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Business is booming for Libby Beckett and her fabulous Maryland shop, aptly named Y.A.R.N., but when a town festival brings a fatality with it, Libby gets all tangled up in murder.

As spring comes to Collinstown, the village launches a food festival to draw a new group of tourists. Libby, proud owner of Y.A.R.N., has planned a yarn event to provide an alternative option to a foodie weekend. Artisan fiber dyer Julie Wilson--known for her work with animal-friendly, plant-based knitting fibers such as bamboo and hemp as well as her brilliant use of color--will hopefully draw a crowd with a special dyeing workshop.

The festival begins, but it draws more than crowds. First a flock of sheep parades down the street, herded by farmers protesting Julie's antiwool stance. Then Julie's celebrity chef sister appears, and the siblings resume a long-standing rivalry. Despite all this, Julie's workshop has sold out. Libby is thrilled, and they're preparing for a full house. But the night before the event, Julie is found alone in the warehouse event space--dead. The witty "Watch Julie Wilson Dye" workshop title now has a terrible new meaning--and it's up to Libby to catch a crafty killer.

294 pages, Mass Market Paperback

Published April 5, 2022

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About the author

Allie Pleiter

121 books463 followers
An avid knitter, coffee junkie and firm believer that “pie makes everything better,” Allie Pleiter writes both fiction and non-fiction working on as many as four novels at a time. The bestselling author of over fifty books, Allie has enjoyed a twenty-year career with over 1.5 million books sold. In addition to writing, Allie maintains an active writing productivity coaching practice and speaks regularly on the creative process, publishing, and her very favorite topic—The Chunky Method of time management for writers. Visit her website at www.alliepleiter.com to learn more.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 67 reviews
Profile Image for LORI CASWELL.
2,478 reviews278 followers
April 2, 2022
Dollycas’s Thoughts

As a clever marketing ploy, the village of Collinstown pulls out all the stops for the 1st See More Than Sea Food Festival. Not owning an eatery Y.A.R.N. owner Libby Beckett came up with her own twist, a Wield More Than Wool weekend. She invites Julie Wilson, an outspoken advocate for plant-based knitting fibers to speak at her event and do some demonstrations of her unique yarn dyeing methods. But everyone does not welcome the outspoken advocate with open arms. Local farmers organize a protest march complete with real live sheep baaing their way down the street. Also in attendance for the festival is Julie’s celebrity chef sister and there appears to be no love lost between them. Excited that her workshop is sold out Julie is not going to let her sister’s presence ruin her weekend and Libby is delighted. This could really be a stellar event for Y.A.R.N.

The night before the event Julie has everything she needs at the warehouse where her event will take place and gets to work dyeing the special fibers exclusive for the weekend. But when Libby goes to check on her the door is barred and the ventilation fans are off. Sadly, help arrives too late for Julie and Libby has a murder on her hands. Can she knit the clues together to catch Julie’s killer or will she get tangled up in the skein of their crime?

Having met many of these characters in the first book I was excited to dive right into Knit or Dye Trying. Libby Beckett is such a great protagonist. She is creative, hard-working, and truly loves her craft and sharing it with others. Her weekend would have been fantastic had it been able to take place. I am in awe of the 13-year-old Jillian’s talents. Libby just taught her to knit in the last book and she is excelling at a fantastic pace. Readers get a more in-depth look at all of Libby’s friendships including her relationship with the village Mayor Gavin. All come across as true to real life, especially in a small town like Collinstown. Libby’s bulldog and Y.A.R.N. mascot Hank continues to steal my heart too.

The author does portray small-town life very well. I was happy to see one character get taken to task. The sheep protest parade is something I could see happening. Animal rights vs. a farmer’s livelihood would be a hot-button issue. No sheep were injured by the spray paint and what would be more surprising than a flock of sheep just passing through town. Funny while getting the point across.

The mystery caught my attention from the start. Family tensions between Julie, her chef sister Monica, and Yale her brother-in-law really drive the story. Their competition and contention with each other has been building for a while but could it lead to murder? Or were the farmers so upset one of them went a step too far in the angst? The author does an excellent job twisting up motivations and opportunities. The method of death was scary and unique but not totally unexpected after reading Julie’s requirements a few times I knew they were key. The way the story played out though was surprising and heartbreaking.

I love reading crafty stories like this one. Before my accident 20+ years ago I enjoyed doing so many crafts including knitting and crochet. A place like Y.A.R.N. would have been a place where I would have spent many hours. All the new fibers in their vivid colors would have had me under their spell. Y.A.R.N. “You’re Absolutely Ready Now” is the meaning Libby started with when opening her store. Many of her customers have added their own ideas using those letters. For me, it means “You’re A Reader Now” because while I can no longer do the crafts I love but I can enjoy books about people who can, and when it’s a cozy mystery I can be an armchair amateur sleuth too.

Ms. Pleiter has knit together a fantastic group of genuine characters with a very well-plotted mystery in Knit or Dye Trying. She adds just the right amount of humor and romantic tension to keep cozy lovers blissfully happy.
Profile Image for Mystereity Reviews.
778 reviews45 followers
March 14, 2022
When I saw this one on Netgalley, I knew I had to read it when the blurb mentioned a parade of protest sheep and what a great idea! I should get some protest sheep so I can spread my message that Cozy Mysteries need their own classification separate from Suspense/Thriller/Mystery and yes, this is a hill I will dye on (heh!) supported by my protest sheep. This book also fit into my Spring Fever theme read for a spring themed craft cozy.

