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New Release Review! PURLED & POISONED by Tracey Drew (Knitty Kitty Mysteries #2)

Purled & Poisoned cover

A smart woman would dump her cheating ex, move from the city, and give herself a chance for a well-deserved do-over. A smarter woman—smarter than me, anyway—wouldn’t jump out of that same frying pan and return to Cape Discovery, a seaside village where her family is the nuttiest of all the nut-ball residents.

I’m a former high school counsellor, middle-child peacemaker, and curator of lots of squishy/fuzzy goodness at my granddad’s little yarn store. The Serial Knitters and Happy Hookers in the store’s Craft for Calmness group have been busy creating booties and baby blankets for a christening fit for a prince. But when I stumble onto the little prince’s fatally poisoned mother, a right royal mess ensues. The kid’s paternity is in question and I’m tasked to sniff out the baby daddy as a favour for a frenemy—don’t ask. I did, and now the bodies are piling up and a killer just might use my cupcake addiction against me.

Tessa Wakefield has her hands full juggling a cozy craft store, her crazy family, and two men who’d rather poke out their eyes than describe themselves as cute. Which they totally are. Cute, charismatic, and occasionally on her mind when she’s not stumbling over dead bodies and using her newfound sleuthing skills to track down murderers. Lucky she’s an excellent multi-tasker because digging beneath Cape Discovery’s surface can unearth secrets that kill.

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Another fun cozy mystery in the Knitty Kitty Mystery series!

Tessa Wakefield is finally beginning to settle into her new life back in her hometown. She’s making her grandmother’s yarn shop her own, and is developing a comfortable routine with her new roomies, AKA her grandfather Harry and Kit and Pearl, the cats she also inherited. Except once again Tessa manages to find herself nearly tripping over a dead body–spoiler alert, it might actually be more than one this time…her hometown didn’t used to be this deadly, did it?

The excess of murders isn’t the only thing different in Cape Discovery this time around–Tessa is also discovering that her high school nemesis might not be quite as vile as she used to be (convenient, since said ex-nemesis and her mother happen to own the best bakery in town). But the (first) dead woman is her new maybe-now-a-friend Rosie’s stepmom, and her death brings the paternity of Rosie’s baby stepbrother into question–can Tessa figure out whodunit before it’s too late? *Should* she attempt to figure it out?

(I mean, of course not. She should leave it to hunky Detective Eric Mana while she eats a few too many sweets and supervises the beginner knitters and crocheters. But obviously this isn’t that kind of book ;))

Tessa is definitely a heroine in the tradition of Jessica Fletcher, if Jessica Fletcher were 40-some years younger, lived in New Zealand, and owned a yarn shop instead of writing mysteries. They both live in a charming small town with a plethora of quirky characters and excel at sticking their noses where they don’t belong, exasperating law enforcement even while managing to solve the case. There’s also an element of Stephanie Plum as well, given her innate clumsiness and the fact that in addition to a hot detective, there is also a hunky bar owner in town as well who also might serve as a love interest (though hopefully Ms Drew won’t draw out the who will she choose? aspect of the series to the level of ridiculousness that Ms Evanovich has).

I have to say, I think Kit and Pearl make excellent sidekicks/investigative assistants, even if they do have a tendency to snack on baked goods that are definitely not meant for them. (Much like my own cats, sadly. Who do *not* make up for it by helping me solve murders, thankyouverymuch.)

This is the second book in the series (third, if you count the prequel novella) but could work as a standalone. If you enjoy the quirky antics of Tessa and her feline co-conspirators, though, you’ll definitely want to make reading the others a priority!

Rating: 4 stars / B+

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

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