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A new business might add some much-needed charm to downtown Dorset Falls—and draw tourists to Josie’s yarn shop. But when someone gets murdered, a close-knit community could come undone . . .
Shop owner Josie Blair is finally settling into the pace of living in Dorset Falls, Connecticut. Between running Miss Marple Knits, jumpstarting a blog, and handcrafting items with the help of her knitting pals, Josie’s too preoccupied to worry about her past in New York. And thanks to Lyndon and Harry, the owners of the brand-new antique shop next door, she has another project in her midst—repurposing a box of vintage crocheted doilies adorned with the most curious needlework . . .
But before Josie can formally welcome her neighbors, she discovers Lyndon on the floor of his shop stabbed to death by a rusty old pair of sheep shears. Police have pinned Harry as the killer, but Josie isn’t so sure. Now, she’s lacing up for another homicide investigation—and no eyelet or stitch can go unexamined, lest she herself becomes ensnared in the criminal’s deadly design . . .
INCLUDES ORIGINAL KNITTING PATTERNS!
Sadie, welcome to Island Confidential! Can you tell us something about Josie, the protagonist of A Knit Before Dying?
Josie Blair is a thirty-something former New York City fashion designer who now runs a yarn shop in rural Connecticut. She takes no guff from anyone, including her crotchety great-uncle, with whom she lives on his farm. She loves being in control of her own destiny, even if she’s not quite sure yet what that destiny is.
How alike are you and Josie?
Josie is part of me, because I created her. But she’s better at speaking her mind and coming up with snappy comebacks than I am. And she gets to own a yarn shop (insert pouty face). I’m pretty sure she and I would be friends if we met on the street.
Do your characters change and evolve throughout consecutive books in the series?
Yes, although over the course of a series the character arc can’t develop too fast, otherwise there’s nowhere to go in later books. But I never want to have a stagnant character, and I try very hard to give even the side characters their own personal journeys.
Have you ever thought of killing someone that you know in real life–on the pages of a murder mystery, I mean?
Not only have I thought about it, I’ve done it. Twice. But that was in my other series (the Greek to Me Mysteries, written as Susannah Hardy). And no, I won’t tell you who I killed or why, LOL!
How realistic is your setting? Do you take liberties, or are you true to life?
Dorset Falls is a completely fictional village in western Connecticut. It’s fairly representative of many small towns across America, where once-thriving downtowns are full of empty storefronts. But Dorset Falls is slowly turning around—and it’s Josie’s yarn shop, Miss Marple Knits, that is the catalyst for the revitalization, even though Josie doesn’t know that. Fortunately, I do.
When the movie or TV series is made, who plays the major parts?
Jennifer Lawrence would make a perfect Josie. Jeff Bridges in crusty-old-man mode would be Uncle Eb. And Mitch would be Chris Evans (with dark hair).
What’s the worst and best advice you’ve heard or received as an author?
The worst is that I “have” to write every day. For most writers, that’s simply not feasible, and for me, at least, I need time for the well to refill before I can go on. I’m better off trying to hit a weekly word count goal rather than a daily goal. The best advice was to stop being nice to my characters—great stories only happen when characters are constantly tested and the author makes it worse and worse for them as the narrative goes along. Then when they finally “win” (in whatever form that takes—escaping the bad guy, solving the mystery) the resolution is much more satisfying.
About The Author
Sadie Hartwell grew up near the Canadian border in northern New York State, where it’s cold, dark, and snowy almost half the year—a perfect environment for nurturing a simultaneous love of mystery fiction and needlework. She attended St. Lawrence University, graduating with a degree in history, and has worked as a waitress, handbag designer/manufacturer, paralegal, and copy editor before turning to writing full time. Now she gets to play with yarn and make up stories whenever she wants, and wishes everyone had a job as much fun as hers.
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