Review: Yarned and Dangerous by Sadie Hartwell

Posted January 11, 2016 by Lola in Mystery, Review / 14 Comments


Yarned and DangerousYarned and Dangerous (Tangled Web Mystery #1)
by Sadie Hartwell

Time has not been kind to sleepy Dorset Falls, Connecticut, where an erstwhile resident is hoping to bring a tattered yarn shop back to life—but with a murderer on the loose, the whole town is in knots…

Josie Blair left Dorset Falls twelve years ago in hopes of making it big in New York City. But after earning an overpriced master’s degree and getting fired by a temperamental designer, she finds herself heading back to her hometown. Her great-uncle was injured in a car accident, and newly unemployed Josie is the only person available to take care of him. Uncle Eb’s wife didn’t survive the crash, so Josie is also tasked with selling the contents of her Aunt Cora’s yarn shop. But the needling ladies of the Charity Knitters Association pose a far bigger challenge than a shop full of scattered skeins…

Miss Marple Knits is one of the few businesses still open in the dreary downtown. Josie can’t imagine how it stayed open for so long, yet something about the cozy, resilient little shop appeals to her. But when one of the town’s most persnickety knitters turns up dead in a pile of cashmere yarn, Josie realizes there’s something truly twisted lurking beneath the town’s decaying façade…

My Review:
I received a copy in exchange for an honest review

Yarned and dangerous is a fun cozy mystery set in a small town. Main character Josie visits to help her uncle out and slowly falls in love with the small town. I enjoyed reading this book, but it was kinda predictable at times and some things I knew from the start that would happen took the main character a whole book to figure out, which was a bit frustrating. She seemed to insist on going back to her job, while I thought that with her great designs I thought she could better start on her own than go back to a job where she didn’t work well and had an annoying boss.

It’s a cozy mystery, but cozy contemporary would be a better term for this book as the mystery is almost non existent, yes there is a murder, but there isn’t much of a mystery surrounding it. The focus is mostly on the day to day life of Josie and how she deals with things like closing up the shop and helping her uncle. Josie let’s the police handle the murder, which was realistic, but it didn’t make for an exciting read. I wanted her to delve into the mystery and solve it, but she didn’t do much, until the end when she suddenly pitched it all together. And even then she mostly just thought things through and the pieces of information conveniently landed on her lap. The mystery stays a side plot for along while and takes up a bit more pace towards the end and then suddenly gets solved in the matter of one chapter. So the mystery was a bit disappointing. I had three suspects from the start and one of those was the culprit. And the motive just made it all seem a bit silly, why go to such lengths and risk losing everything when you’re found out. It just felt a bit off.

I did really like the epilogue, it almost makes this first book like the introduction to the series only and only now is everyone where they are supposed to be. I would be interested to see where the story goes next. I also liked the yarn aspect. I haven’t read a lot of books about knitting or yarn so far, so it was fun to see a bit about that in this book.

The characters are likeable, although I did felt like we only got a glimpse of their personalities. We learn most about Josie as she’s the main character and I liked her, although I wish she considered all her options earlier. I did like how she was cautious and didn’t run into a potential dangerous situation alone. I also liked her uncle, he was a grumpy old man, but I think he did care about Josie and was thankful she was there. Then there is Evelyn and Lorna, who become friends of Josie. And a few minor side characters. The actions of some of the side characters didn’t sit well with me, I wondered if what they were doing was legal and I felt a bit bad for another character. Yes she was a nasty character, but she didn’t deserve that. Also it didn’t add much to the bigger plot, except for some in my opinion unnecessary mystery.

There is a slight hint of a possible romance with Mitch, a guy who helps her out a few times and who she goes along with nicely, but it doesn’t go much further than that in this book, although I am thinking we will see more of that in later books.

To summarize: I enjoyed this book, but the mystery fell a bit flat for me. The mystery didn’t got much attention till later and even then it was a minor plot. I wanted Josie to have a more active role in the investigation although how she let the police handle it was realistic. The story and mystery where kinda predictable and one of the possible suspects that I had from the start turned out to be the murderer. I did like the epilogue and where it leaves things so I probably will pick up the second book if I get the chance.



Will you continue a series even if the first book was just okay? What determines whether you continue the series or not?

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14 responses to “Review: Yarned and Dangerous by Sadie Hartwell

  1. I love the theme of this cozy and I hope that the series improves. I personally like the mystery to take center stage. Give me a dead body at the very beginning and then steadily unfold and I am in. Add in a a good theme and some quirky characters and I am really hooked.
    SDCB Steph recently posted…Review: Ugly by Margaret McHeyzerMy Profile

    • I really hope the next book will be even better, It feels like this book was a bit of a set-up so I have the feeling things will improve in the second book. I prefer when the mystery takes center stage or at leats is a big part of the book, here it more seemed like a subplot. The theme and quirky characters did make up for a lot.
      Lola recently posted…Review: Indestructible by Emma L AdamsMy Profile

  2. What make me fall in love with a book is IF I can connect with a character. Of course the plot matters and all that BUT what really matters is if the characters suck me in. Then and only then, will I feel the book/plot is worthwhile. (Also, that’s when I start pushing the books in people’s faces) 😉 I see you’re reading more mystery now! I hope your next one is even better! <3
    Keionda @Keionda Hearts Books recently posted…Let’s Talk #Goals! 🙂My Profile

    • For me it’s a bit of a mix betwen characters, story, romance and world building. If either of them is really bad I don’t like it, but if the other pointsare good it can still be an enjoyable book overal.
      I am really enjoying the mystery genre so far, I really like the mystery aspect and it makes me enjoy most of the books I read even if they are just okay, I got a few really good ones too.

    • With many of the cozy mysteries I tried so far I am getting that feel too, that the first book is so busy settignt he stage and introducing the character that the mystery falls a bit to the side and then hopefully the later books will be even better. Many of them got a 3 star rating, but if I get the chance I will continue the series as I did enjoy the books and think the next book might be better.
      Lola recently posted…Review: Indestructible by Emma L AdamsMy Profile

  3. Sounds like it couldn’t make up it’s mind about the genre. I get bored with a mystery when it isn’t front and present or it’s easy to solve. The small town setting and conflict with her old boss sounds like the better side of the story.

    Hmm, I’ve gone on to read some series after a ‘just okay’ book, but usually I don’t. I do need the first book to grab me or, at the very least, show me something interesting enough to want to see more.
    Sophia Rose recently posted…Written in My Own Heart’s Blood by Diana Gabaldon #ReviewMy Profile

    • Yeah it was a bti weird with how it’s a cozy mystery, but the mystery felt a bit like a sub plot. This book did grab me enough to want to continue the series. For me 3 stars usually sit on the line of meh won’t continue or it did grab me enough and I will continue the series. This one had definitely potential, but I felt like the first book didn’t quite live up to it, so we’ll see what happens in the next book.
      Lola recently posted…Review: Indestructible by Emma L AdamsMy Profile

  4. I find a lot of series, urban fantasy, especially, don’t seem to really kick in and get good until the third book. So unless a first book is just horrendously terrible, I usually give it at least a few before I decide to give up on it. But that’s one of the reasons I rarely start series when the first one is released; I usually wait until there are at least three or four out.
    Heather B recently posted…Review – Laid Out by Sidney HalstonMy Profile

    • I feel like this is one of those series where it won’t get really good until later, so I will give the second book a try. That sounds like a good strategy to just wait till a few books are released, so you can read those right after the first book and see if it improves. The first book does need to hook me enough to make me want to continue, which this one did.
      Lola recently posted…Review: Indestructible by Emma L AdamsMy Profile

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