Shadows on a Maine Christmas: An Antique Print Mystery

Shadows on a Maine Christmas: An Antique Print Mystery

4.3 3
by Lea Wait

Antique print dealer Maggie Summer has come to Maine for a storybook Christmas with her beloved Will Brewer and his Great-Aunt Nettie, who has gathered together her longtime friends for holiday celebrations. Maggie and Will love each other, although Maggie is determined to adopt children and Will has misgivings. But this problem is put on hold when Maggie hears


Antique print dealer Maggie Summer has come to Maine for a storybook Christmas with her beloved Will Brewer and his Great-Aunt Nettie, who has gathered together her longtime friends for holiday celebrations. Maggie and Will love each other, although Maggie is determined to adopt children and Will has misgivings. But this problem is put on hold when Maggie hears cryptic references by Aunt Nettie’s old friends to buried secrets from their youth. One elderly woman suffers from dementia, remembering those past events better than the gifts she just opened. Will she blurt out information about an old crime so dangerous that someone would commit murder to prevent its being revealed? Blackmail and murder are only the beginning. It may be a Merry Christmas—but who will still be around to see in a Happy New Year?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Wait’s seventh outing for New Jersey antique dealer Maggie Summer (after 2013’s Shadows on a Cape Cod Wedding), in which Maggie visits her boyfriend, Will, in Maine over Christmas, is as frothy as eggnog. Maggie is an incessant worrier. She worries her plans to adopt a child will hurt her relationship with Will. She worries while watching him care for his ailing Aunt Nettie and attempt to purchase a waterfront Victorian. For variety, she worries that Will is attracted to his realtor, Jo Heartwood. The book’s mystery is late to emerge: the murder of Carrie Folk, a nurse employed by one of Aunt Nettie’s elderly friends. Together with State Trooper Nick Strait, Maggie and Nettie try to determine if Carrie’s side occupation—blackmail—led to her death. The book’s highlights are its loving descriptions of the Maine winter and the area’s strong sense of community. (Sept.)
From the Publisher
“As always, Wait's insights into the complexities of human relationships give her story a rare depth." -— Kate Flora, Death Dealer

“Like champagne with breakfast on Christmas morning, the aptly named Shadows on a Maine Christmas is a special treat.” -— Kaitlyn Dunnett, Agatha winner, Ho-Ho Homicide

Library Journal
In the seventh series entry (after Shadows on a Cape Cod Wedding), Maggie, a professor and antiques dealer, visits her significant other, Will, for Christmas in small-town Maine, where he's taking care of his 92-year-old aunt. Maggie is hoping Will has accepted her decision to adopt and that they'll be able to think about a future together, but the couple is soon distracted by a murder and the secrets that the victim had unearthed in order to blackmail several people in the community. While Maggie and feisty Aunt Nettie try to find out who would be desperate enough to silence the blackmailer, the secrets emerge and the suspect list grows. VERDICT The Maine setting shines in this Christmas cozy, and newcomers and series fans alike will find the perfect holiday escape here.
Kirkus Reviews
Holiday homicide brings old secrets to light in a seaside town in Maine.Although Maggie Summers' beau, Will, has given her a beautiful antique ring, she's far from certain of her future with him. He's moved to Waymouth, Maine, to look after a widowed relative who helped raise him, and Maggie (Shadows on a Cape Cod Wedding, 2013, etc.) is based in New Jersey, where she's a college professor and the owner of Shadows, an antique-prints business. Besides, she wants to adopt a child or two; he's convinced he's not cut out for fatherhood. When Maggie agrees to visit him and 92-year-old Aunt Nettie, she hopes she and Will can resolve their differences. That would seem an easy task in picture-postcard Waymouth, especially with Christmas candles, caroling and parties with Nettie's longtime friends, sisters Ruth and Betty. But just as Maggie's thinking that it's too perfect a place for anything bad to happen, a private nurse who was looking after Betty is found dead under a Christmas tree. A letter reveals that the nurse was collecting information from an increasingly vague Betty and using it to try to blackmail Nettie and her friends. As Maggie starts asking more and more questions about the past and how it affects the present, she meets increasing resistance from the blackmail victims, the local state trooper trying to solve the case and even Will. He doesn't like Maggie sticking her nose into mysteries, especially when they concern his family and friends. But Maggie perseveres, even at the cost of revealing painful information about the people who've welcomed her to Waymouth. Maggie's latest adventure nearly sinks under the weight of Christmas cookies and baubles, cloying characters, and plugs for real-life Maine products and retail businesses.

