Friday, May 6, 2011

The Wedding Shawl by Sally Goldenbaum

book cover

The Wedding Shawl
by Sally Goldenbaum

ISBN-13: 9780451233196
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: NAL
Released: May 3, 2011

Source: Review copy from the publisher.

Book Description from Goodreads (slightly modified):
Izzy Chambers is about to get married, but much remains to be done. Then the wedding plans get complicated when the wedding party's hair stylist begins missing appointments. When she's found dead, things really begin to unravel. Rumors circulate about the stylist's past and her connection to an unsolved murder years ago.

All the Seaside Knitters really know is they must rally to find some answers. They need to silence the whispers about Izzy's friend so that she can completely focus on her happy day while wearing the wedding shawl they're knitting for her.

My Review:
The Wedding Shawl was a cozy mystery in every sense. I felt emotionally warm and comfortable just reading this story due to how nice everyone was. Actually, I'd call the novel a general fiction with a whodunit mystery because the story was more realistic to how things happen in real life than most mystery novels. I also liked that the police weren't idiots or "the enemy."

While the suspense was low, there was a thread of sadness for what the unsolved murder was doing to the people involved. The main characters wanted to make that sadness go away (as much as possible). There was enough uncertainty about who the murderer was that I kept reading to discover the answer. I did figure out whodunit before our heroines, but they figured it out soon after I did and had a good reason not to see the answer before then. I thought the mystery was handled very well.

The characters were engaging, complex, and had flaws, but they still came across as extremely nice people that would be relaxing to hang out with. They almost made me want to learn how to knit. The vivid details about the setting and people brought the story alive in my imagination.

This book was the fifth in the series, but you don't need to read the previous ones to follow the events in this one. This book didn't spoil the mysteries of the previous books, but I suspect it spoiled the relationship outcomes of the previous novels. (I haven't read them, so I don't know.)

There was no explicit sex. There was some minor explicit use of one curse word (d---). Overall, I'd highly recommend this enjoyable, well-written novel.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Excerpt from Chapter One
It would be a night of murder, they'd been told. And there'd be lemon squares, too.

The group, mostly women, gathered in a half circle, some in the old leather chairs that book browsers coveted and others in the folding chairs the bookstore owner, Archie Brandley, had set up for the special event. At the other end of the cozy loft, narrow aisles separated wooden bookcases that rose nearly to the ceiling. One section was crammed with mysteries, the spines straight and proud--a perfect background for the night of crime.

Danny Brandley sat in the center of the open area, hunched forward with his elbows on his knees, his sea blue eyes greeting acquaintances and strangers as they claimed their chairs. A wrinkled denim shirt, the sleeves rolled up to his elbows, showed off an early-summer tan. On the floor, near scuffed boat shoes, a few notes on scattered yellow sheets indicated that Danny wasn't much for formal talks. Izzy had called it a "discussion," and he'd taken his friend at her word.

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Beckie B. said...

This sounds like one I would like. Thanks for the review.

Genre Reviewer said...

Beckie B.,

Glad I could help match you up with a good book. :)