Table of Contents
Knitting Mysteries by Maggie Sefton
KNIT ONE, KILL TWO
NEEDLED TO DEATH
A DEADLY YARN
A KILLER STITCH
THE BERKLEY PUBLISHING GROUP
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This book is an original publication of The Berkley Publishing Group.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.
PUBLISHER’S NOTE: The recipes contained in this book are to be followed exactly as written. The publisher is not responsible for your specific health or allergy needs that may require medical supervision. The publisher is not responsible for any adverse reactions to the recipes contained in this book.
Copyright © 2008 by Margaret Conlan Aunon.
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Dyer consequences / Maggie Sefton. — 1st ed.
eISBN : 978-1-4406-3130-6
1. Flynn, Kelly (Fictitious character) — Fiction. 2. Knitters (Persons) — Fiction. 3. Women—
Crimes against — Fiction. 4. Knitting — Fiction. 5. Murder — Colorado — Fiction. 6. Colorado—
Fiction. I. Title.
First, I want to thank Jill Koenig, one of the Lambspun regulars, who suggested the title for this, the fifth book in the Knitting Mystery series,
Jill’s a great gal who knits and spins in addition to breeding llamas and Navajo-Churro sheep.
Next, I want to thank the owner of Lambspun, Shirley Ellsworth, for giving me a private lesson on how she creates her gorgeous custom-dyed yarns. It was fascinating to watch as she mixed powdered crystals and liquids, creating entirely new colors, then allowed the yarns to absorb those colors. Each finished skein was unique in its patterns.
Finally, I want to add a note about a character I referenced briefly in
A Killer Stitch
, but who went on to play a much bigger role in
: the Larimer County policeman who patrols the canyon areas—Deputy Don.
I took the inspiration for this character from my dear friend and neighbor Ann Gouin. Her late husband, Don, had spent many years as a deputy sheriff for Larimer County, here in Northern Colorado. Don Gouin was a career Air Force officer, a navigator, who served several tours flying in Vietnam during the 1960s and 1970s, and finally flew home safe and sound to his wife, Ann, and their two daughters, Lee Ann and Sherry. After retiring from the Air Force, Don entered law enforcement and patrolled the mountain areas near Fort Collins, including our beautiful Cache La Poudre Canyon and Red Feather Lakes. Ann and Don spent a great deal of their spare time fishing in the canyon. A pastime they both loved.
I never had the pleasure of knowing Don Gouin because he died much earlier than he should have. But I’ve grown to appreciate him by way of the wonderful stories his wife, Ann, has shared over the years I’ve known her. So—when the fictional deputy sheriff made his first appearance in my mysteries, I knew immediately what his name was—Deputy Don. This fictional “Don” has gone on to develop quite a personality of his own, as all my characters do once they’re allowed on the page. I hope you enjoy reading his scenes as much as I enjoyed writing them.
Kelly Flynn angled toward the clearing, her skis slicing through the new-fallen snow. Colorado Powder. She slid to a stop and took in the view of the Continental Divide—all 360 degrees of it. Turning in a slow circle, Kelly gazed at the mountain peaks—glazed white with winter—surrounding her. On this early February afternoon, the sky was a brilliant blue, and sunshine reflected off the glaciers in a blinding glare. She’d forgotten how beautiful it was up here on the slopes. Had it really been five years since she’d last skied?
She heard an adrenaline-soaked yell, and a flash of yellow streaked by as a snowboarder descended the lower portion of the ski run, his posse of friends trailing in his wake.
crowded, Kelly thought as she scanned the slopes above and below. Fully half the people negotiating down this moderate-level ski run were riding snowboards rather than skis. Snowboarding had exploded in popularity. She also noticed that—like her—most of the people coming down the slope were now wearing helmets. That was definitely new.
Kelly tried to inch her scarf up higher to cover her cold nose. She’d also forgotten how frigid it was up on the slopes. Her nose and cheeks were freezing. Even her fingers felt frozen inside her insulated ski gloves, especially after her last tumble down the slope. And her goggles were fogging up again. Steve had joined her on the chairlift earlier and reminded Kelly how to clean her goggles. Kelly felt like she’d forgotten almost everything she ever knew about skiing.
