by Sandra Murphy
& Peggy Ehrhart
This week we have a review of another Halloween mystery, Knit of the Living Dead by Peggy Ehrhart, along with a Halloween craft guest post by Peggy. Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of the book, and links to purchase it.
Knit of the Living Dead: A Knitting & Nibble Mystery By Peggy Ehrhart
Review by Sandra Murphy
It’s Halloween in Arborville, and no one is recognizable except Pamela Patterson. She’s wearing basic black slacks and sweater, with only cat ears to define her costume. She’s definitely underdressed in a crowd of mermaids, Greek goddesses, Raggedy Ann and Andy, and the usual wizards and zombies.
When a scream is heard, it’s hard to tell if it’s sound effects or someone in need of help. The second scream sends Pamela and her friends running to find two teenagers, likely looking for a quiet spot for a bit of alone time, babbling about a dead woman. Further investigation proves Bo Peep is indeed dead. Even though the costume bonnet hides her face, Pamela’s friend and fellow knitter, Nell, says it’s her neighbor. Mary. Nell recognizes the costume, and how many Bo Peeps are there likely to be?
The bizarre twist is the body has thick strands of yarn wrapped around her neck. Pamela and her best friend, Bettina, a reporter, have assisted the police in cases where yarn was a clue so feel obligated to help this time too—or at least that’s what they tell themselves. Nell has always discouraged their involvement. This time however, Nell is the one pushing for them to ask questions and is willing to help. More murders just add to the confusion.
Pamela has lived alone since her husband died and their daughter left for college. She’s been fine with that, has two cats for company, and her job as editor for a knitting magazine keeps her busy. She has a routine to follow, only disrupted when Bettina wants company on one of her jaunts. Bettina tried to encourage Pamela’s interest in Richard, a new neighbor, but Pamela made sure to discourage that idea. Now she’s beginning to wonder if that was the right decision. There’s a difference between being alone and being lonely.
This is book six of the series and one of the more complicated cases Pamela’s dealt with. Her personal life seems ready for change so readers will look forward to seeing what’s next for her. This tale will get you in the mood for goblins and ghosts, and bowls of candy. Pamela shares the pattern for a Halloween tote, a recipe for pumpkin spice crumb cake, and Roland’s easy candy corn cookies.
Send Me Dead Flowers Spooky Halloween Flower Arrangement with Optional Spider
By Peggy Ehrhart
The residents of Arborville never miss a chance to celebrate a holiday, and Halloween is no exception. Here’s a Halloween decoration that’s a little different from the usual. It’s not exactly something that Pamela might display, but it would fit right in with Holly’s more adventurous decor.
You will need:
Plastic or cloth artificial flowers
Flat black spray paint
Rubber or plastic spider (optional)
The project can be done very inexpensively if you have plastic or cloth flowers and a vase that you no longer use. You can also buy the flowers and vase at a dollar store, craft store, or garage sale. The flowers can be any type but they should have long stems.
The vase can be any color or shape but it needs to be large enough to hold your arrangement.
The twigs can be scavenged from your yard or anywhere that scavenging is permitted. Look for ones that branch in interesting ways.
The first step is to spray your flowers black. Lay them on newspaper outside, far apart. Several thin coats are better than one thick coat. The paint dries very quickly and you can handle the flowers by the stems to rearrange them and expose different parts for subsequent sprayings.
At some point you might want to give them a while—like fifteen minutes—between sprayings so they will be to dry enough to rearrange petals that need more exposure to the paint. You can also hold them at arm’s length by the very ends of the stems and turn them this way and that to spray elusive spots. Let them dry thoroughly before making your spooky arrangement.
The next step is to spray your vase. You can do this with it standing upright or lying on its side. If you spray it lying on its side, let the top side dry thoroughly before rolling it over to spray the other side.
Now, arrange your dry twigs in the vase in an artistic way. They should stick up considerably higher than you expect your flowers to. When you have the twigs the way you want them, add the flowers. If the stems aren’t long enough to make them stand as high as you’d like, you can crumple up some newspaper and tuck it into your vase between the twigs, or you can use florist’s foam if you have some.
I made my spider by finding a large spider image online, printing it, and carefully cutting around it. Then I glued a strand of gray embroidery floss to the back. You can also buy rubber or plastic creepy crawlies online or at the craft store, and dental floss or sewing thread would work in place of embroidery floss.
I added dried gourds to my display for a nice color contrast. A jack o’ lantern could complement your spooky flower arrangement too.
The dead flowers spray treatment can also be applied to a door wreath that has gotten faded and tired, and you can add a few creepy crawlies if you wish.
To enter to win a copy of Knit of the Living Dead, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “knit,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen October 24, 2020. U.S. residents only, and you must be 18 or older to enter. If you are entering via email please include you mailing address in case you win, it will be deleted after the contest. You can read our privacy statement here if you like. BE AWARE THAT IT WILL TAKE MUCH LONGER THAN USUAL FOR WINNERS TO GET THEIR BOOKS DUE TO THE CURRENT CRISIS.
Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. Also listen to our new mystery podcast where mystery short stories and first chapters are read by actors! They are also available on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Spotify. A new episode goes up next week!
You can use this link to purchase this book from indie bookstore Mysterious Galaxy, and KRL gets a portion of the sale:
You can use this link to purchase these book from Amazon. If you have ad blocker on you may not see the link:
Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.