Product Details

Perseverance Press
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.70(d)

Meet the Author

Lea Wait has been an antiques dealer (fourth-generation) since 1977. Besides her Agatha Award-nominated seven-book mystery series about antique print dealer Maggie Summer, she also writes books for young people. The mother of four adopted Asian daughters, now grown, she lives in Maine with her artist husband.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Shadows on a Maine Christmas: An Antique Print Mystery 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
readingwriterSS More than 1 year ago
Lea Wait has extended her “Shadows” Antique Print mystery series to number seven: “Shadows on a Maine  Christmas.” Maggie Summer heads from New Jersey to Maine to spend Christmas with her love, Will Brewer,  and his spunky Aunt Nettie. And of course she’s also heading into yet another mystery.This time the mystery  is compounded by someone who has Alzheimers and someone else who is intellectually challenged. They  don’t always know where they are or what they are saying. Wait gives us an excellent view of what living with such problems does to people. Several people are being blackmailed. And as Maggie tries to get up to speed on the interactions among Aunt Nettie’s friends, someone is murdered. The local and state police aren’t very happy with Maggie trying to help find the murderer, but she perseveres. And there’s also Maine’s winter snow to compound problems, as well as a wayward teen, conflicting evidence,  and Will’s continuing reluctance to agree to Maggie’s fervent desire to adopt one or more children. Not to  mention that she is a professor in New Jersey while he must stay in Maine to care for Aunt Nettie. Wait’s writing is very good. For example, Maggie admires the starry Maine sky and thinks, “…tonight’s sky  looked like the ones pictured in… “Half Hours with the Stars,” White-on-blue engravings…Billions of people,  all over the world, for generations and generations, had seen these same stars, she thought. And each of them  thought their own lives, and their own problems, were significant…looking up at that sky, problems in  Waymouth felt very small.”  “Shadows on a Maine Christmas: An Antique Print Mystery,” is a very satisfying read, as is Wait’s other work.  She also writes historical novels for children and young adults. The first in another mystery series will be  published in January 2015.  
RonnaL More than 1 year ago
This is the eight book in the Antique Print Mystery Series, but the first one that I've read.  Though this story was complete in itself, I believe I would have gotten much more out of it if I had read the previous books.  Maggie Summer has solved a number of mysteries, but in this book she is visiting her boyfriend, Will,  in Maine, where he has moved to help care for his elderly but spunky, Aunt Nettie.  Apparently, Maggie and Will don't agree with Maggie's decision to adopt a child.  When the caretaker of Aunt Nettie's friend is murdered, blackmail is suspected.  Maggie and Nettie work out the clues by visiting Nettie's group of long time girlfriends. Many social issues are dealt with in this story, but perhaps focusing on a few rather than so many might have put more focus on these topics.  The characters were well fleshed out though, with topics of elderly care, adoption, child abuse, mentally challenged adults, Alzheimer's, and abortion covered in the story.   I really enjoyed the inclusion of the beauty of Maine during winter, especially during Christmas, and wish there were more of this included in this story.  And of course, each chapter was headed by the description of an antique print.  Definitely plan to go back and read the earlier books in this series. *******************SPOILER ALERT************SPOILER ALERT*********SPOILER ALERT***** If you are pro-choice, this may not be a book for you.
CatBlue More than 1 year ago
Just finished reading Lea Wait's latest Maggie book. They get better and better! I have read every one of them. So pleased that the series continues. I love "Shadows on a Maine Christmas" because Lea mentions so many places and things that are very familiar to me, living in Maine. Her cast, so to speak, is so realistic; each one is believable and has a distinct personality. I read her books well before we moved back tom Maine, when we lived in NY. This plot is intriguing; the background of women's issues timely. We lost two of our elderly family members to Alzheimer disease over the years. The author handled that very sensitively. In short, some serious issues, including murder, but also humor, a warmhearted plot, with such wonderful characters in a beautiful Maine winter setting.