Thursday, December 8, 2022

Knot a Game by Betty Hechtman

Knot a Game
Book Summary

In a new Yarn Retreat Mystery from national bestselling author Betty Hechtman, it’s knit one, kill two when Casey Feldstein hosts a murder mystery weekend that turns into the real thing . . .

At the urging of Vista Del Mar’s owner, Casey Feldstein takes on the job of combining a murder mystery game with her next weekend yarn retreat. Enlisting the help of the hotel’s staff to play the roles of victim and suspects, she lays out a plot and plants some red herrings. And as her intrigued guests watch the murder play out and the clues unfold, Casey is certain she’s pulled off the perfect make-believe murder—until a real murder intrudes and everyone at the hotel is named as a suspect.
As her retreat guests turn away from the fake murder to solve the real one, Casey has her hands full trying to keep them from meddling in police business. But even as they’re dead-set on unraveling the mystery in their midst, Casey has her eye on a few of them, some of whom don’t seem to be who or what they claim. With time ticking down on her weekend and her guests more interested in nabbing a killer than knitting, Casey will have to stitch together her own solution before the killer can stop her and declare game over . . .

Includes a fun, easy knitting project and delicious muffin and biscuit recipes!
My Thoughts

Casey Feldstein is approached by Madeleine Delacourt to combine one of her yarn retreats with a mystery weekend.  Casey organizes the event with the help of the assistant manager of Vista Del Mar, Cloris.  The slots quickly fill up.  The guests are excited when the game begins.  The group is busy discussing the clues when they hear a scream.  The housekeeper found one of the guests dead in his room.  Casey’s group is thrilled to have a real crime to solve.  They work to gather clues and intel so they can identify the killer.

Knot a Game by Betty Hechtman is the ninth A Yarn Retreat Mystery.  It can be read as a standalone for those who are new to the series.  I like the author’s writing style.  It made the book easy to read.  The characters, though, are another story.  I have become frustrated with Casey.  Her character is at a standstill.  She is still unsure about the yarn retreats (she should really have the hang of it by now) and her relationship with Dane has not moved forward.  Dane is ready for them to go to the next step, but Casey has put on the brakes.  If I ran a yarn retreat business, I would spend my spare time working on my skills.  Casey is still at the beginner stage (she can make a scarf using the knit stitch).  I would love to see her host a retreat using knitting looms (those plastic looms which can make hats, scarves, blankets, socks, and so much more).  I liked that Casey was hosting a mystery weekend.  I would love to attend one.  Casey, though, is hesitant (of course).  Thankfully, she gets help from Cloris, but I have to wonder if Casey has ever heard of the internet.  Casey also needs to work on her organizational skills (the weekend was a bit disorganized).  The whodunit did not begin until I was a third of a way into the book.  There are a couple of suspects, a red herring, and obvious clues.  

There is a secondary mystery involving a woman staying at Vista Del Mar.  When Casey is not baking, handling her retreat, feeding her cat the stinky fish food, talking to Dane, or searching for clues, she unravels the mystery woman’s secret.  Let us not forget that the retreaters still need to solve their fake murder.  There is too much repetition.  Do we really need to know each time Casey feeds Julius (her cat) his stinky fish food?  Or how stinky the food is, and that Casey uses multiple layers of clear wrap to keep the smell out of her fridge (did she ever hear of Ziploc bags or buy the small cans that are one serving).  We are told several times about Dane offering free karate lessons to local teens and about his delectable spaghetti sauce (I will stop my rant now).   These are just a couple of examples.  I would like to see the characters grow and for the stories to have more substance.  Knot a Game takes readers to Cadbury by the Sea where there is a mystery retreat, hand warmer woes, tasty treats, a furtive visitor, scrumptious spaghetti sauce, stinky fish food, and a messy murder.

Knot a Game is available from Amazon*.  You can find the other novels in A Yarn Retreat Mysteries here.  You can follow Betty Hechtman on Amazon and you will receive an email when she has a new book release.  Thank you for stopping by today.  On Tuesday, December 12 I am a stop on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours for Death Checked Out by Leah Dobrinska.  It is the first book in A Larkspur Library Mysteries.  I hope that you have an enjoyable weekend.  Take care and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader 

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