Tag Archives | Betty Hechtman

Yarn2Go – Book Review

A Yarn Retreat Mystery by Betty Hechtman

Yarn2Go by Betty HechtmanLooking for the perfect stocking filler for your crafty Mum, Girlfriend or Daughter?

Well here it is: a mystery novel set at a craft retreat!

Yarn 2 Go is a crafty mystery book by Betty Hechtman. Its setting is a knitting retreat in a small Californian town over a long weekend. Here’s the blurb to give you an overview of what the story’s about.

Dessert chef Casey Feldstein doesn’t know a knitting needle from a crochet hook. But after her aunt dies unexpectedly, leaving Casey to run her yarn retreat business, the sweets baker finds herself rising to the occasion—and trying to unravel a murder mystery…

When Casey finds out that her late aunt’s business, Yarn2Go, has one more yarn retreat scheduled, she decides to go ahead and host the event, despite her complete lack of experience as a knitter. At least the retreat is on the beautiful Monterey Peninsula.

But the idyllic setting is soured when a retreat regular is found murdered in her hotel room. Feeling a sense of responsibility, Casey begins to weave the clues together and detects a pattern which may shed light on her aunt’s suspicious death. Despite the danger, the last thing Casey plans to do is retreat. She’ll catch this killer or dye trying.

Includes a knitting pattern and a recipe!

I found it a good light read. Especially as it combines two things I love: craft and mystery.

There’s some good character setting up in the beginning, leading up to the murder. And one of the things I particularly liked was that the experience of running the retreat was very much a growth experience for Casey: causing her to re-evaluate her future by the end of the weekend. She is very much not the heroine with her act together so it’s easy to relate to her… for me anyway.

Although it takes a while for the murder to actually take place I enjoyed the looking at the craft retreat from the organiser’s perspective, instead of from the participant’s. So I didn’t mind that. And it set up all of the prospective motives and opportunities for when the murder did happen.

There are plenty of red herrings through the story to keep you jumping from one person to another as you try to guess the murderer and that helps to keep it pacey.

The only issue I would have with it is that I would have preferred the ‘wrap up’ at the end to have tied off a few more loose ends, but I think Betty might be leaving things open for a possible sequel.

So if you’re looking for a good book to curl up with on a wet afternoon I suggest you break out the chockies, pour a mug (or glass) of your favorite beverage, and spend some quality ‘me’ time with Yarn2Go.

Other Crafty Book Reviews:

A Page out of Life by Kathleen Reid

4 Unexpected Benefits of Knitting and Crochet

BettyHechtman

Knitting and crochet have always been popular crafts (hi fives for crochet) but it seems there has been an upswing in popularity in recent times, and there’s no sign interest will wane anytime soon, according to  lifelong craftswoman and craft/crime author Betty Hechtman.

“Pinterest and Etsy are two of the hottest websites online today, and they’re brimming with hand-knitted items, from socks and scarves to purses and pretty much anything that can be made from yarn,” says Hechtman, author of “Yarn to Go,” (www.BettyHechtman.com), the first in a new cozy mystery series scheduled for publication in July by Berkley Prime Crime Books.

“The hand-knitted caps and sweaters that might have embarrassed us as kids are now a hip expression of artistry,” she says. “Young adults appreciate originality and craftsmanship, and they’re an innovative bunch. They’re doing amazing things with yarn!”

Surprisingly, she notes, crocheting is even more popular than knitting (Karen aside: I was amazed at that, and I’m a crocheter). It’s No. 3 on the top 10 U.S. crafts list compiled by the Craft and Hobby Association, with 17.4 million devotees. Knitting comes in at No. 9 with 13 million needle fans.

“What’s interesting is people say they’re drawn to yarn crafts because of the creativity,” Hechtman says, citing a Craft Yarn Council survey of more than 5,000 knitters. “But once they get into it, they say they realize it also helps with stress.”

That’s just one of the unexpected benefits of time spent knitting and crocheting.

Hechtman cites four more:

• Knitting (and crochet) actually produce beneficial physical changes! Spend enough time with your needles or a hook and yarn, and you can strengthen your immune system, lower your blood pressure, and change your brain chemistry to reduce stress hormones and increase the natural “happy” neurotransmitters, serotonin and dopamine. These findings were reported last year at an “academic study day” in England on the therapeutic benefits of knitting.

• It won’t leave you feeling groggy in the morning. Having trouble sleeping? Instead of reaching for a pill, pick up a yarn project an hour or so before bedtime. The calming repetition of knitting or crocheting slows restless, racing thoughts and helps us transition from busy day to quiet, restful night.

• Keep your hands out of trouble. Are you trying to quit smoking and don’t know what to do with yourself? How about biting your nails? Have you become obsessed with checking your social media? Crocheting or knitting keeps hands busy – and out of trouble – while you’re traveling, waiting at the doctor’s office or sitting at your kid’s soccer game. And, unlike smoking, nail-biting and wasting time on Facebook, the result of knitting and crocheting is a positive one.

Make new friends. An internet survey of 3,500 knitters found 90 percent made new friends through the craft Karen aside: I have certainly found that with scrapbooking and cardmaking). One of the beautiful aspects of yarn work is that you can do it alone or in a group. In fact, the opportunities to socialize seem to be driving the strong interest from young adults, who meet at bars, Starbucks and office lunchrooms for a good stitch session, according to the yarn council. People who are alone much of the time are more prone to depression and other mental health issues, getting together for a knit with friends is good for you!

 

Yarn2GoAbout Betty Hechtman

Betty Hechtman is the author of “Yarn to Go,” the first book in the Berkley Prime Crime Yarn Retreat mystery series, as well as the author of the best-selling Berkley Prime Crime Crochet mystery series. The eighth book, “For Better or Worsted,” comes out in November. She has also written newspaper and magazine pieces, short stories and screenplays as well as a children’s culinary mystery. She has a bachelor of fine arts degree and has been active in handicrafts since she was a small child. Hechtman divides her time between Los Angeles and Chicago.

Watch this space

I’ll be getting a copy of Yarn to Go when it is released in July. Bookmark Scraps of Mind and come back for the book review as soon as I read it. Two of my favorite things: craft and crime fiction…I can’t wait

Cheers

KarenSignature