Today’s team review is from Sue. She blogs here https://suelbavey.wordpress.com/
Sue has been reading How The Wall Crumbles by Elaine Spaan
How the Wall Crumbles is book 6 in the Knitting Detectives series, but works as a standalone. Set in Oklahoma, this cozy mystery is told from the perspective of Izzy, an honorary member of the ‘grandmas’ knitting and detective group since her grandma passed away.
The Knitting Detectives are five elderly ladies: Betty, Rosemary, Ally, Martha and Rose. We meet the ladies at a Halloween parade all dressed as Sherlock Holmes making the most of their reputations for solving crime in the town. As well as Izzy, her friends Jack and Dee are also members of the group who are dead set on solving a murder when Izzy’s police officer husband Noel receives a call during the parade to say a dead body has been found on a construction site..
The detectives come across as gossipy busybodies who mean well. They are mostly caricatures, Betty is deaf and correspondingly loud. She is also bossy and thinks she’s in charge. Ally is the quiet one, Martha is a matchmaker, Rose is church-obsessed, Rosemary is Dee’s actual grandmother and determined to become a great grandmother and Jack is an eye rolling, camp drama queen of a gay best friend. This use of well-known stereotypes for characters is hardly surprising since this is a very short book with not enough pages for in-depth characterisation.
Connor Foster, a worker on the construction site Izzy manages was killed by a wall collapsing. Izzy feels responsible, but if they can prove it was murder it won’t be Izzy’s fault.
The elderly ladies are endearing and irritating in equal measure – sticking their noses into Dee’s love life and family planning, barging in on Izzy’s meeting with Emma, the owner of the land on which the construction site is situated and offering unwanted advice and theories all over the place.
After reading the blurb for this book I had expected more of a Halloween theme, which was one of the reasons I chose to read it at this time of the year, but apart from the fact that it opens on the day of the Halloween parade with Izzy trying to squeeze into a Cinderella costume, there is nothing else ‘Halloween” about it. However this did not matter as I found this book entertaining and in places hilarious. I think it would be enjoyed by most fans of detective novels, knitting and tongue-in-cheek humour.
The last place I expect to find myself on Halloween – in a Cinderella costume no less – is the scene of a crime.
A wall at a construction site fell and accidentally killed one of the workers. Naturally, the gray-haired knitters are convinced the wall didn’t fall all on its lonesome. No, they claim, murder is afoot! They’re just looking for an excuse to start another murder investigation.
When the police discover the wall didn’t crumble like a cookie, the knitters are determined to discover who used the wall to cover up a murder. It doesn’t matter that absolutely no one – including the police – has a clue why the victim was murdered.
The gray-haired knitters haven’t failed to solve a mystery yet. And they’re not going to now either.
Can the Gray-Haired Knitting Detectives find the killer when they’re plum out of suspects?
Each book in the Gray-Haired Knitting Detectives series can be read as a standalone, although they’re way more fun if read in order.