Dropped Dead Stitch

Maggie Sefton, Author . Berkley Prime Crime $24.95 (270p) ISBN 978-0-425-22774-9

Sefton's seventh puzzler to feature Kelly Flynn, crafty sleuth of Fort Connor, Colo., and the House of Lambspun knitters (after 2008's Fleece Navidad ) finds them worrying about their friend Jennifer Stroud, who's been raped. Though Jennifer initially refuses to report the attack to the authorities, she agrees to attend a weekend workshop for women who've suffered sexual violence. Kelly and physical therapist Lisa Gerrard are teaching a fiber class for the May retreat at Lazy C Ranch, whose owner, Cal Everett, turns out to be Jennifer's assailant. When Cal's found dead, pushed over the railing of a steep deck with Jennifer's latest afghan project draped over his body, Jennifer becomes a murder suspect. Sefton skillfully handles a sensitive topic while weaving in happier moments for her amateur detectives, such as the marriage of Mimi Shafer, Lambspun's owner, and Burt Parker, a retired Fort Connor detective. (June)