In this one, Collinstown is welcoming spring with a See More Than Seafood festival and Libby has lined up Julie Wilson, a vegan fiber expert who achieves amazing colors for her plant based yarns, to be a speaker and to demonstrate her dyes and techniques. Julie is known to be an outspoken advocate for veganism and has managed to annoy/anger/provoke others, especially farmers, with her outspoken anti-animal product views. Trouble quickly ensues with a parade of protest sheep down the main street in town, confrontations and finally, with Julie found dead. With so many suspects with motive for murder, Libby takes up the reins to flush out a killer.

I've haven't read any of the other books in this series, so I can safely say it can be read as a standalone or an entry into the series. I always love finding a new world to dive into and Collinstown sounds like a charming getaway (I'm not going to lie, I'd be lined up in front of Margo's shop waiting impatiently for goodies) with lots of great little shops and restaurants to wander through. Sign me up! I loved the characters, Libby is the kind of woman everyone would love to have for a friend and her close knit group of friends and shopkeepers made for a friendly, cozy read. I have to admit, I guessed most of the who in the whodunit but I stuck around for the big reveal to fill in the rest of the blanks. What a tragic story, I felt the same way Libby did when the whole story came out. Just senseless.

Overall, this was very enjoyable and I will definitely be picking up the other books in the series.
Profile Image for Lisa Currier.
1,772 reviews58 followers
February 13, 2022
I was absolutely excited to be approved by Berkeley Publishing Group to read and advanced copy of this book.
Allie Pleiter is a new to me author and this is the second book in her series. I purchased the first book before I was halfway through with this one.
Libby is an interesting character who owns a shop called Y.A.R.N., which to her means You're Absolutely Ready Now. I had a blast coming up with my own meanings while reading Knit or Dye Trying.
Libby has planned to have a guest speaker during the fall festival, someone who creates her own dyes, and uses organic, plant based materials instead of traditional fibers.
Unfortunately, her guest is also very vocal about her craft, and she doesn't always get good reactions from people.
When her guest is found dead, it appears that maybe foul play is involved and Libby is determined to find out the truth.

I enjoyed the storyline and the cast of characters, especially Libby's mom, Rhonda.
I was surprised at the reveal, I only had a few pieces of the mystery put together.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for selecting me to read an advanced copy of this book.
I'm looking forward to reading more in this series and will recommend it to my friends.
#KnitorDyeTrying #NetGalley
Profile Image for Laura Salas.
Author 116 books159 followers
March 5, 2022
I read and enjoy lots of light cozy mysteries involving food and/or textile arts. This is one of my favorite series, and I'm already looking forward to book #3. Although it's still a cozy and is light and totally ungritty and unrealistic (natch), there's a depth in the Riverbank Knitting series that I really connect to. The depth is there in both the knitting part of the story and the character part of the story. In book 1, I loved learning a bit about Norwegian knitting, and this book has piqued my interest in the process of dyeing yarns. It's never in a preachy way--only in the way that the knitting topic is absolutely essential to the plot and the mystery!

Also, I like Libby--I'd love a friend like her. Her struggles with her mom, her emotions, her business...they ring true to me.

In this story, emotions run high over animal rights, family boundaries, and community vision, and the resolution of the story is both satisfying and disheartening.

Review copy provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Melissa.
2,299 reviews
April 22, 2022
A solid mystery with an interesting plot. Really liked this one.
Profile Image for Carrie Schmidt.
Author 1 book366 followers
June 6, 2022
4.5 stars

As I said in my review for On Skein of Death, Allie Pleiter is already one of my favorite authors so it doesn’t take much encouragement for me to reach for a new book by her as soon as it releases. And since I loved the introduction to her cozy mystery series, I was all the more eager to read this one. (But then, alas, life got in the way and I’m just now getting a chance to review it. Argh.)

Libby is such a great protagonist, and I love her yarn shop and what it adds to the community of Collinstown. Her friends are loyal, her mom is a handful but lovable, her dog Hank is adorable, and her high school sweetheart (now the mayor) is the perfect ‘friend that we all know will eventually lead to more’. I love that the romance potential between them sparks a bit more strongly with each book, but also that the author keeps it from overwhelming or taking over the mystery. I also really enjoy the relationship between Gavin’s young teenage daughter Jillian and Libby, as well as Libby’s mom. I have a deep appreciation for multigenerational relationships, so I’m very glad to see that depicted so positively in this series.

Bless Libby’s heart, in addition to juggling her personal relationships she has a lot on her plate – running a business, running for city council, running from her mother (just kidding!). She certainly doesn’t need another special event disaster but (really, Libby) with a class titled “Watch Julie Wilson Dye” the writing was really on the … well… sheep. The mystery was cleverly drawn, with plenty of plausible suspects, and just when I thought I had it all figured out – nope! I realized yet again that the … well… wool… had been pulled over my eyes. (Sorry, sorry, I couldn’t resist the sheep references – you’ll see why.) Lots of twists and turns to keep us all guessing and to keep Libby even busier than she already was… and the added time it gives her with swoony Mayor Gavin doesn’t hurt.

Bottom Line: Knit or Dye Trying is another excellent read by Allie Pleiter! Engaging and layered characters and the charming small town add to the ambiance of Libby’s equally charming yarn shop, making it a smile-inducing place to visit on the pages. Murder notwithstanding. Speaking of the mystery, though, it will keep you solidly invested in the outcome as you sift through red herrings, misdirections, family dynamics, and the intricacies of the fiber industry. I can’t wait for many more visits to Collinstown, Libby, and the Riverbank Knitting Mysteries!

