Yarn Retreat is a series of popular cozy mystery novels by American author Betty Hetchman. Set in northern California, the novels feature Dessert chef Casey Feldstein as the chief protagonist. Feldstein was first introduced to Hetchman fans in the first novel of the series, the 2013 published novel, Yarn to Go.
Order of Yarn Retreat Mystery Series
|1||Yarn to Go||2013|
|2||Silence of the Lamb's Wool||2014|
|3||Wound Up in Murder||2015|
|4||Gone with the Wool||2016|
As opposed to other cozy mystery protagonists, Casey Feldstein is not an expert in the main theme of the series – crocheting. The novels begin with the death of Casey’s aunt who dies suddenly, leaving her a yarn retreat business at the slightly creepy conference center and hotel premises. Not knowing the difference of a crochet hook from a knitting needle, she now has to run the business, while confronting and trying to solve a series of bizarre murder mysteries.
The first novel in the series, Yarn to Go sees the protagonist overwhelmed with the task of hosting a yarn retreat that had been scheduled before the untimely death of her aunt. The one thing going for her is that, the retreat is on the scenic Monterey Peninsula. However, things quickly turn sour when one of the regular retreat members turns up dead in her hotel room.
Feeling some measure of responsibility, she tries to unravel the murder mystery, and soon finds a disturbing link that could explain her aunt’s death. The brilliant way that the author weaves the story that follows is just amazing, and just goes to show why she has been the recipient of several awards over the years.
BEST YARN RETREAT BOOKS
Gone With The Wool: The fourth book in the series is one of the most popular of Betty Hetchman novels. There is nothing more idyllic than California’s Monterey Peninsula, particularly in October, when thousands of monarch butterflies descend into the region for the winter. Cadbury by the Sea, Feldstein’s premier event always takes maximum advantage of the colorful spectacle, hosting a weeklong festival that celebrates the butterfly queen and her entourage. Eager to demonstrate the spirit of the times, Casey Feldstein finds her hands full as she flutters back and forth doing whatever needed to be done to make the retreat a success. The festival usually ends with one lucky girl declared butterfly queen. But this year’s festivities go awry, when a former winner of the butterfly queen contest turns up dead after the Butterflies Service. Casey must now put all her crocheting and knitting duties aside, and find the killer who dared mess with her beloved butterfly festival.
Silence of the Lamb’s Wool: Another popular novel in the Yarn Retreat series is the second novel, Silence of the Lamb’s Wool. In this novel, Feldstein is running the From Sheep to Shawl retreat in the Monterey Peninsula. Participants of the festival will be learning about sheep shearing, fleece preparation, spinning and finally get to knit a shawl. Casey has hired one of the top fleece to fiber teachers in the Peninsula, Nicole Welton, to teach one of the most in demand lessons. However, Nicole fails to turn up for the gig, and is soon found dead on the boardwalk. Now Feldstein has to weave together the clues as she has never done before, if she is to prevent the killer from striking twice and ruining the retreat.
Yarn to Go: The first novel in the series is also one Betty Hatchman novel that is highly popular among cozy mystery fans. Casey finds that she has to run her aunt’s yarn business as a rookie, with hardly any knowledge of the intricacies of knitting or spinning. Nonetheless, she rises to the occasion only for a mysterious murder to threaten to derail all her efforts at hosting the perfect retreat. She now has to turn amateur sleuth not only to ensure the retreat is a success, but also to find out if the murder was in some way related to her aunt’s untimely demise.
OTHER BOOK SERIES YOU MAY LIKE
If you liked the Yarn Mystery series, you will love “A Haunted Yarn Shop Mystery” series by Molly Macrae. Kath Rutledge inherits her grandmother’s wool shop in Blue Plum, Tennessee. only to be confronted with a depressed ghost that haunts the business premises.
Fans of the Yarn Mystery series also like the “Seaside Knitters Mystery” series by Sally Goldenbaum. The series features three ardent knitters Birdie, Cass, Izzy, and Nell as lead characters. While their main passion is knitting, they are forced to become amateur sleuths when mysterious murders happen in their small town.