Angie Curtis and her fellow Mainely Needlepointers know how to enjoy their holidays. But nothing grabs their attention like tying up loose threads. So when Mary Clough drops in on the group's Fourth of July supper with a question about an antique needlepoint she's discovered in her family attic, Angie and her ravelers are happy to look into the matter.
Angie's best guess is that the mystery piece may have been stitched by Mary, Queen of Scots, famous not just for losing her head, but also for her needlepointing. If Angie's right, the piece would be extremely valuable. For safekeeping, Angie turns the piece over to her family lawyer, who places it in a safe in her office. But when the lawyer is found dead with the safe open and ransacked, the real mystery begins. . .
About the Author
Christina Delaine is an accomplished stage and voice actor, as well as an AudioFile Earphones Award-winning audiobook narrator. Her theater credits include Jewtopia, the longest-running comedy in Off-Broadway history, and the title role in Antigone at both Portland Center Stage and Kentucky Repertory Theatre.
Read an Excerpt
The world, my dear Mary, is full of deceit And friendships a jewell we seldome can meet How strange does it seem that in searching around The source of content is so rare to be found.
— Poem stitched by thirteen-year-old Lucy Ripley, Hartford, Connecticut, 1802
The simple folded leather packet looked old. Old, cracked, and very out of place, as it lay innocently on the bright red Fourth of July tablecloth. A mystery from the past had interrupted my first Haven Harbor dinner party.
Before I'd seen that packet and its contents I'd been feeling high on more than the Pouilly-FuissÃ(c) recommended by the owner of Haven Harbor's local wine and gourmet treats store. (Buying beer? No problem. Wine? That's a whole different world.)
I'd gotten up the courage to invite Sarah Byrne, Dave Percy, and Ruth Hopkins, the three other Mainely Needlepointers who were going to be alone on the holiday, to join me to celebrate the official start of the tourist season, and my first Maine Fourth of July in ten years. (Ob Winslow and Katie Titicomb were celebrating with family.) I figured all three of my guests would be understanding if my salmon was a little dry or my peas undercooked.
But until the packet arrived, everything had been perfect.
I'd pulled it off. My guests had made appropriate compliments and serious dents in the baked salmon, fresh green peas, and hot potato salad that made up my close-to-traditional New England Fourth of July menu. And I'd only had to interrupt Gram's Quebec honeymoon twice to ask for cooking advice and counsel.
As I looked around the table I couldn't help smiling. Two months ago I hadn't known these people. Today I counted them friends as well as colleagues.
Gram had brought us together. She'd gathered an eclectic and talented group of Mainers to do custom needlepoint for her business, and as the new director of Mainely Needlepoint I was reaping the benefits of her choices. Not only could everyone in the business do needlepoint, but they'd all brought their own personalities and talents to their work.
Anyone meeting us for the first time would never guess that middle- aged Dave, navy retiree and now high school biology teacher, also had an extensive garden of poisonous plants. Or that Sarah, whose pink-and- blue-striped white hair and Aussie accent made her noticeable in a small Maine town, was also a member of the staid Maine Antiques Dealers Association. Or that Ruth Hopkins, a sweet little old lady whose arthritis forced her to depend on her pink wheeling walker, wrote erotica.
And me, Angie Curtis. The most ordinary of the lot. As long as you understood that "ordinary" included ten years working for a private investigator in Arizona. I knew how to use the gun I now kept hidden under Gram's winter gloves and scarves in the front hall. I was also the youngest of the group — twenty-seven — a born Mainer, and a native of Haven Harbor. Most unusual in this crowd, I was just beginning to learn needlepoint.
I was also learning what it was like to live alone. Gram's wedding to Reverend Tom last weekend had been pronounced "a smashing success" by Sarah, and as soon as Gram returned from her honeymoon, she'd be moving to the rectory. True, I'd lived alone (nearly all of the time, anyway) in my Arizona apartment, but being alone in two rooms was different from being alone in a large creaking house built over two hundred years ago.
But I'd grown up here, as my mother and grandmother and great- grandmother had before me. I couldn't imagine another family in these rooms. I'd get used to living here by myself. In the meantime, my only full-time companion was Juno, Gram's large Maine coon cat.
Juno looked up expectantly when anyone came into the house and then curled up in Gram's favorite chair, sadly waiting. She didn't understand about honeymoons. To make up for Gram's absence, I'd been giving Juno more treats than I'm sure Gram would have approved.
I'd even slipped a piece of salmon into her dinner dish before I served my guests. And I suspected Dave had been passing her a few tidbits under the table during dinner.
The four of us had comfortably finished off two bottles of wine and were debating the virtues of strawberry-rhubarb pie now, or strawberry- rhubarb pie after the fireworks, when we heard a knock on the front door.
The young people standing there could have been any two Haven Harbor teenagers celebrating the Fourth.
But they weren't.CHAPTER 2
When gold and silver threads are used for Embroidery they are generally associated with coloured silks and filoselles [soft silk threads]. When used for Ecclesiastical purposes the work is called Church Work. The same kind of work is occasionally also used for secular purposes.
