Purl Up and Die

Sometimes a series just needs to end. I think I’ve reached my limit with this one.

Kelly and her band of friends are back for yet another knitting mystery novel in the make believe town of Fort Connor, CO (which seems a LOT like Fort Collins, CO – home to three of the largest girl’s fastpitch softball tournaments each June/July – you’ll understand my annoyance later in the review). I’ve decided this wanna-be Scooby-Do gang of do-gooders have a tendancy to stick their noses in situations where they weren’t asked to help. I didn’t see anything in the book where Big Barb, mom of the accused, asked Kelly and her nosy pals to start investigating the murder before Kelly takes it upon herself to start asking questions about University tenure policies, what classes the murder victim was taking, and talking to the victim’s friends. If you have so much free time on your hands that you can investigate a murder on your own without being asked. Maybe you need some more accounting clients so Kelly can spend time in her own home office working instead of mooching cups of coffee at the café next door, ordering her friends to refill her cup, and never paying for coffee. In other series, the main character is usually ASKED to assist with the murder investigation; they don’t just start investigating for someone they don’t know.

What I loved: I like the brazen squirrel who torments Carl, the dog, in every book. I may miss him.

What I didn’t love: If you’re going to write about something, please do the research to make sure you have it correct because you will really annoy people who do understand the thing you’re trying to explain if you get it wrong. Case in point – Maggie Sefton knows very little about the softball. First of all, you don’t lose by 2 points – you either lose by 2 or by 2 runs. Runs. Not points. Second of all, when she is describing Cassie’s at bat (page 76 in the hardcover edition), she does not draw a walk but has struck out. The pitching sequence was written as: ball, ball, called strike, foul ball, ball, swing and miss, ball. In softball, according to ASA (Amateur Softball Association) rules, a foul ball is a strike unless the batter already has 2 strikes on the count. Once a batter has 2 strikes, they can foul off as many pitches as they want without it counting against them. Cassie struck out. Petty ? Perhaps, but as a mother who has kept the scorebook for the nine years my daughter has played softball I am annoyed that a basic rule of the game was not followed. Third – you practice hitting in what is either called the batting cages or a pitching machine – not a ball machine.The judges would even accept “hitting machine”. Unfortunately, these passages really left a bitter taste in my mouth and possibly have soured my feelings towards any future books in this series.

What I learned: Some people should stick with what they are an expert at (knitting).

Overall Grade: D

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