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book)

first reviewed at Reading Is My SuperPower
Profile Image for Maria.
1,664 reviews55 followers
November 22, 2022
Well-paced mystery set in the cutest small town. I loved getting to know more about Libby and her friends as well as a new dyeing process (which isn’t real, unfortunately). I found the mystery was plotted well and kept me guessing until the very end. Looking forward to the next.
Profile Image for Kirby.
645 reviews32 followers
March 25, 2022
Knit or Dye Trying is the second release in Allie Pleiter's Riverbank Knitting Mystery series, and it's one that I wholeheartedly ended up enjoying. I've read a lot of cozy mystery series over the years, but this is the first one I've ever personally read that has a yarn shop as the focal point, and I loved how that made the story stand out as something different. I had enjoyed the characters, the town, and the shop that were all introduced in the first book, and I loved how each is more developed and matured in this particular title.

When Libby Beckett hears about the town's newest festival centered around sharing a love for food other than seafood, she's determined to find a way to have her beloved Y.A.R.N shop play a part. Her ingenuity results in inviting an entrepreneur from the knitting world who is making a name for herself dyeing plant based yarns through a secret process that no one else knows. However, things go wrong right from the start. Julie is a lot more to deal with than Libby was expecting, and soon she's caught up in familial tensions, sheep protests, and "accidental" kitchen fires. However, everything changes drastically when Julie is killed during one of her yarn dyeing processes, and evidence points at the fact that it was no accident. Soon Libby once again finds herself (and her beloved shop) caught up in a murder investigation, and she'll stop at nothing to see justice served.

From start to finish, Knit or Dye Trying was a well developed mystery that held my attention, and kept me guessing right until the end. I loved how more of the relationships are highlighted throughout the story, and it was interesting to read about the varying changing dynamics between Libby, Gavin, Jillian and Rhonda. I loved getting to see more of Libby's friendships with both Margo and Caroline, and I'm happy that someone finally decided to take on "King George," to hopefully knock him down a peg or two. In the first title in this series, I found the mystery was a tad too predictable, and I had actually picked out the culprit pretty early on. That wasn't the case with this one, and the ending and reveal actually left me completely surprised, and also saddened at the level of hurt that led to such a tragic circumstance.

If you're a fan of cleanish cozy mysteries, then Knit or Dye Trying is definitely a book you want to take a chance on. I'm looking forward to reading more from this series in the future, and I'll definitely be recommending this one!

Final Rating: 4/5.

Thanks so much to Berkely Publishing and Allie Pleiter for allowing me to advance read and review this one!

I voluntarily read and reviewed a complimentary advance reader copy of this novel from the publisher (Berkley) and the author via NetGalley as part of the author's review team in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to give a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Annie .
2,449 reviews818 followers
April 8, 2022
Read this review on Fresh Fiction

This is my first book by Allie Pleiter, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect. However, the concept of this series caught my eye so I decided to give it a shot.

KNIT OR DYE TRYING is a light and refreshing mystery that exceed my expectations. I enjoyed reading about all the characters and the setting was unique and enjoyable, acting as another character in the story. Of course, the knitting theme is a cute addition that makes the entire shop feel endearing.

After reading KNIT OR DYE TRYING I will definitely be checking out more of Pleiter’s books in the future.
Profile Image for Laura.
Author 2 books27 followers
March 18, 2022
Libby’s newly open yarn shop appropriately named Y.A.R.N., is gearing up for the first ever See More Than Sea Food Festival. The tiny town of Collinstown, Maryland is all dressed up to attract more tourists to their quaint little town. Libby is excited to feature Julie Wilson as her special guest. Julie creates beautiful vegan yarns that no other dyer has ever been able to duplicate. The gorgeous colors she makes with a secret recipe only known to her.

Julie arrives in a flurry of controversy she created, smugly superior and demanding of everyone around her. She is outspoken about sheep and shepherds, not in a kind way, and her podcasts have fueled the fury of the local shepherds. Unfortunately, just as she arrives, the street in front of the yarn shop is filled with angry shepherds and sheep with protest signs painted on their sides. Libby and Gavin, the town mayor, are appalled and try to stop the protest and remove the sheep so the festival can begin. It isn’t going to be easy with Julie fueling the flames of controversy.

The guest chef for the festival just happens to be Julie’s sister and the videographer is her brother-in-law. Monica and Yale Wagner have a contentious relationship with Julie as well. Monica is a celebrated chef, creating magic in the kitchen and Yale has a camera crew recording everything that happens – good and bad. Namely a fire in the kitchen where his wife is cooking and a fatal incent involving Julie and a shepherd’s hook. Everyone, including Libby and Gavin are horrified over the turn of events. Who is the killer? Is it someone local?

The characters and setting are perfect for the story. There is a bit of tension between Libby and her mother as well as a power struggle with the police chief and almost everyone else in town. Libby and Gavin make a cute couple but not without their challenges. I enjoyed the description of the yarn shop and the activities within. I love to knit and read so this book is perfect for me. I highly recommend it for anyone who likes cozy mysteries and/or knits.

This is the second book in the Riverbank Knitting Mystery Series. It is the first book I have read by author Allie Pleiter. It reads well as a standalone cozy mystery. Pleiter is the prolific author of more than 50 books, selling over 1.5 million fiction and non-fiction books around the world.

Also an avid knitter, Ms.Pleiter knows and understands knitting and knitters bringing that knowledge to this series for all to enjoy.

