The good thing about mystery books is that there’s a genre for everyone. Want a tangled thriller? Got it. Want vampires who are good guys? Got it. Want a chef who cooks up a great meal while solving a murder? Got it, too.
Maggie Sefton’s Dyer Consequences belongs in that last category – that is, a mystery built around an occupation or hobby. Dyer Consequences is built around knitting. (Lots of room to talk about dropping a stitch or getting tangled as metaphors for missing clues or being confused.) In it, lead character Kelly and her friends hang around a knitting store. Most of the time they knit, but when a bungled break-in goes bad, one of them is killed and Kelly, who has had a little experience in being an amateur sleuth, is on the case.
Since it says right on the cover “A Knitting Mystery,” chances are you know what you’re getting into when you pick the book up, and that you welcome the knitting chatter that makes up the background noise throughout Dyer Consequences (btw, the book’s title refers to the fact that the murder victim is drowned in a vat of yarn dye). Sefton’s fans delight in her ability to create a community of knitters who are interesting and multi-dimensional and her plots that involve knitting as something more than just a setting or device.
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Not that Sefton doesn’t make a few missteps. She peoples Dyer Consequences with a few too many characters up front and readers are faced with an onslaught of names and descriptions. Of course, Dyer Consequences is part of a series; most of the characters appeared in previous mysteries and so are familiar to Sefton’s fans. But it’s a bit of catch-up for readers who are picking up one of her books for the first time.
And there is some teasing between the characters that, like real life teasing, quickly gets boring. Otherwise the interaction between Kelly, her pals, the local police and host of suspects seems relatively believable. Publishers Weekly described the exchange between characters by saying they “in their carefree way, resemble the cast of Friends.”
Friends sitting in a nest of yarn. — Olivia Flores Alvarez
Maggie Sefton appears today at 6:30 p.m. at Murder by the Book, 2342 Bissonnet. For information call 713-524-8597 or visit www.murderbooks.com. Free.