Knot The Usual SuspectsThe yarn bombing TGIF has planned for Thursday night in downtown Blue Plum is probably the most exciting thing going on right now, and I’ll tell you about that in a minute, but first let me tell you about the “oof” I heard from Deputy Cole (known only to me as Clod) Dunbar. I was hiding, well, not really hiding, but doing some clandestine pre-yarn bomb measuring behind one of the columns at the courthouse, when I heard this interesting exchange between Clod and the mayor’s mother:

“Ms. Weems, ma’am—oof—now, that was uncalled for.” (That was Clod.)
“You’re a quack, and I’ll tell anyone who asks.” (That was the mayor’s mother.)
“Let’s step inside then, ma’am, and you can tell the sheriff.” (That was Clod again.)

I have no idea what that was all about, but I did get to see the mayor’s mother give Clod a kick in the shin as he escorted her through the courthouse doors. For a tiny little old lady, the mayor’s mother has a lot of pep and carries a fairly large handbag. It’s a good thing she was wearing tennis shoes. I know about the shoes, because I inched around the column in time to see her foot make the connection with Clod’s shin. The “oof” had come earlier, though, and from the look Clod gave her handbag, it was easy to guess the mayor’s mother was good at whopping it into annoying people’s midsections.

So back to the yarn bombing. I was at the courthouse that morning measuring the girth of one of the columns in preparation for Thursday night. In fact, I was having trouble measuring it because of its size, and that’s how I met Hugh McPhee. Although at the time, I didn’t know that’s who he was; I just thought he was a helpful stranger who didn’t mind giving me a hand. He assumed I was measuring the column for a child’s school project. I didn’t correct him, because we’re keeping the yarn bombing hush-hush, and I didn’t think anything more about him until Clod blustered into the Weaver’s Cat, later that morning. The bluster went like this:

Clod: “Ms. Rutledge, outside the courthouse earlier this morning, was that Hugh McPhee you were talking to?”
Me: “Beats me. We didn’t exchange names.”
Ardis (behind the sales counter with me): “Never. I haven’t seen Hugh in years. Are you sure, Cole?”
Clod (after thinking about it for several seconds): “I can’t make a positive ID, but I will find out. And I’ll find out before Rogalla does.”

I have no idea what was all about, either. About all I do know is that Clod left, and then Ardis left . . . and then Joe arrived with a slice of cake from Mel’s café. But it wasn’t just cake; it was Mel’s new tunnel of fudge cake with crystallized ginger. Oh my. (Mel let me include the recipe in our new book – oh my.)

But I still haven’t told you about the yarn bombing. We (TGIF – Thank Goodness It’s Fiber – the needle arts group that meets at the Weaver’s Cat) have planned it to coincide with Handmade Blue Plum, the annual arts and crafts fair. We’ve been knitting and crocheting for weeks, and the night before the fair opens, we’re going to add touches of whimsy to benches, signposts, tree trunks, and the courthouse columns. We’re going to spread arts and crafts anarchy with yarn graffiti – we’re going to yarn bomb Blue Plum. Part of the fun should be creeping around town after dark to do it, right? And it should work out fine. Really, I’m sure it will. After all, we’ve made meticulous plans. What could possibly go wrong?

You can read more about Kath and the yarn-bombing in Knot The Usual Suspect, the fifth book in the “Haunted Yarn Shop” mystery series, published by Obsidian. The first book in the series is Last Wool and Testament.

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 12 a.m. eastern on Monday, September 21 for the chance to win a print copy of Knot The Usual Suspect. (US entries only, please.) Good luck everyone!

About the author
The Boston Globe says Molly MacRae writes “murder with a dose of drollery.” She’s the author of the award-winning Haunted Yarn Shop Mysteries from NAL/Penguin. Her short stories have appeared in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine since 1990 and she is a winner of the Sherwood Anderson Award for Short Fiction. After twenty years in upper east Tennessee – the setting for her stories, short and long – Molly and her family live in Champaign, Illinois. You can find out more about Molly at or connect with her on Facebook or Pinterest. And you can find her blogging on the first Monday of each month at and on the 23rd of each month at

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