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy for free from the Author and Netgalley and the author in exchange for a fair and honest review. Copyright © 2022 Laura Hartman
Profile Image for Kristina.
3,520 reviews64 followers
April 3, 2022
Knit or Dye Trying by Allie Pleiter is the second A Riverbank Knitting Mystery. It can be read as a standalone, but you would be missing out on the engaging first book, On Skein of Death. I thought Knit or Dye Trying was well-written with relatable characters. I am enjoying getting to know Libby Beckett who owns Y.A.R.N. in Collinstown, Maryland. She is a strong protagonist who is creative, friendly, and hard working. You can tell that Libby loves yarn in all its varied forms. She wants to share her craft with others. The mayor, Gavin Maddock and his daughter, Jillian are two other great characters along with Libby’s very busy mother. I like how Libby has taken Jillian under her wing. Jillian is a smart, savvy young lady who is making a name for herself in the field of knitting with her YouTube videos. The mayor has dreamed up See More than Sea Food Festival to get tourists to the town and see that they have more than crab cakes to offer. Libby is bringing in the prickly fiber artist, Julie Wilson to showcase plant fibers. Julie will conduct a dying demonstration so people can see how she gets her vibrant colors (which is hard to do with plant fibers). Unfortunately, Julie’s sister, Monica is also in town for the festival and to say the sisters do not get along is an understatement. The weekend starts out with a bang, or should I say “Baa” when local sheep farmers stage a demonstration against Julie who posted an inflammatory YouTube video. That evening, Libby is enjoying dinner with Gavin when a fire breaks out in the restaurant. The evidence points to Julie as the culprit. Libby goes with Frank Reynolds, the chief of police, to the warehouse where Julie is prepping for the demonstration. The find the warehouse filled with toxic fumes with Julie dead on the floor. Are the sheep farmers behind this deadly attack? Libby works to untangle the clues and stitch them back together so she can catch the killer. I enjoyed getting a glimpse of life in Collinstown. It is a charming Maryland tourist town with friendly residents, quaint shops, and amazing restaurants. Of course, gossip flows faster than maple syrup on hot pancakes. The whodunit was unique. I like how the murder was committed. It was different and highlights how dangerous dying chemicals can be. I wish the solution has been a surprise. There are a limited number of suspects. The author does a good job at building tension. There was also competition and contention. The reveal answers any lingering questions regarding the murder. The complete details are distressing. The chamber of commerce election is at the end of the book. I love the posters that Arlene created for Libby. They were amusing. I loved the descriptions of Julie’s hand dyed fibers. They sounded amazing (I wanted them). I wish Y.A.R.N. was in my town. I could imagine spending many delightful hours there picking out yarn, knitting, and chatting. Y.A.R.N. sounds like it is truly a feast for the eyes. I enjoyed my latest visit to Collinstown, and I cannot wait to return in the next A Riverbank Knitting Mystery. Knit or Dye Trying is a delightful cozy mystery with a food festival, a sheep protest, squabbling siblings, venomous vapors, a dead dyer, suspicious crooks, a fiber feast, and an emerging influencer.
Profile Image for Deborah Almada.
920 reviews18 followers
April 21, 2022
Another fun read in this new series. I really enjoy Libby and her friends and family. Her shop is active and the setting for friends and guests. With a new festival in town Libby has a wonderfully talented yarn dyer coming to town to do a demonstration. Who knew someone so talented would be so controversial, or that someone would even want her dead. Can Libby lend her expertise about yarn and dying to help her friend Frank, the police chief, or will someone not welcome her help?
Profile Image for Margie.
1,716 reviews15 followers
February 19, 2022
Knit or Dye Trying by Allie Pleiter is the second book in her Riverbank Knitting Mystery series. This is a very intriguing whodunit. The murder was nasty, quite different from the usual types of murder in cozy mysteries. Libby Beckett, owner of the yarn shop featured in this series did a great job ferreting out clues. Police Chief Frank Reynolds appreciated Libby's contribution to solving the case and I liked that aspect of the storyline. I really liked the characters too. I am looking forward to the next book in the series.

I received an ARC and this is my honest review.
Profile Image for Gina.
160 reviews
April 9, 2022
A flock of protest sheep welcome Libby's most recent celebrity guest, a well-known, and much-disliked yarn dyer, in "Knit or Dye Trying," the second in Allie Pleiter's knitting mystery series. Libby owns Y.A.R.N, and is having an event to go along with the local seafood festival. Julie Wilson is her expert guest, and Libby gives Julie access to a local warehouse so that Julie can create her special, highly sought-after, colors. Julie gets trapped in the warehouse, and is overcome by fumes. Libby feels responsible, and decides to investigate.

This second outing for Libby is every bit as enjoyable as the first. Although she hasn't been back in town long, she's folded herself seamlessly into the life of her town, even running for local office against her blowhard fellow business owner George. One of the strengths of the series is the relationships Libby has forged and the growth we've seen from the first book. Libby is likeable and is a very relatable character, as are her almost-boyfriend Gavin, Gavin's daughter, and Libby's mom. They feel like real people whom you'd like to know.

Libby is a great cozy heroine. She's thoughtful, and doesn't jump to conclusions. She looks at the people involved in the case, and makes logical deductions. Maybe it's a knitting thing? I can knit a decent scarf, and I admire people who can work large, complex patterns. Libby is amazing at unravelling (pun intended) the knotty skeins of the crimes which have come her way.

The crimes make sense, too, and there are enough clues scattered along the way to keep the reader engaged without letting them guess the solution too soon.

It's a wonderful series, filled with life and love. I hope there are many more to come.

4 out of 5 stars.

I received an advance copy from Berkley and NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. This, and other reviews, may also be found on my book blog, redhatcatreviews.com.
Profile Image for Mary Brown.
1,239 reviews53 followers
June 4, 2022

Business is booming for Libby Beckett and her fabulous Maryland shop, aptly named Y.A.R.N., but when a town festival brings a fatality with it, Libby gets all tangled up in murder.

