Knit One, Kill Two by Maggie Sefton

January 8, 2013

Plot summary (from the publisher): Despite the fact that her aunt was an expert knitter, Kelly Flynn never picked up a pair of knitting needles she liked—until she strolled into House of Lambspun. Now, in the first in a brand-new series, she learns how to knit one, purl two, and untangle the mystery behind her aunt’s murder.

Kelly Flynn would be the first to admit her life in Washington, D.C. is a little on the dull side. But coming back to Colorado for her beloved aunt’s funeral wasn’t the kind of excitement she was seeking. The police are convinced that her Aunt Helen’s death was the result of a burglary gone bad, but for the accountant in Kelly, things just aren’t adding up. After all, why would her sensible, sixty-eight-year-old aunt borrow $20,000 just days before her death? With the help of the knitting regulars at House of Lambspun, Kelly gets a few lessons in turning out a sumptuously colored scarf and in luring a killer out of hiding.

Warning: Spoilers below!


  • Carl sounded adorable. He was probably the best part of the book for me.
  • This was a relatively fast read, with plenty of skimmable pages.


  • The characters in this book were terrible. Kelly was boring, and the background characters were so poorly developed that I couldn’t tell one friend from the other. They were just names on a page, basically.
  • The dialogue was even worse. If the characters weren’t repeating themselves ad nauseam, they were saying incredibly trite, ridiculous things. For example, what would you say if you were just accused of murder? Well, if you’re Alan Gretsky in this book, you’d say, “What madness are you spouting, woman?” Wow, seriously?!
  • For some reason, this author seemed reluctant to use the words “said” or “asked” when writing dialogue. She clearly had her thesaurus handy, and used a lot of words such as “queried”, “declared”, “speculated” (even when the person WASN’T speculating), and even “tweaked”. How is “tweak” related to an utterance??? Who knows. I appreciate the author trying to punch up her writing, but this was just distracting.
  • If you weren’t able to connect the real estate company A&G Group with Alan Gretsky at the very first mention, even without the aid of custom cards created from an online business card template, I’d be willing to bet you’ve never read a mystery before.
  • The potential romance with Steve was dropped like a hot potato for some reason. I guess the author wanted to save something for the next installment(s).
  • Why would Alan be so stupid as to keep a quilt that he stole from the woman he murdered??? And if he was dead set on keeping it, why in the hell would he send it out to get framed? Oh, I know: so we could have that incredibly DUMB scene where Gretsky’s secretary answers his business line on speakerphone with a stranger (Kelly) in the room so Kelly could conveniently hear the framing store person proceed to describe the quilt in detail and break the case wide open. Oh, brother.


I know cozy mysteries shouldn’t be held to the same standards as “regular” mysteries, but Knit One, Kill Two was just beyond bad. I’m not sure how this series has made it to nine books (under the Penguin USA label, no less), so maybe I’m the one who’s out of touch. Regardless, I give this title 1 star out of 5 and will not be reading anything else from Maggie Sefton.

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