But it was slowly coming back. Memories of shifting her weight as she descended the slope, remembering to use the edges of her skis, balancing—it was all coming back. Kelly just wished it would come faster. Moguls on this moderate blue run were still causing her problems.
A flash of red and black caught Kelly’s attention as her boyfriend, Steve Townsend, swooshed to a stop beside her. “Ready to try a black diamond run?” he said after he pulled down his ski mask. “I’ll ski with you.”
“Not yet. I want to be able to make it over all these moguls without falling before I tackle an advanced run.”
“Then I’ll see you at the lodge below. Greg’s hungry again, and I could use some hot chocolate.” Pushing away with his poles, Steve shot down the slope in a low crouch.
Kelly stared after the streak of red and black, watching Steve deftly zoom in and around boarders and skiers alike, while visions of hot liquids danced before her eyes. Hot chocolate. With marshmallows. Kelly could almost taste it. And where there was hot chocolate, there was bound to be coffee. Hot coffee. The caffeine lobe in Kelly’s brain began to throb. Even lukewarm coffee would taste good right now.
That settled it. Kelly snuggled into her newly knitted alpaca wool scarf and took off at a more modest pace down the slope. The moguls between her and the promise of caffeine were getting smaller by the second.
Carefully balancing her cup of hot chocolate, Kelly clomped her way to the cozy corner where she and her friends had claimed two comfy sofas in the spacious wood-beamed ski lodge. She’d also forgotten how clumsy she felt walking around in ski boots sans skis.
Awkwardly maneuvering around relaxing skiers and riders in the crowded slope-side lodge, Kelly finally managed to reach the corner sofas, hot chocolate intact.
“Aren’t you warm yet?” Greg teased. “That’s the fifth chocolate.”
“Wrong.” Kelly’s friend Lisa spoke up beside her boyfriend. “The first three were coffee. This is Kelly, remember? The Queen of Caffeine.”
“Hey, leave me alone. I’m just starting to thaw out,” Kelly said as she settled on the sofa beside Steve.
“Reflexes coming back online?” Greg asked. “You looked like you were doing okay on the slopes.”
Kelly took a sip of the sweet chocolate. “I wish they’d come back faster. Moguls are still throwing me, literally.”
“You’re doing great,” Steve said, his hand tousling her dark hair before settling on the back of her neck. “I predict you’ll be zooming over those moguls the next time we come.”
“I keep forgetting how gorgeous it is up here,” Lisa said, sweeping her long blonde hair into a ponytail as she stared through the windows.
“We should schedule a whole weekend next time,” Greg suggested before draining his cup.
Kelly caught the devilish grin Lisa sent her way and decided to ignore it. A weekend trip meant she and Steve would share a room. Kelly didn’t know if she was ready to go there yet. She was getting close, but . . .
“I’m game, but you’ll have to run it past Miss Workaholic here,” Steve said as he stroked the back of Kelly’s neck. His hand was warm on her skin.
“Hey, isn’t that the pot calling the kettle black?” Kelly retorted. “You’ve been buried since the holidays with plans for your new site in Old Town.”
Greg leaned back into the sofa beside Lisa. “I thought your schedule was getting better, Kelly. What’s up?”
“That ranch property in Bellevue Canyon is what’s up,” Lisa replied before Kelly could. “She’s been working more than usual ever since she bought the canyon ranch last month.”
Kelly drained her hot chocolate. “Remember, I didn’t have enough money to buy the ranch. That’s why I took out a short-term investor loan, and it’s due in June. By then, Cousin Martha’s house in Wyoming should be sold, so I can pay off that loan. But I also want to make extra money for all the ranch repairs that’ll be needed before I can move in.”
“Meanwhile, Kelly’s staying in her cottage. Right where we can keep an eye on her,” Lisa said with an affectionate smile. “Who knows how much trouble she’d get into in the canyon all by herself.”
Kelly joined in her friends’ laughter, but Lisa’s comment did bring up a thought that had nibbled around the edges of her mind for the last month. Would she be happy living in the mountains all by herself? Would she miss walking across the driveway every morning to visit with her friends at the knitting shop? Would those beautiful mountain views keep her from being lonely?
“Have you had any more trouble around the cottage?” Steve asked, his face revealing concern.