As spring comes to Collinstown, the village launches a food festival to draw a new group of tourists. Libby, proud owner of Y.A.R.N., has planned a yarn event to provide an alternative option to a foodie weekend. Artisan fiber dyer Julie Wilson--known for her work with animal-friendly, plant-based knitting fibers such as bamboo and hemp as well as her brilliant use of color--will hopefully draw a crowd with a special dyeing workshop.

The festival begins, but it draws more than crowds. First a flock of sheep parades down the street, herded by farmers protesting Julie's antiwool stance. Then Julie's celebrity chef sister appears, and the siblings resume a long-standing rivalry. Despite all this, Julie's workshop has sold out. Libby is thrilled, and they're preparing for a full house. But the night before the event, Julie is found alone in the warehouse event space--dead. The witty "Watch Julie Wilson Dye" workshop title now has a terrible new meaning--and it's up to Libby to catch a crafty killer. (Goodreads)


The characters are well developed and well rounded. Libby is a very hard worker and she really loves her Yarn shop. She enjoys all of her customers and feels like she is making a difference in their creativity. When Libby invites a well known Artisan fiber dyer to give a workshop on her craft, Libby never thinks anything bad will happen. But the crafter is murdered and Libby knows she has to solve the mystery. She will have help from her friends, including the mayor.

The mystery was well plotted and there were quite a few suspects to consider and clues to sift through. The mystery was not easily solved. The writing style flows smoothly and the book is an easy read. The author is very talented in her descriptive writing and these descriptions pulled me into the story and took me on an amazing ride.

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a well written cozy mystery. I plan on reading the first book in the series to see what trouble Libby gets into in that one.

I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book provided by the publisher, Berkley Publishing Group, and NetGalley, which I greatly appreciate.

Profile Image for Cozy Reviews.
1,751 reviews5 followers
March 29, 2022
This is the perfect spring cozy read. Thank you to Berkeley Publishing, Netgalley and the author for the opportunity., This is a charming well crafted series with endearing characters and fun knitting theme. This is the second in series. I highly recommend this series for cozy readers.

Libby is a fun protagnist who owns a new shop called Y.A.R.N that is very popular with the Collinstown town. She is planning a special guest speaker who uses organic plant based fibers and is a vegan expert for the Seafood festival. The speaker is a vegan advocate and very outspoken. The local farmers do not like her . When she spearheads a parade of protest sheep down the main street many are angry with her and she is found dead. The descriptions of the sheep protest are done so well with humor and fun to read about. Libby is investigating this death but with many red herrings and suspects abound she is questioning if she will be able to solve this murder.

I love this series for the knitting theme, the charcters that all add to the story and Libby as a savvy smart protagnist. The sleuth kept me guessing to conclusion. I enjoyed this next in series and look forward to the third in series.
Profile Image for Jeanie.
1,201 reviews1 follower
December 29, 2022
Second in this delightful new series, fabulous knitting instructor Libby, owner of a fiber arts store, returns with a special guest coming to make a demonstration. Julie dyes plant fiber in shades previously unseen in the knitting world. She has planned a special color for this presentation, exclusive for the Y.A.R.N. shop and its customers. Unfortunately, before she gets to demonstrate anything, she is found bolted and blocked into a building Libby obtained for her to use to begin preparing the yarn, dead. There are few suspects since she is a stranger in town, but the local sheep ranchers were protesting her presence due to her rejection of using wool from sheep or any other animals. She and her sister, a visitor and chef for a special event held concurrently, aren’t getting along, either. Libby wants to save the reputation of her new shop while finding out whodunit.

I very much like Libby and her friends, especially best friend and pie baker Marge! I also enjoy the humor spread liberally throughout. The mystery kept me guessing as plot twists revealed interesting clues. I highly recommend this novel to those who like cozy mysteries that are in-depth, humorous, and celebrate the lovely world of fiber arts.
Profile Image for OpenBookSociety.com .
3,865 reviews121 followers
April 26, 2022

Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Jeanie

The depth of the characters and complexity of the mystery were highlights of this cozy mystery. The author combines good friends, a fiber-arts shop owned by Libby, a knitting expert, and preparations for a fabulous food festival. The mystery is complicated with many what-ifs that kept me guessing. The person who died is Libby’s guest for her Wield More than Wool event that coincides with the first weekend of the town’s food festival. There is much laughter and many tears throughout.

Libby fulfilled her lifelong dream of opening a yarn shop where she can provide almost any fibers that yarn crafters would want. She has classes and provides a relaxing place for anyone who needs help with knitting techniques or to simply sit and work on projects with like-minded friends. The store is called Y.A.R.N., which could be an acronym for almost anything. Preferred is You’re Almost Ready Now. She keeps a board up on the wall where people can add their phrases, and Libby comes up with some doozies. Libby’s best friend, Marge, owns Perfect Slice, a pie shop that I wish were across the street from me rather than the yarn shop!

Libby’s guest for the weekend is Julie, an expert in plant-based fibers with her own line of yarn in unique, gorgeous colors that are unmatched by anybody. Julie designed a special color yarn for this Y.A.R.N. event. Libby rented a nearby warehouse with an excellent ventilation system where Julie will dye the fibers for the weekend.

On the day Julie arrived, three sheep ranchers herded sheep down the main street of town. They were protesting Libby bringing in a woman who believes that shearing sheep or other animals for their wool is a terrible, harmful thing. Julie’s brash, at times abrasive personality does not play well with people whose life’s work centers on the animals she is trying to protect. The ranchers are irate but didn’t seem to want to harm anyone.

