Mad Men, Bad Girls and the Guerilla Knitters Institute

I love reading books! Don’t you?

And a novel that has a knitting element to the story makes a wonderful change from reading actual knitting books. I’ve intended adding a few reviews of these novels for a while now. Okay, Mad Men, Bad Girls and the Guerilla Knitters Institute is a bit of a mouthful so I can quite understand why the title was shortened to Mad Men, Bad Girls for the print version of the book.


Mad Men, Bad Girls and the Guerilla Knitters Institute is an enjoyable book written by Maggie Groff. I listened to the unabridged audio book brilliantly read by Georgie Parker whose Australian accent brought Scout Davis to life. I don’t know about you, but I think audio books are just brilliant to listen to while you’re knitting or sewing.

Mad Men, Bad Girls and the Guerilla Knitters Institute is an intriguing mix of mystery, romance and comedy. The story unfolds against the backdrop of Byron Bay and the Gold Coast. As I’ve never been to Australia, I found this to be a refreshing setting for the novel.

The protagonist Scout Davis is a freelance journalist who’s investigating a secretive American cult that has recently relocated to the Australian Gold Coast. We find out a bit about her; she’s in her early 40’s and has a long distance romance with another journalist who’s away more than he is at home. She loves real tea (with tea leaves and a teapot), is a diabetic and shares her home with a cool cat called Chairman Miao.

The main story line is about the investigation into The Luminous Renaissance of Illustrious Light. Which leads to Scout planning to infiltrate the cult as a possible new recruit. The story looks at the egomaniac leader who entrances vulnerable people with a message of peace and love but then controls them with brutality and fear. This investigation becomes more personal for Scout when she finds out that a one of her daughter’s childhood friends has left her family while suffering from post-natal depression and joined the group.

There are other subplots running through the story. With strange goings on in the private school her sister Harper teaches at. A blossoming romance with Rafe a local police officer. And a crazy plan for the Guerilla Knitters Institute to yarn bomb a public building in the middle of the night in which she involves her nephew. I don’t want to reveal too much as it might spoil you’re enjoyment of the book.

The only bit I found a little, well naff, was when taking an insulin injection was used as, mmm… how should I put this… foreplay… yeah, well, don’t really see it myself. When I take my insulin, I just find it to be painful, best done quickly, certainly not by someone else, and definitely not an interlude to romance. But maybe, that is just me!

Other than this Mad Men, Bad Girls and the Guerilla Knitters Institute is a fun light read for the summer. An interesting mystery. A bit of silliness. Some quirky humour. A touch of romance. And a very likeable character in Scout Davis. Would have enjoyed a bit more of the yarn bombing but maybe this will happen in the next book.

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