Patterns in the Sand
Penguin Group USA
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 - The Friday before . . .
The Inside-Out Knit Chemo Cap
ALSO BY SALLY GOLDENBAUM
Death by Cashmere
Published by New American Library,
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First published by Obsidian, an imprint of New American Library, a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
First Printing, May 2009
Copyright Š Sally Goldenbaum, 2009
All rights reserved
OBSIDIAN and logo are trademarks of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CATALOGING-IN-PUBLICATION DATA:
Patterns in the sand: a seaside knitters mystery/Sally Goldenbaum. p. cm.
eISBN : 978-1-101-03111-7
1. Knitters (Persons)Fiction. I. Title.
Set in Palatino
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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the authors imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
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For Luke Robert McElhenny, Atticus Sage Goldenbaum, and Ruby Jane McElhenny
any thanks to my family, my sisters, friends, and readerswho have offered support, knitting patterns, ideas, and most of all, have invited the Seaside Knitters into their homes. A thank you to my brother Bob, whose art inspired Aidan Peabodys. And a special thanks to Polly Arango and Mary Bednarowski, who are always there at the end of an e-mail with a welcome supply of sleuthing support.
The fireworks that exploded in the midsummer sky were a surprise. None of the Art at Night flyers pasted on store windows along Harbor Road mentioned that the ocean sky would light up like the Fourth of July.
But Nell Endicott suspected that few people in the packed crowds that milled about the narrow streetsmoving in and out of art galleries and studios, greeting friends, nodding to strangers, enjoying a beer or iced teawould focus first on the extravagant display when thinking back to that sultry Sunday night.
What they would think of first was not dazzling colors against a black sky, but a death that would change the course of their summer days in a heartbeatadding suspicion and gossip to long days at the beach and fishing off Pelican Pier.
The Friday before . . .
t was Purl, curled up in the center of a cushy pile of organic cotton yarn in the deep bay display window of Izzys shop, who first took notice of the strangera small young woman with a magnetic gaze matched only by that of the cats own green stare.
It seemed to be love at first sight. Or at least an understanding between souls who may have shared a similar past.
The Seaside Knitting Studios window display was more than a changing smorgasbord of rich, soft yarn. It had also become the calico cats favorite place to watch the people of Sea Harbor go about their lives. The task brought purpose to Purls day.
In winter shed find a circle of sun in the window and settle in its center, watching figures wrapped in downy jackets scurry up and down Harbor Road, to the bookstore next door or the dentist above Harrys deli. To Jakes Gull Tavern on the corner or the county offices just off the main street. People walked fast on those snowy days, with direction, shoulders rigid, bracing themselves against the freezing ocean air that brought color to their cheeks.
In the summer, Sea Harbor slowed to a languid pace, and through the glass Purl watched tan, half-bare bodies stroll down the road, wandering in and out of shops, sitting on wooden benches with strawberry ice-cream cones or Coffees famous frozen mochas.
And in summer, Izzys window boasted bright cotton and silk yarn for airy sweaters or lacy stoles. This night, Purl had found a wicker basket piled high with spun balls of pink and celery green organic cotton that could be knit up into the perfect light sweater for ocean-chilled evenings. Purl curled up cozily in the center, her white paws resting on the baskets edge. A sliver of moonlight touched the white V on her forehead. Life was good.
Beyond the window, gaslights blinked on, allowing Purl a cats-eye view of the villages nighttime activity. Though many of the boutiques and shops were closed for the evening, music poured from Jakes tavern on the corner, Harry Garozzos deli still served some lingering customers, and restaurant doors were held open to the soft summer breezes, welcoming summer people to a Friday night fish fry or lobster feast. Not many people paused at Izzys window at this time of night, though the security lights were on, offering a glimpse of lovely yarn if anyone cared to stop.
But this Friday nighta treat for the sociable Purlsomeone did.
When Purl looked up into the striking black eyes of the young woman, she welcomed the attention and purred in delight.
The visitor placed one hand flat on the cool plate glass that separated themwoman from beast. Her eyes locked onto Purls. For a long time the two looked at each other, steady and unwavering. Then she smiled as if finding a friend, stepped back, and looked up at the weathered Seaside Knitting Studio sign above the door.
The name of the store seemed to register on her face and she smiled again at the cat, then slipped a thick handful of dark hair behind her ear. She shifted the heavy backpack between her shoulder blades and walked over to the front door, a weathered door with an awning above it. The knob refused to turn. She rapped lightly, peering through the glass on the door.
From her perch inside the bay window, Purl followed the movements of the young woman with interest. The store was locked, of coursea routine even shopkeepers in this sleepy ocean town practiced.
When no one answered, the young woman walked back to the window and stood there for a few minutes, looking at Purl as if the kitten would know the next step. Her brows lifted and her dark eyes grew round as the moon above. She had come a long way and was bone-tired. She needed to rest. A locked door was a minor inconvenienceand the kitten was welcoming.