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The Yarn That Binds Excerpt

The Yarn That Binds

Rebecca McKinnon

Release Date: April 14, 2022

Jemma hasn’t been to the tiny Rocky Mountain town of Clear Creek in years, but when her grandmother tells her something strange is going on, Jemma drops everything to return and help untangle the clues.

She arrives to flashing lights, a house full of police, and the news that her grandmother has been killed with her own yarn. After learning she inherits everything, Jemma is faced with the choice of casting on a new life by reopening her grandmother’s yarn shop, or returning to her live-out-of-a-suitcase life as a travel vlogger.

One thing’s for sure — she’s not leaving town until the mystery of her grandmother’s death has unraveled. But when the deputy in charge of the investigation ignores clues Jemma stumbles upon, she decides to do her own poking around. Because her grandmother was right — there is something strange happening in Clear Creek.


Excerpt from The Yarn That Binds

“Full name?”

“Jemma Whitlock.”

“No middle name?”

I shook my head. “My mother thought I could choose my own when I was old enough, but I never did.”

Deputy Chase grunted. He sat across the table watching me with narrowed green eyes. His salt and pepper hair was cropped short, doing nothing to soften his face. “You have ID?”

“It’s in one of my bags. Outside.” A shudder rippled through me. Somewhere upstairs the medical examiner was doing her thing, and we were talking about luggage.

Beside me, Brandon slipped off his jacket and wrapped it around my shoulders. His body heat clung to the fabric. As I snuggled into the warmth, it felt almost like a hug.

Another grunt from the deputy. “Why don’t you tell me what you’ve been up to since you got into town.”

“I already told you. I just got here. I haven’t even explored the town.” Somehow that felt like it mattered. Mary had done so much to help save this town from the developer trying to push everyone out. I hated that I’d never get to tell her I was proud of her. “The last time I was here was before the community decided to bring in tourists with shops.”

This time there was a frown instead of a grunt. “I assume your friend will tell me the same thing.”

The moment Brandon had told Deputy Chase that I had identified the yarn, Emmilene had been pulled outside to talk with one of the other men. Brandon had stayed with me, and while he wasn’t saying anything, having a familiar face in the room was helping me stay calm.

I looked the deputy in the eye. “Of course she will. It’s the truth. We met on the resort shuttle from the airport, then caught the bus here to Clear Creek. The ambulance was just driving up the path.”

His expression didn’t change. “The yarn.”

It was hard to keep up with the topic jumps, as if Deputy Chase was trying to catch me off guard. He probably was. “Alpaca and merino. I bought it in Chile last summer and sent it to Mary.” I smiled a little, despite the horrible situation. “Whenever I find an especially nice yarn, I send it to her. She is always knitting something.”


The word was like an arrow in my chest and tears sprang to my eyes. “Was.”

He leaned forward and rested his elbows on the table. “Tell me, Miss Whitlock. Why are you here now? The timing is . . . interesting.”

I sat a little taller. “She invited me.”

Deputy Chase stared at me, waiting for me to break the silence. Finally, he set a notepad and pen in front of me as he rose to his feet. “Write down what you’ve told me. Anything you remember.”

I nodded and picked up the pen.

“Just one more thing.” He cocked a brow and smirked. “The shop assistant said nothing was out of the ordinary today. Don’t you think Mary would have mentioned to her if she was expecting her granddaughter to arrive?”

I shrugged. “I’m not surprised she didn’t say anything. Mary didn’t approve of gossip.”

Deputy Chase looked at Brandon, who dropped his chin in a nod.

Emmilene came back inside, hurrying over to wrap me in her arms. “Are you okay?”

I nodded, but I was still a little numb inside.

“Of course you aren’t. Come on, then. You’ll stay with me tonight.”

Deputy Chase cleared his throat. “I don’t think so.”

“Y’all can’t expect her to stay here.” Emmilene’s chest swelled and her accent strengthened.

“You can’t stay here until we release the crime scene.” Deputy Chase’s voice was gruff. “It won’t be tonight.”

Mary was gone, I wasn’t allowed to stay, and he didn’t want me to stay with Emmilene. “What do you expect me to do, then?”


Whew! Wasn't that exciting?

Learn what happened on April 14, 2022!

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Rebecca McKinnon enjoys playing with her imaginary friends and introducing them to others through her writing. She dreams of living in the middle of nowhere, but has been unable to find an acceptable location that wouldn’t require crossing an ocean.

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