My name is Lucy Binger and it’s definitely not a typical day. Hollywood is coming to town! More precisely, to The Black Sheep Knitting Shop, owned by my best friend Maggie and about to be used as a set for a big budget movie. The cast and crew, along with long limos and huge equipment trucks, pulled into town last night. So I’m up at the crack of dawn on a frigid New England winter morning, searching for my friends in a crowd of fans and paparazzi that are swarming around the little knitting shop. All of us dying to catch a glimpse of the stars as they emerge from their fancy, block-long trailers.
Finally, I find my pals who have saved a primo perch, thanks to Phoebe, Maggie’s assistant. The poor girl waited outside in a lawn chair all night. What a trooper. The rest of my gang, Suzanne and Dana, are there, too. We usually gather at the shop at least once a week to knit and yes. . .gossip. Between the five of us, we know everything going on in town. We’ve even solved a local murder or two. But that’s another story.
Maggie is the last to arrive. Wondering why she agreed to rent the shop in the first place. But as soon as the stars appear, we’re convinced she’s done the right thing.
Jennifer Todd is our absolute favorite – America’s sweetheart. So elegant and beautiful. A hometown success story, born and raised in nearby Newburyport. She has plenty of old friends in the crowd. And maybe a few former acquaintances who aren’t so pleased to see her back?
Even if lovely Jennifer was not enough to get me up this early, Heath O’Hara certainly is. The quintessential heart-throb, if ever there was one. Is he as gorgeous and charming up close and personal as he seems on screen? Check back with me later. I hope to file a full report. Just don’t tell my boyfriend Matt – who gets super jealous when I swoon over Heath. Isn’t that cute?
Well, it would be, if he didn’t go into a daze every time I mention Trina Hardwick. Yes, she’s in the cast, too. You’d think the guy would have better taste. What can you do. It’s just a movie star crush. Even though Trina’s photo pops up if you Google, “Bad Girl.” She’s all that and more, on screen and off. No wonder Trina is trying to make yet another come back, after yet another stay in rehab. We read about it in a celeb gossip blog at our last meeting. Trina is desperate to return to super star status and they say she’ll do anything to get there.
Talking about desperate, let’s not forget world famous director, Nick Pullman who just happens to be married to Jennifer Todd. After a string of recent flops, he’s banking on this film to make back his losses. Banking with his own cash. And Jennifer’s, people say. Not the best way to improve a shaky marriage, I’d say. But who am I to give movie stars relationship advice?
We’re hanging out in the cold with the rest of the fans, when some assistant asks Maggie if she would “take a meeting” with Jennifer Todd. The actress has questions about her role as the shop owner. Somehow, our smooth talking friend, Suzanne wheedles a deal for all of us to go on the set. Can you believe it? Rubbing shoulders– and knitting bags– with real movie stars.
But before I can even ask for an autograph, a strange accident shuts down production. Everyone is shaken. Someone could have been killed; that’s for sure. Nick Pullman storms in, shouting his head off. We’ve heard that the moody director has anger management issues, but he’s positively frightening. He’s barely shouted, “Clear the set!” and we’re herded out the door.
Before we can feel too badly, Jennifer Todd invites us to her trailer for tea! She wants to talk to Maggie, to get ideas for her role. I’m just sitting back, enjoying the exotic, herbal brew Jennifer’s assistant serves us –which I later learn costs several hundred dollars a cup to prepare, and is made from very rare, Panda Bear poop. (Not kidding. Wish I was. )
Jennifer is so sweet and down to earth. She makes us feel very welcome and explains the plot of the film — a juicy, romantic thriller, tangled with a murder mystery.
Which, as usual, gets me thinking. . .
Yeah, I know it’s just a movie. But the more I hear, the more I wonder if the real drama– and danger– is about to happen off screen. Instead of on.
You can read more about Lucy in The Postman Always Purls Twice, the 7th book in the “Black Sheep Knitting” mystery series, published by Gallery Books. The first book in the series is While My Pretty One Knits.
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About the author
Anne Canadeo lives and knits in Northport, New York, with her husband, daughter, and canine office assistant. She is the author of the Black Sheep Knitting mystery series, and writing as Katherine Spencer, she has also authored the popular Cape Light and Angel Island series.