Once upon a time, I caught myself uttering these words: “I prefer more cerebral mysteries” when describing “the cozy” to a prospective customer. Aside from being a really bad way to sell something, it’s also a total lie.
Do I enjoy the heftier “more cerebral” books by authors like Tana French? Yep. Do I also love the cozy? Yep again.
The Cozy is a subgenre of mystery fiction. Violence happens off stage, the featured detective is usually a shop owner of some variety, and the shop itself is a creative vehicle for the author to showcase something they care about, be it baking, knitting, reading, cheese mongering- you get the idea. You often get recipes or knitting patterns as a free bonus at the end of the book.
For those living near the shop in Mount Vernon, Iowa, congratulations, you basically live in a cozy mystery, minus the numerous episodes of murder. I remember googling Mount Vernon for the first time when we were thinking of moving here. It had everything I was missing in the village we called home in the “Bohemian Alps” of Southeastern Nebraska. It had schools my kids wouldn’t have to bus an hour to, a local grocer, an uptown with shops and restaurants and coffee shops, a library, and heaven help me- a yarn shop.
In the Bohemian Alps, we had to pay to use the closest library and a trip to the grocery store was an all day adventure. You can see Mount Vernon’s instant appeal.
Without further ado, this month’s featured Yarn Story is the Knitorious Mysteries by Reagan Davis. G says the books remind her of her life - minus the murder. I can’t help but agree, because here we are, in Mount Vernon, and there are parallels (see below). We are knitting socks again this month - Heliotrope by Dana Gervais, which if you’re into anagrams, might be recognizable from earlier in this very paragraph. Our featured yarn is Knitted Wit sock, and it is fast becoming one of our favorite sock yarns for both its expressive colorways (and their names!) and its hearty quality.
If you live outside Mount Vernon, we’d like to highlight a few of the local businesses we'd love for you to explore when you're here. This is not a definitive list, but just a beginning. We're fun! Come see us!
Fancy a sweet treat when you're here? Look no further than White Tree Bakery who offers seasonal treats, limited specials and custom orders. Click here to check out their facebook page.
Helios Stitches N Stuff is a quilter's paradise with everything the quilters in your life could ask for. Check them out here!
Plantiful Pantry is a plant-based cafe serving soups, salads, wraps, bowls, snacks. They have a brand new shop front on 1st and 1st. Check their page here.
Silver Spider has fresh, funny & unique gifts, accessories, books, toys, jewelry and cards. Their facebook page is located here.
Fuel Art and Espresso is one of the first uptown businesses I experienced when we visited Mount Vernon prior to moving here. If you're in need of some light refreshment or a caffeine boost, you'll find it here, along with an eclectic collection of gifts. Click here for more information.