Authors: Sally Goldenbaum
Table of Contents
OTHER SEASIDE KNITTERS MYSTERIES BY SALLY GOLDENBAUM
Death by Cashmere
Patterns in the Sand
A Holiday Yarn
Published by New American Library,
a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.,
375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, USA
Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto,
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First published by Obsidian, an imprint of New American Library, a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc. First Printing, May
Copyright © Sally Goldenbaum, 2011 All rights reserved
OBSIDIAN and logo are trademarks of Penguin Group (USA) Inc. LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CATALOGING-IN-PUBLICATION DATA:
The wedding shawl/Sally Goldenbaum.
p. cm.—(A seaside knitters mystery)
“An Obsidian mystery.”
eISBN : 978-1-101-51491-7
1. Knitters (Persons)—Fiction. I. Title.
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PUBLISHER’S NOTE 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 Web sites or their content.
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In memory of Polly Egan Arango
nce again, enormous and heartfelt thanks to my Kansas City friends and family, who have supported book signings, provided moral support, and tolerated my deadlines with such good humor.
To Bethany Kok, the very talented designer of the shawl that inspired Izzy’s wedding shawl—and who generously gave permission for its reprint.
To Mary Bednarowski—for support and friendship, without which this book, in this year, might not have been finished.
To Joey Ciaramitaro and his Good Morning Gloucester blog, Amy Pierson of the Toad Hall Bookstore in Rockport, Massachusetts, and the staff of I Love a Mystery in Kansas City—for their wonderful support.
To the savvy Gloucester moms—Aria, Muffy, Jenn, Kate, Sarah, and Lucy—who have generously offered support and ideas (and celebrations!).
To Cecelia and Doug McNair for turnkey Gloucester research tips.
To Mary Jane Van de Castle and the Bijin Salon & Spa team for giving me a behind-the-scenes look at the workings of a successful salon and the intricacies of turning hair pink.
And to Aria and John McElhenny, whose own wedding inspired Izzy’s garden ceremony.
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.
The loft in Archie and Harriet Brandley’s bookstore was packed with a larger-than-usual group. People chatted familiarly, helping themselves to iced tea or wine, and cookies or smooth, luscious lemon bars from a large red platter. They shuffled chairs and pulled needles and yarn from fat cloth bags.
Henrietta O’Neal, balancing her squat body with one hand wrapped around a cane, told Danny that she’d read every mystery known to man and she was ready for a new author. “And that would be you,” she said, her blue eyes twinkling. “It’s nice to have a homegrown boy who understands the fine art of murder.”
Her full-blown laugh caused Nell Endicott to look up from a second-row seat and laugh along with her. Sea Harbor’s self-proclaimed eighty-plus-year-old suffragette was in fine form.
“It looks like the whole town is here,” Nell said to Cass Halloran. She waved to M. J. Arcado, owner of M.J.’s Hair Salon, who was finding a seat on the opposite side of the half circle. Several of her young stylists were with her. “It must be Danny’s mystery-author mystique.”
“Not to mention his sex appeal,” Cass whispered back.
“Well, that, too. Izzy was smart to invite him.”
The knitting book club was a product of Izzy’s customers’ demands. It’d be perfect, they’d assured the store owner, and with Sea Harbor Bookstore just a narrow alley away from Izzy’s yarn shop, it made even more sense. Knitting, lemon bars, and mysteries. Heaven didn’t get much better.
So Izzy agreed and the idea became a reality that filled Archie’s loft every third Tuesday. Tonight was Danny’s night. Instead of discussing a mystery novel, the group had invited a writer of one—himself a knitter, which only increased his attraction—to discuss the mysterywriting process.
“Be sure to talk about where you get your ideas,” Izzy had directed. “Everyone always wants to know that.”
Danny complied. When everyone quieted down, he started right in.
“People watching,” he said. “You know, like Mary Pisano does—sitting out there on Coffee’s patio every day watching the world go by.” He doffed an imaginary hat to Mary, the newspaper’s “About Town” columnist, and the group laughed, knowing that plenty of Mary’s chatty columns did, indeed, come from watching customers go in and out of the coffee shop—not to mention conversations overheard at the bed-and-breakfast she owned over on Ravenswood Road.
“When you’re a fiction writer, eavesdropping becomes research,” he said, and another chuckle rippled around the half circle.
“So ideas come from life, I guess you would say. Life fuels the imagination, and next thing you know, a story unfolds.”
He took a drink from a water bottle and then went on. “For mystery writers, a good source of ideas can come from reading up on cold cases, like on the TV show.” He looked around at the half-moon of expectant faces. “An example? Okay, here’s what I mean… .”
Then the writer dropped his voice ominously and continued as if telling a ghost story.
Knitting needles paused in midair while people scooched forward on their chairs to listen.
“Here’s a cold case some of you may remember. It happened some fifteen years ago, right here on Cape Ann, at a quarry. It was the night of high school graduation, and teenagers were out celebrating, as kids do. But before the night was over, a tragedy occurred that changed lives forever and tore families apart.”
Brows lifted and silence as thick as harbor fog fell across the room.
“It had been one of those perfect Sea Harbor days, people said. A golden day with the hot sun refreshed by salty breezes. That night, a full moon reflected off the springwater that filled the old Markham Quarry. Its reflection was so precise and perfect that a person standing on the edge of the quarry couldn’t be sure which was real—the moon above or the perfect white circle in the still water below.”
“The Markham Quarry,” Laura Danvers said softly, her brows pulling together as if remembering something. Nearby, Cass Halloran nodded, too, as if they both knew where Danny was headed.