fine cast of characters, and a good blend of knit, purl, and murder, I definitely look forward to reading more books in this series!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly

    A yarn retreat begins with a murder and the retreat leader takes it upon herself to solve the crime. It was enjoyable. I liked that it comes with a recipe and a knitting pattern (even though I can't knit). There were a few points where she was repeating herself nearly word for word, particularly in describing the mother/daughter relationship of two of the yarn retreat attendees, and I never really understood fully why she took it entirely upon herself to solve the murder without sharing any info A yarn retreat begins with a murder and the retreat leader takes it upon herself to solve the crime. It was enjoyable. I liked that it comes with a recipe and a knitting pattern (even though I can't knit). There were a few points where she was repeating herself nearly word for word, particularly in describing the mother/daughter relationship of two of the yarn retreat attendees, and I never really understood fully why she took it entirely upon herself to solve the murder without sharing any information with the police, but it wasn't really central to enjoying the story so I stick with a three star rating. I hope the cat she adopts at the end of the book can make more of an appearance in the future, as it was there wasn't really much of a point to it being in the book even though I love cats. (Unless it was symbolic of her taking on a responsibility she couldn't quit but that may be too much for a cozy murder mystery)

  24. 5 out of 5

    Barb Martin

    I enjoyed this book so much that I want to get my sisters together for a yarn retreat of our own. I read the book in one day while simultaneously wishing I could have been working on my knitting loom. I'm a novice with yarn. I can't knit or crochet, but my son introduced me to the knitting loom, and that's something I can do and enjoy. Enough about me. Casey's aunt has died in an unsolved hit-and-run, leaving Casey her house and leaving her responsible for handling the final event of her yarn retr I enjoyed this book so much that I want to get my sisters together for a yarn retreat of our own. I read the book in one day while simultaneously wishing I could have been working on my knitting loom. I'm a novice with yarn. I can't knit or crochet, but my son introduced me to the knitting loom, and that's something I can do and enjoy. Enough about me. Casey's aunt has died in an unsolved hit-and-run, leaving Casey her house and leaving her responsible for handling the final event of her yarn retreat business. In this case, knitters gather to learn new techniques and to share their hobby with like-minded people. Oops. Something's off, and someone is murdered. It's a cozy mystery, so Casey naturally decides to solve the murder. We've got the requisite cute guys and the love triangle. We've got the loyal best friend. We've got the meddling parents who just want Casey to settle down. And we've got yarn stashes. Fun.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    I love this author and I loved her new series. I was afraid the set up would be too much like her other one - but it isn't. Pure enjoyment!

  26. 4 out of 5

    CafeKnitter

    I was sad to be disappointed in this first book of this yarn retreat series. I so enjoy her other series. I will continue to read her other series. I won't be reading any others in this series :(

  27. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    Very good mystery that sucks you in and leaves you wondering who did it to the end.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Margaret

    treadmill equivalent of a beach read. Not bad, for what it is.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Nicolette Kernohan

