The Seaside Knitters are working on a very special project: a wedding shawl for Isabel (Izzy) Chambers, who is just weeks away from marrying her beloved Sam. Anyone who has ever planned a wedding knows that it quickly becomes a full-time job, and every hand is needed to help with preparations.
Sea Harbor, Massachusetts, is the kind of village where everyone knows everyone and they all support each other. Even newcomer Claire pitches in to help with the landscaping for the outdoor nuptials. Kind and dear Tiffany Ciccolo dives in to coordinate the hairstyling and also offers some tips on keeping the bride calm and focused. Nell, Birdie, Cass, and the rest of the neighborhood tackle the odds and ends – invitations, food, you name it. It’s going to be a glorious, perfect event for Izzy and Sam, one they’ll remember all their lives.
This idyllic summer turns sour when Tiffany is found murdered. Maybe her death is related to an unsolved case from 15 years before, when Tiffany’s best friend drowned – accidentally or otherwise—but no one can say for sure. With no clues and no obvious motive, the police get nowhere in their efforts to make an arrest, and having a killer on the loose certainly casts a shadow over the happy couple and their friends.
The Wedding Shawl, the fifth book in Goldenbaum’s knitting mystery series, pulls the reader into a pleasant and gentle community where ordinary people go about their calm and orderly lives. This is not the sort of mystery that lets readers temporarily identify with super-tough cops and PIs; rather, it reminds us of the sort of town and people we have around us every day. It’s the unremarkable nature of the setting and characters that makes The Wedding Shawl such an approachable and hard-hitting tale – it could happen to us.
Nor do these characters insist on poking their noses into police investigations. They’d be perfectly happy to let the professionals do the job, but the uncertainty is casting a pall over Izzy’s day, and none of her friends will stand for that. “[W]e’ll find this awful person who has disrupted our lives and the lives of those we love….” they vow.
But with a killer among them, how can they know whom to trust? And since Sea Harbor is a small town where news travels at the speed of light, the killer is bound to get wind of the off-the-books investigation. Having killed at least once before, why should he stop now?
Goldenbaum has a light touch, guiding rather than forcing readers into this intriguing hometown tale of secrets and murder. As the knitters unravel the mystery and knit up Izzy’s wedding shawl, readers are gradually but inextricably pulled into their lives and may never want to leave. For those who can’t get enough of the story even after the crime is solved, Goldenbaum includes their favorite recipes as well as a pattern for knitting the shawl. A perfect summer read, wherever you live!