Casey's running a new retreat called "Sheep to Shawl" at a resort on the atmospheric Monterey Penninsula. Participants will learn about sheepshearing, fixing up the fleece, and spinning, and will eventually knit a lovely shawl.
Nicole Welton has been hired to teach the fleece-to-fiber portion of the retreat. She's an expert spinner, and her small shop in Cadbury by the Sea houses a beautiful assortment of spinning wheels and drop spindles. But when the new teacher fails to show up for class and is found lying dead on the boardwalk, it leaves everyone's nerves frayed.
Now Casey has to knit together clues faster than she can count stitiches, before someone else at the retreat gets dropped...
Casey Feldstein lives in Cadbury by the Sea, having moved there after a failed run of semi-careers. While her mother wants her to go to culinary school, because she knows Casey loves to bake, Casey has other ideas. She has inherited her aunt's business of running knitting retreats, and wants to keep doing it. So, in her latest retreat, her hiree, Nicole Welton, is found dead the first morning, of what is an apparent suicide. But Casey thinks things don't add up, and although she can't convince Lieutenant Borgnine that Nicole was murdered, she herself is convinced and won't give up trying to find a killer.
But this may not be as easy to do as she thinks. Given free reign of Nicole's workshop by Nicole's grieving widower, Will, she finds bits and pieces of what might point to blackmail. When she starts thinking back of things she's seen, and begins to see things around her differently, she starts to piece together the whole picture.
To make matters more complicated, her crush on Dane, her policeman neighbor, is halted temporarily when she finds out there's a woman staying with him; a replacement knitting instructor has appeared out of nowhere; Cora Delacorte has become engaged to a smarmy man; and there has been another attempted murder - which only convinces Casey she was right all along.
This book was engaging indeed, and quite difficult to put down, so I just kept on reading until I finished. Casey is intelligent, and thinks things through, which I like; but no one really seems to want to take her seriously except her friend Lucinda, whom she bakes for. She is different in that she doesn't just rush off on tangents putting herself in danger, and I really like that a lot. It's nice when you find a main character who actually has the foresight to think of a way out of a situation before she puts herself in a situation. An excellent read and highly recommended.