In Purls and Poison by Anne Canadeo, the ongoing feud between realtors Suzanne Cavanaugh and Liza Deveroux has come almost to blows over Liza’s having stolen yet another of the clients Suzanne has cultivated for months. After consulting with her four knitting club friends at Black Sheep & Co., Suzanne decides to try to salvage her job by going that night to the office, knowing that Liza had an affair with Harry Prentice, the office boss who still has strong feelings for Liza. But when she arrives at the office, Suzanne discovers Liza lying dead in her office.
When the police, including Charles, the boyfriend of Maggie, who owns the knitting shop, start to question Suzanne, ir becomes apparent that Suzanne has moved to person of interest and then to chief suspect. As the evidence piles up, the friends conclude that someone is trying to frame Suzanne for the murder, leaving evidence on Suzanne’s computer and using the feud between the women to misdirect the police away from looking at anyone besides Suzanne. Thus, the knitting circle friends decide it is their responsibility to clear their friend by finding the real killer.
I had a good time listening to Purls and Poison. It had more excitement and intensity to the drama than the previous book, Knit to Kill, in which the main characters avoid getting involved seriously in the murder case until dragged into it, and the denouement of that book was a bit slow. Purls and Poison, however, gets all the women of the knitting group deeply invested in solving the case because one of their number get suspected and later accused of the murder. I liked the way that this book focuses on Suzanne and then Maggie as the chief protagonists, opposed to the focus in Knit to Kill being placed more heavily on Phoebe and Maggie. It would be interesting to see if all of the series gives the different characters turns as chief protagonists.
I thought the method of committing the murder to be unique, namely putting botox into one of Suzanne’s diet shakes, to which she had such a strong allergic reaction that it sent her into anaphylactic shock and killed it. But it did seem that Canadeo was reaching a bit in trying to find some original method of murder. Further, the book describes a party in which everyone bought botox to inject into themselves. I have heard of so- called botox parties, but the government put a stop to them, and I don’t think that even those parties just sold the vials without having someone to perform the injections because the location must be marked out precisely, or it won’t work. Even worse, patients might easily end up with droopy or even closed eyelids. As someone who has received botox injections numerous times for my migraines, I found that part of the book less than credible. On the whole, however, the plot kept me excited and invested in the story and the characters.
Overall, I enjoyed listening to Purls and Poison, though I did find certain details not to be fully believable. The conclusion kept me focused and excited. I give this book four stars.
Disclaimer: I received this audiobook for review purposes, but that had no influence on the content of my review.
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