    When Casey Feldstein finds herself in charge of a yarn retreat, she feels out of her depth, in Yarn to Go by Betty Hechtman. So, how will she manage after one of her knitting class is found murdered? Casey has a habit of not sticking with a job for very long; she has been a substitute teacher, an office worker and a temp in a detective agency. And, when her aunt Joan died in a car accident, she was happy to move into her aunt’s guesthouse on the beautiful Monterey Peninsula in Northern California When Casey Feldstein finds herself in charge of a yarn retreat, she feels out of her depth, in Yarn to Go by Betty Hechtman. So, how will she manage after one of her knitting class is found murdered? Casey has a habit of not sticking with a job for very long; she has been a substitute teacher, an office worker and a temp in a detective agency. And, when her aunt Joan died in a car accident, she was happy to move into her aunt’s guesthouse on the beautiful Monterey Peninsula in Northern California. She has found a niche there, as a dessert chef, baking treats for local businesses. Casey didn’t expect to inherit anything from her aunt. But Joan must have seen something she liked in her niece, because not only did she leave her the guesthouse, but also her yarn retreat business Yarn2Go. Before she died, Joan had scheduled a weekend yarn retreat in March, at the Vista Del hotel in Cadbury by the Sea. Casey’s lack of experience in running such events equals her lack of experience as a knitter. But she hasn’t the money to refund the knitters. So, with encouragement from her friend Lucinda, she decides to go ahead and host the event. All goes well enough. Up until Edie, one of the regular event attendees, is found murdered in her hotel room! Then Casey’s parents turn up unexpectedly, with her ex boyfriend in tow. They have a proposition for her, which puts Casey under even more pressure. As Casey is hosting the yarn retreat, she feels somewhat responsible for Edie’s death. She has a (justified) lack of faith in the local police. So, using her old detective training, she prepares a list of likely suspects. With the help of an old detective friend in Chicago, she starts to delve into the backgrounds of the people who knew Edie including the hotel staff and visitors. Casey soon realises that Edie’s death may be linked to other homicides. But, can she track down the murderer, deal with the pressures from the hotel, the police and her parents and at the same time see the retreat to the finish? Yarn to Go is the first in a new Yarn Retreat Mystery series of novels. Betty Hechtman has previously written a Crochet Mystery series, which has been well received. But, this is the first of her books that I have read. A new murder mystery series set in and around a knitting retreat sounds like a great premise to me. I found the knitting retreat a fresh and interesting backdrop to this mystery. The yarn and knitting elements didn’t overwhelm the narrative. So, you will enjoy it if you are a keen knitter or not. The plot was well put together and the mystery was nicely woven through the story. This was a fun book, an entertaining read with great pacing. The author has certainly laid the groundwork well for a new detective series. I liked how the author described the lovely small-town peninsula setting. And I loved feeling part of the yarn retreat group (despite the murder backdrop!). I liked the main character of Casey. I found her likeable and I enjoyed how she grew as an individual through the book. From being out of her depth at the start, she started to make decisions and by the end she had a growing determination to uncover what was going on. The author successfully explores the running of a yarn retreat from a beginner’s viewpoint, using the fact that Casey is a novice in terms of knitting and yarn getaways. The best aspect of the book, for me, was the characterisation. I found the diverse group engaging and connected to them all, including the knitters, family members and hotel staff. The knitting group are quirky and interesting with very relatable issues. As their knitting projects develop, they too change as they deal with various personal issues. The knitting pattern in the back of the book is basic, and this is as it should be. It is in keeping with the beginner level of Casey in the story. There is also a recipe for chocolate muffins. I am looking forward to reading more of Casey’s adventures in the future. Betty Hechtman has already three other books in the series to follow on from Yarn to Go. So, it won’t be long before I will be delving once again into the yarn retreat and finding out about the characters in the next instalment! I may try the Crochet Mystery series too. The yarn in the photos attached to this blog is a Magic Ball made up of left over sock yarn.

  30. 5 out of 5

    JoAnne McMaster (Any Good Book)

    Casey Feldstein hasn't been able to complete anything in her life. It's particularly disturbing to her parents, who are both doctors. But Casey now lives in Monterey, due to the fact that her Aunt Joan passed away and left her both her home and the carriage house behind it. She's happiest when baking, and has managed to become dessert baker for the Blue Door restaurant, while also making muffins and breads for neighboring businesses. But Casey doesn't believe Joan's death was an accident, even i Casey Feldstein hasn't been able to complete anything in her life. It's particularly disturbing to her parents, who are both doctors. But Casey now lives in Monterey, due to the fact that her Aunt Joan passed away and left her both her home and the carriage house behind it. She's happiest when baking, and has managed to become dessert baker for the Blue Door restaurant, while also making muffins and breads for neighboring businesses. But Casey doesn't believe Joan's death was an accident, even if the police label it so, and isn't about to let it go unchallenged. Still, she's surprised when one of her bosses calls her about a credit card bill his wife has -- paid to one of Joan's yarn retreats. When Casey looks into the matter, she discovers it's nonrefundable, and with no other choice, she decides to go ahead with the retreat. But she also finds that the attendees have problems of their own, the manager of the hotel they're staying is breathing down her neck to turn the retreats over to him, or the fact that one of her neighbors happens to be a very hot cop who -- she thinks -- is running orgies out of his home; nor the fact that there now appears to be a murderer in their midst -- and is might just be one of her guests. Now Casey's faced with more than solving her aunt's murder...she just might be the next victim... This is the first book in a series I haven't read before, and as such, I really enjoyed it. I liked the fact that our protagonist was a different sort - she didn't run from a cheating boyfriend, she isn't dead broke, etc. It's a refreshing change. The problem lies within Casey herself - she can't decide what she wants to do with her life. In the meantime, she finds happiness in baking, so that's what she does. But she also doesn't believe Joan's death was an accident, and she wants answers, ones the police don't have. So while she's out of her comfort zone running her aunt's retreat, she's trying her best, even though she's determined that this will be her one and only time. She at least has a friend at the retreat in Lucinda, her other boss at the restaurant. I liked the fact that the characters weren't just cut-out cardboard. We were given backgrounds on them, and the reasons they were there. It was nice to see that each one had their own story to tell, and gave this tale a bit more meat to it. While I realize that this is the first book, I hope to see in the others at least more of these people. I also liked the fact that while Lieutenant Borgnine was all business, he wasn't nasty to Casey nor threatened her. I do get tired of cops being just plain nasty to the protagonist. In the end, when the killer was revealed, the clues were there all along, but as the book progresses they became more apparent, so while you think you might know who the murderer is, you fully discover it just before Casey herself. Nicely done. I look forward to the next in the series. Recommended.

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