Julie’s sister, Monica, is a well-known chef. She is one of several invited for the food festival; she will be at the finest local restaurant, preparing her signature dishes and doing cooking demonstrations. Her room is at the same inn as Julie’s, and they were heard arguing loudly that day. Libby and old high school flame Gavin, now a dear friend, have reservations for dinner where Monica is cooking. They invited Julie to join them, but being at odds with her sister, she chose to dye her first batch of yarn. Before the night was over, there was a minor fire in the kitchen, closing the restaurant for the night. Julie was found dead, with shepherds’ crooks jammed in the vent fans on the warehouse roof and one wedged in the outside handles of the entry doors to trap her inside. Someone may have exchanged a chemical with lethal fumes for one she typically used in her formula.

I got to know the characters well through their actions and realistic dialog. Libby is easily my favorite. She has gone through tough times, especially in recent years, resulting in her insight in and ability to understand and respond to people who are hurting. There is a healthy serving of humor, such as the acronyms Libby comes up with for Y.A.R.N. through various situations. I enjoyed Gavin, the mayor and long-time dear friend. Gavin and Libby understand each other well, even after years of having been married to other people in different towns. Libby’s mom, Rhonda, is trying to get her and Gavin together again despite wanting to move in with her daughter.

I was extremely impressed with this mystery and hope the series will have a long run. I enjoy the yarn shop and hope a little time will be devoted to crochet as well as knitting. I learned things about yarn that I was unaware of before. The mystery was quite a challenge! Julie had few friends, but who would want to kill her? Was someone trying to frighten her and miscalculated? Were there two separate people, one who swapped the chemicals and one who blocked the fans and door? I thought I had figured it out, but there were still surprises! The end was satisfying, despite the tragedies in the lives of all involved. I highly recommend this novel and am looking forward to the next one later this year!
Profile Image for Jill.
1,193 reviews5 followers
April 6, 2022
Libby Beckett is ready for her hometown festival. As the owner of the local knit shop, Y.A.R.N., in Collinstown, Maryland, she has invited a special guest to her store. While the rest of the town is celebrating the See More Than Sea Food Festival, the mayor’s idea for showing people that there is more to Maryland eating than just crabcakes, Libby has come up with an idea of her own. She has set up her Wield More Than Wool weekend, where she focuses on plant-based yarns to showcase how beautiful and versatile they can be.

As part of her weekend celebration, Libby has invited well known fiber artist Julie Wilson to show off her vibrantly dyed yarns. In fact, Libby talked Julie into creating a custom batch of hand-dyed yarn for Libby and her customers, named Riverbank, that she is dyeing in town. She’s also going to do a hands-on class on yarn dyeing for Libby’s customers, and Libby is very excited about it all. Julie is nationally known and Libby getting a custom color from her is quite a triumph. But Libby starts to have some second thoughts when she learns more about her reputation.

Libby knew that Julie had some detractors. Her stand against wool has been spread across the internet, and even the local farmers around Collinstown have joined in. Libby finds herself staring at several sheep as they make their way towards her shop. A few farmers are with them, and they have spray-painted their feelings on the sheep, Wool Is Good. Libby tries to head them off (the sheep as well as the farmers), but they pass by the yarn shop and the police station to get to the Riverside Inn, where Julie is staying.

Libby figures out a way to defuse the situation, by agreeing to show Julie the sheep outside of her hotel window, and the farmers head back home with not too much damage done. However, when a terrible accident occurs while Julie is dyeing her first batch of custom yarn for the shop, Libby worries that her shop’s reputation and the town’s festival will suffer because of what happened.

But when she finds out that is wasn’t an accident at all, Libby has to wonder who hated Julie so much to kill her. Could it have been the sheep farmers? Julie’s sister is a celebrity chef, and she is also in town for the festival. They have argued since they both got to town. Could she have hated her sister enough to kill her? Or did someone kill her to get their hands on her unique recipes, the ones that created the vibrant colors that every knitter wanted? Libby doesn’t want to be the one who investigates, but she does want the answers. Will her search for the truth of Julie’s death put her in danger too?

Knit or Dye Trying is the second book in the Riverbank Knitting Mystery series. Author Allie Pleiter has created characters that are smart and interesting. Libby is the type of amateur detective who understands the danger she’s putting herself in. She knows that her questions could be interfering with the official investigation. But she (carefully) keeps asking those questions anyway, knowing that the sooner the crime is solved, the safer they will all be.

I really loved Knit or Dye Trying. I thought it was small-town sweet, with a charming yarn store and a nearby bakeshop (sounds like heaven to me!), but these are business owners who are also interested in keeping up with the latest trends and are bringing a modern twist to their small town. The mystery has an old-school feel to is, so longtime readers of cozies will find comfort there, but there is also a contemporary feel to these characters, which will appeal to newer readers of murder mysteries.

One of my favorite things about Knit or Dye Trying is how the characters interact. Libby has a potential love interest in mayor (and high school boyfriend) Gavin, but they are in so hurry to move things forward. Gavin has a 14-year-old daughter Jillian, and she is developing a relationship with Libby’s mother that is pure sweetness. Each of the main characters acts with respect and thoughtfulness toward each other, and I really love that. Actually, there is a lot of thoughtfulness throughout this book that I really love. If you’re a yarn person (crocheter here) or you know someone who is a yarn person and a reader, then this is a series not to be missed!

