Fall is usually a relaxing time in Sea Harbor, but it’s turning out to be a busy season for Izzy Chambers Perry. Not only is she helping the Seaside Knitters make a magnificent throw to celebrate the fortieth wedding anniversary of her aunt and uncle, she and her husband are finally selling the cottage she lived in before they married and had a darling baby girl.
To Izzy’s surprise, newcomer Julia Ainsley seems determined to buy the home—although she’s never set foot inside. But on the day of the open house, things take a tragic turn. A body is uncovered in the cottage’s backyard. When the police find Julia’s name and phone number in the victim’s pocket, this slender thread of evidence makes her a person of interest.
Soon the spotlight of suspicion widens to include old friends and town leaders, as a tragic happening, long buried in the sleepy seaside town, is slowly brought to the surface. Before the Endicotts’ joyful anniversary celebration can be realized, the Seaside Knitters must work to unravel the real reason Julia Ainsley has come to their town and the tangled and tragic ties from the past that bind friends and townsfolk together.
More than almost any other book I have read, I felt a part of the town of Sea Harbor. I was not an observer of Ben and Nell Endicott's weekly "friends and family supper", I was a guest. And as such, I almost felt like I had a stake in the town's happenings, and by extension, the wonderful story woven (or would that be knitted) by Sally Goldenbaum in "Murder in Merino".
Like most small communities, it can be difficult for an outsider to break into the community, as Julia Ainsley finds out. Her meetings with the gentleman friend of one of the Seaside Knitters strains that woman's relationship, and the woman's friends try to set things right.
But then the owner/bartender of a popular local restaurant winds up dead in the backyard of Julia's new home and the game is on.
The story of "Murder in Merino" is knit together and embellished as wonderfully as the Endicott's anniversary afghan on which the knitters work throughout the course of the book (and for which detailed instructions are presented at book's end).