2 stars out of 5
It was a struggle, but I finally reached the halfway mark. And sorry to say, it's over and out.
Honestly, I don't remember the last book that bored me so much that I couldn't force myself to finish - and it's never happened with a book I received as an advance copy in exchange for a review. Under those circumstances, I feel that it's only fair that I tough it out to the end so I tend to stick with it no matter what.
Not this time - and I'm truly disappointed. This is a cozy mystery, for gosh sake, so I certainly wasn't expecting knock-down, drag-out action. It's also something like the 15th in a series, so my thinking is that somebody must be reading them. Last but hardly least, I was intrigued because I'm a knitting enthusiast (want proof? Come look through the afghans I've got stashed away in a closet - and they're just a fraction of the ones I've given away through the years). This story, the title suggests, weaves around the House of Lambspun, a popular knitting shop in Colorado - with the lure of a golf-course murder of a filthy rich old guy's trophy wife. Okay, said I, count me in.
The murder, though, didn't even happen until a quarter of the way through the book - and precious little discussion of it had ensued by the time I hit 50% mark. The rest? Nothing but endless, excruciatingly repetitive conversations involving a very pregnant Kelly Flynn and her group of friends. I lost count of the times someone pointed out that Kelly is nine months pregnant but the baby - to be named Jack after her late father - hasn't yet "dropped," that he's playing soccer in utero, that he weighs 6 pounds and could come at any time, that Kelly hates having to drink weak black coffee, that her carrying bag is made of fabric, or that she escaped morning sickness but her also-pregnant friend is suffering with it. When I was treated to a lengthy explanation (more than once, of course) of how lucky Kelly is that she's in such good hands because her obstetrician has scheduled check-up appointments every week now, I really lost it. Weekly check-ups for the last month - sometimes two - was standard practice back when I was pregnant with my first child more than 50 years ago.
Supposedly, there are "delicious" recipes and a knitting pattern included, but I'm not all that interested in cooking now that there are just the two of us. And based on what I've been reading, my bet is that the pattern is for that tiny baby hat Kelly spent half the book working on. I've got zero interest in that as well, so neither was enough of an incentive to keep going.
I do, however, feel compelled to mention that at the 36% mark, Baby Jack had in fact dropped. Ironically, that happened just about the time I decided to do the same to the book.
Only Skein Deep by Maggie Sefton (Berkley, June 2017); 304 pp.