Egalleys for Knit or Dye Trying were provided by Berkley Publishing Group through NetGalley, with many thanks.
Profile Image for Katreader.
745 reviews29 followers
May 1, 2022
KNIT OR DYE TRYING by Allie Pleiter
The Second Riverbank Knitting Mystery

Collinstown, Maryland is known for its seafood, but there's so much more to this quaint town. To emphasize the other delights the town has to offer they are celebrating the See More than Seafood Festival. In the same spirit Y.A.R.N. owner Libby Beckett is showcasing yarns made from plant fibers and hosting Julie Wilson, a woman made famous for her beautifully dyed yarns. Unfortunately, she's also known for her caustic attitude and vehement beliefs. Protests from shepherds along with family drama make Libby question her decision to bring this volatile woman to town, a decision she regrets even more deeply when the woman is found murdered.

The second Riverbank Knitting Mystery is a delight. I love the community here, good friends working together in cooperation. Well, mostly. I love the continuing battle against King George and the way Libby is handling it. I also like the way she handles the mystery. She thinks, but doesn't interfere. At least not too much. She also has a good relationship with the police. Instead of a snoopy sleuth working against law enforcement, they work together. The mystery is smart and well plotted, bringing lots of suspects and suspicions into the mix.

I appreciate Libby's attitude, towards friends, family, her community, and the world of yarn. She's creating a world where people can join together. A world diametrically opposed to that of the victim. Not to say everything is perfect in Libby's world. She has to navigate some familial pitfalls of her own. But she does so with grace and the help of a great cast of secondary characters, including a cute pup.

KNIT OR DYE TRYING is a fun mystery centered around friendship and community wrapped in comforting textiles.
Profile Image for LESLIE J (mrsj_readsbooks).
430 reviews15 followers
March 14, 2022
I love cozy mysteries, there is just something about a smart woman who unknowingly is in the wrong place at the wrong time that makes me happy. I always know I will be surprised when the murderer is revealed, but it is this element of surprise that is comforting. Cozy mysteries also revolve a lot around food and Knit or Dye Trying is no exception. I love how knitting and baked goods are a focus of the story. I was drawn to this title as I am I knitter.

Allie Pleiter has built up a world of loveable characters who are genuine in their affections to one another and to their small town. I love how the police captain works with Libby instead of telling her to “stay out of it” as is the case in so many other cozy mysteries. There is a hint of second chance romance as Libby has moved back to town and there is still a spark when she is with her old boyfriend, who happens to be the mayor.

Knit or Dye Trying is the second book in the Riverbank Knitting Mystery series by Allie Pleiter. This book builds on the relationships introduced in the first book. It may be read as a standalone. I am looking forward to reading more books in this series.

Thank you to Net Galley and Berkley Publishing for allowing me to read this eArc.

All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Ashley.
967 reviews29 followers
March 24, 2022
What a fantastic sequel! I loved the first book, and I adored this one just as much.

This story really came to life. Collinstown was a charming setting full of colorful characters and fun shops. There was a real authenticity to the characters and I couldn't help but root for them. The mystery was good and took some surprising turns that I didn't see coming.

Like I said with the first book, you don't have to be a knitter to enjoy this series. I'm not and this is quickly turning into one of my favorite cozy series. Although, I do have to say that it is giving me the knitting bug. I might have to try it one of these days.

I highly recommend this series! Anyone who enjoys cozy mysteries is sure to love it!

I received an advanced copy of this book via NetGalley and voluntarily reviewed it. All thoughts and comments are my honest opinion.
5,698 reviews56 followers
June 24, 2022
Libby has started a yarn business in her home town after her divorce, even though the new mayor is her high school boyfriend, and her mother wants nothing so much as to move in with Libby and her dog. The featured speaker, an expert on dying natural fibers, dies and it's clear that someone blocked the ventilation system and doors of the warehouse where she was working. The local sheep farmers had protested her presence, but murder is a rather strong form of protest. Her sister, a famous chef, and her videographer brother-in-law were also participating in the local festival, but don't claim to know of any enemies who might be responsible. I suppose that there's an audience for this, but this week I've had enough of the healing power of crafts.
Profile Image for Yvonne.
1,129 reviews245 followers
April 20, 2022
The small town of Collinstown, Maryland is getting ready for a huge food festival. Libby Beckett is busy preparing for a major event of her own at her yarn shop. Julie Wilson, an artisan fiber dyer, will be conducting a workshop featuring her dyes using animal-friendly and plant-based fibers. Unfortunately, her views rub the sheep farmers the wrong way and they are protesting the event.

Julie’s sister is a celebrity chef and will be appearing at the festival. The sisters are not happy with each other which adds even more tension to an event that was supposed to be fun. Things take a very nasty turn when Julie is found dead. Libby is determined to find out who could have done such a horrible thing.

This is the second book in the series and I enjoyed this one even more than the first. Libby’s character is strong, fun and is surrounded by a lovable supporting cast. I feel as if I got to know them even better in this book. Libby deals with all of them in a believable way.

The mystery kept you guessing and thinking through the whole book. I thought I figured it out early, but I didn’t. All the pieces didn’t fit until the end.

I don’t knit, but this made me want to learn. Libby makes it all look like fun and so easy. There’s even a touch of romance tossed into this one.

While the mystery is self-contained in this book, I think it’s always more fun to start a series from the beginning. Fortunately, this is only the second book so there’s not much catching up to do. If you decide to start with this one, I think it will be fine.

This cozy mystery has it all for me…likeable characters, an intriguing plot, and just a dash of romance. All set to the backdrop of a small town. It sounds like the perfect ingredient for a cozy mystery to me.

