A Fatal Yarn

Pamela Paterson and her Knit and Nibble club must clear the name of one of their knitters when he’s accused of murdering the mayor . . .

The trees in Arborville, New Jersey, have started sporting sweaters. Part of the trend of public knitting art? Not exactly. An anonymous activist has been wrapping trunks in yarn to cover red X’s that mark certain trees for removal by the town so they don’t interfere with power lines. When the town’s mayor—who supports cutting down the trees—is murdered, Pamela wonders if the tree hugger committed homicide to prevent arborcide. A knitter is arrested, but it’s one of Knit and Nibble’s own—the harmless Roland DeCamp, who was seen arguing with the mayor. Pamela is sure the police are barking up the wrong tree. With the help of her reporter friend Bettina, she branches off on her own investigation to root out the real killer . . .

Click here to order A Fatal Yarn from Amazon. Click here to order from Bookshop.org. Click here to order from Barnes & Noble.


Scroll way down for photos of the Knit & Nibble projects.

Thank you to Kings River Life for posting an interview with me and nice review of A Fatal Yarn! Click here!

Some printed copies of A Fatal Yarn have a duplicate page 99 instead of page 97 where it should be. Thank you to an alert reader for informing me of this. The paging was correct in the page proofs and the advance copies–otherwise I and/or a Kensington editor would have caught it.

Here’s the real page 97:















Update: Apparently there are copies of A Fatal Yarn that are also missing page 98. Thank you to another alert reader for letting me know about this.

Here’s page 98:































One of the clues in A Fatal Yarn involves chickens that lay naturally colored eggs, so when I saw these eggs at my favorite Giant Farmers Market in Hackensack I had to buy a dozen. They come from a farm where the chickens range freely and eat a variety of food, so the yolks are an amazing deep orange color.

Here’s the cover for the large-print edition with library binding, from Thorndike Press:

And here’s the cover of the audio version, from Tantor Media:


Cozy Pillow

The project is a knitted cover for a throw pillow. Just for fun, I used an ombre yarn in Easter egg colors, though a solid color to match your décor would be pretty too. Ready-made pillow forms in various sizes can be found at hobby and craft stores or ordered online. This cover was made to fit a pillow that is 18″ square, though the sizing can be adjusted for smaller (or larger) pillows. You’ll find directions at the end of A Fatal Yarn.

Clockwise below: Charisma yarn in the colorway “Passion,” in progress, button, buttonhole.

The finished Cozy Pillow.



Lemon Yogurt Easter Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

In earlier times, people based their cooking on what was available locally. Easter comes so early that in most climes north of the equator fruit isn’t yet in season–so Easter desserts often involved cheese. In a nod to that tradition, this recipe for an Easter dessert uses yogurt and cream cheese. You’ll find it at the end of A Fatal Yarn.

The recipe can also be baked as a loaf cake–in fact I first invented it as a quick bread type loaf cake with no icing to serve as a snack with coffee or tea. When I make it as a loaf cake I make less batter and bake it for 45 minutes in a 4″ x 8″ loaf pan. Here are the ingredient amounts for that version:1 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. baking soda, 1/4 tsp. baking powder, 1 egg, 1 cup plain yogurt, 5 tbsp. melted butter, juice and minced or grated rind of 1/2 lemon. 


Wilfred Fraser bakes shoo fly pie for the Knit and Nibble group in the first chapter of A Fatal Yarn. For the recipe, as well as many in-progress photos, see the recipe I contributed to Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen on March 1, 2020.

Ben CohenA Fatal Yarn