FTC Disclosure: I voluntarily reviewed a free Advance Reader Copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.
Profile Image for Judy.
3,049 reviews
April 24, 2022
Knit or Dye Trying by Allie Pleiter
A Riverbank Knitting Mystery Book Two
Libby Beckett had many successful events since the disastrous one in October. That first event was to be her first big hurrah for Y.A.R.N., her newly opened shop. A well-known knitter was to speak…but, well, let’s just say that dream event had died right along with her speaker.
But not this time. Gavin Maddock, the mayor and Libby’s teenage love, has put together a See More Than Seafood Festival, and she named her event Wield More Than Wool, and Julie Wilson was coming to show knitters how she dyed her unique plant-based yarns. Looking back, the title they chose wasn’t so great. Watch Julie Wilson Dye.
Spray-painted sheep protesting, Libby’s mom, Hank the English bulldog, running against King George for Chamber president, and murder make this story a real page-turner. Looking forward to Libby’s next adventure.
1,300 reviews
August 8, 2023
Janet checked out of the library and shared with me. Good story. Clean and keeps attention knitters.
Profile Image for Annie.
3,620 reviews67 followers
April 9, 2022
Originally posted on my blog: Nonstop Reader.

Knit or Dye Trying is the second Riverbank Knitting cozy by Allie Pleiter. Released 5th April 2022 by Penguin Random House on their Berkley imprint, it's 304 pages and is available in mass market paperback, audiobook, and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links throughout. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats, it makes it so easy to find info with the search function if needed.

This is the second book in this well written and charming small-town shopfront cozy. Protagonist Libby has a lot on her plate. She's on the scene to help facilitate the town's food and fiber festival, run for president of the chamber of commerce, find her way forward with her old high school flame to friendship or something else, and investigate vandalism and murder.

Thematically there's a lot of yarn shop and fibrearts terminology and tie-ins. This is a nice one for readers who enjoy knitting/crochet and can't resist lovely yarns. Although it's the second book in the series, the mystery is self contained and it worked well as a standalone. As with lots of shopfront cozies, this one contains "recipes" for cotton washcloths in complementary colors in the back of the book.

It's a diverting read. Recommended for fans of light cozies. The language is squeaky clean. There is some mention of faith/God/and prayer, but it's not intrusive or proselytizing.

Four stars. Enjoyable and well written.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.
Profile Image for April.
297 reviews14 followers
April 6, 2022
I loved the first book in this series and was so happy to be approved for the eARC of Knit or Dye Trying. As a knitter and cozy mystery lover, this series is quickly becoming a favorite.

Libby Beckett is the owner of Y.A.R.N., and has invited a very famous yarn dyer, Julie Wilson, to give a presentation at her shop. This is LIbby’s contribution to the See More Than Seafood Festival organized by the mayor, Gavin. The problem is that Julie is absolutely opposed to wool or any yarn that comes from animals. The local sheep farmers get wind of her opposition to their practices of shearing sheep and launch their own kind of protest,

Once the protest is cleared and Julie’s initial appearance at the store is complete, Libby gives Julie the key to get into what used to be a warehouse. Because of the need for ventilation with the dying process, Julie is dying her yarn ahead of time to sell to the people who attend her presentation.

Also in town as part of the festival is Julie’s sister, Monica, who is a famous chef. When Julie’s odd comments about a fire in the kitchen prove to be a warning of true events, LIbby, Gavin, and the sheriff go looking for Julie to find out if she was behind the fire. What they discover is much worse. Julie is dead and it does not appear to be an accident at all. The use of shepherd’s crooks block the doors and also stop the ventilation fans points the finger toward one group of people who already had a problem with Julie.

As with any mystery, things are definitely not what they seem and the actual circumstances surrounding Julie’s death were more complicated that first thought.

I love the setting of these stories. Collinstown is a cute little town that I would love to live in and the characters seem to always have each other’s best interest in mind. Well, there is George, but all stories need a complicated character or two.

I did not see the twists coming in this story and was very surprised by who was actually behind Julie’s death. Ms. Pleither does a wonderful job of combining the main story with other side stories that leaves me wanting more at the end of each book I cannot wait for the next installment. Now I need to go pull out my latest knitting project and get to work!

Thank you to NetGalley, Berkley, and Allie Pleiter for the copy of this book in exchange for a review. All opinions are entirely my own.
Profile Image for Smitten.
735 reviews36 followers
April 7, 2022
Libby Beckett has recently opened a yarn shop in the small town of Collinstown, Maryland. She and the other local merchants are preparing for the first See More Than Seafood Festival showing that the region has much more to offer visitors than seafood. Libby arranges an appearance by Julie Wilson, an advocate for plant-based knitting fibers, and known for her beautifully colored yarns. Unfortunately, Julie is also known for being hard to get along with and for being an outspoken critic of sheep farmers. A parade of sheep down the main street of the town is just the first act against Julie. The night before the festival begins, Julie is murdered, and it’s up to Libby to find the killer.

Knit or Dye Trying is the second Riverbank Knitting Mystery, but the first one I’ve read. There are quite a few characters, but I easily got to know the main characters including Libby, her best friend Margo who owns a pie shop, and Mayor Gavin Maddock who was Libby’s high school boyfriend and currently a close friend. I also enjoyed Libby’s relationship with Gavin’s teen daughter Jillian. Libby is a likable main character. She is kind and caring without being a pushover.

Another plus to the book is Frank, the police chief, and Libby actually collaborate on the investigation instead of her having to go behind his back and then get lectured for interfering. In addition to the investigation and Libby’s personal life, there were also parts of the book dealing with local politics and the town’s sense of community. I really enjoyed this and thought it brought the town and the characters to life. The solution to the murder is more complicated than I expected and I was pleasantly surprised that I wasn’t able to guess the details of how and why Julie was murdered. I like the way the overall story wrapped up at the end. I’m not a knitter, but for readers who are, there are instructions for a knitting project at the back of the book.

~ Christine
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