— Sophia Frances Anne Caulfeild and Blanche C. Saward, The Dictionary of Needlework: An Encyclopedia of Artistic, Plain and Fancy Needlework, London, 1882
The stocky young man standing on my front porch had his arm firmly around the girl's waist. I couldn't miss his red, white, and blue tank top emblazoned with New Hampshire's "Live Free or Die" motto or the purple anchor tattooed on his left shoulder.
The girl looked even younger than he was — slight, with wispy blond hair that covered part of her face.
I didn't recognize them.
"Sorry to bother you," said the young man. "Angie Curtis?"
"Yes?" I answered. The silence in back of me said my guests were listening. Living in a small town offered little privacy. If you forgot what you'd done yesterday, you could always ask your neighbors. Deep secrets, on the other hand, might be hidden for years, especially from outsiders.
"My brother, Ethan, said you might be able to help us."
For a moment I didn't connect. "Ethan?"
"Ethan Trask. He said you knew each other in high school."
Blurred images flashed through my mind. Handsome Ethan, the boy I'd had a serious crush on in junior high school. Ethan and his friends, teasing the younger girl who'd followed him around. And, more recently, still handsome Ethan Trask, the Maine state trooper and homicide detective who'd helped me discover what happened to Mama years ago. The Ethan whose wife was serving in Afghanistan, leaving him unavailable, and a devoted single parent.
"I know Ethan. You're ..."
"His younger brother. Rob." He stuck his hand out to shake mine. His skin was rough; the skin of someone who worked outside, most likely in construction, or, based on his anchor tattoo, on the sea. "I'm eleven years younger than Ethan. You probably don't remember me."
"No, sorry. I don't." I did the math quickly. Rob must be about twenty- one. He would have been eleven when I'd left Haven Harbor to head west. No wonder I didn't remember him.
"And this is Mary," Rob said, pushing the young woman next to him toward me. She brushed her hair off her face and smiled shyly. "Mary Clough. My fiancée."
"Nice to meet you both," I said. Clough. The name was familiar, but I couldn't place it. I remembered a lot about growing up in Haven Harbor, but in those years I'd been focused on my own problems, and on my high school classmates, not on other families in town. Mary would have gone to Haven Harbor Elementary then. She looked barely sixteen. Probably still in high school.
Some Mainers married young. And divorced young.
Behind me, my guests were migrating from the dining room to the front hall. I turned to acknowledge them. "These are my friends, Sarah Byrne, Ruth Hopkins, and Dave Percy. Maybe you know Dave. He teaches biology at the high school."
Rob shrugged. "I didn't take biology."
Mary nodded slightly. "I know Mr. Percy." She hesitated. "We're sorry to interrupt your party. But Ethan and Mrs. Trask said you might be able to help me." She reached into a small plastic shopping bag I hadn't noticed she was carrying and took out an old, worn packet of folded leather.
Sarah Byrne moved a step forward as Mary continued.
"I've been cleaning out my house and found this under the eaves in the attic, behind an old trunk next to the outside wall." She handed me the leather. "I'd like to know what it is. How old it is. And if it's worth saving."
I shook my head. "I don't know anything about old leather." I turned the piece over. Stains from traces of melted wax showed it had once been sealed against the elements. Or for privacy. "Did you open it?"
"I did. But almost all of the wax was already gone. I wasn't the first person to look inside." Mary's wide eyes were very blue, and very serious. "I hope I didn't do anything wrong."
"I already told you. That house is yours. You had a right to open anything in it." Rob shook his head impatiently and turned to us. "Mary's been sorting through a lot of old stuff. Mr. Fitch at the realtors' said her parents' house has to be cleaned out before we can sell it. We want to do that in September, when she's eighteen and has the deed." He glanced over at Mary. "Sorting everything is taking longer than we planned. Mary gets attached to things just because they belonged to her family."
Mary's cheeks flushed.
"No need to be embarrassed," I assured her. "This house has been in my family since the early nineteenth century. I feel the same way about a lot of things in it. Is your house old, too?" Haven Harbor was full of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century homes.
Without thinking, I touched the small gold angel I wore on a chain around my neck. Mama had given it to me "to keep you safe" on the day of my first Communion.
It wasn't valuable to anyone but me. But I still wore it often, for luck. And memories. Tonight I'd worn it so, in some way, Mama could see me hosting a dinner in our home. Could see I'd grown up.
If Mary was selling her house, her parents must not be around. I wondered what had happened to them.
She nodded, smiling a bit. "Built in 1770. No one's ever sold it out of the family." She glanced at Rob. "Not until now."
"Selling it must have been a hard decision, then," I said.
Mary was silent.
Rob answered for her. "People pay good money for old weather worthy houses. We sell it, and we'll be able to buy a lobster boat and maybe one of those new modular homes. A sternman's earnings aren't enough to cover a boat and a house." Rob gestured at the leather case. "Open it. You'll see why we're here."
"Come with me," I said, including everyone in the hall. "The light is better in the dining room."
I shooed Juno off the table, where she'd been cleaning tiny pieces of salmon off our plates, and cleared a space on the tablecloth for the leather packet.
Sarah reached over to stroke it. "It's certainly old. I'd guess over a hundred years. I wonder how long it's been in your attic."
"Go ahead. Open it," said Rob, impatiently. "That old leather isn't important. We're here because of what's inside."
"You look, Sarah. You're the expert on old things." I turned to Mary and Rob. "Sarah's an antiques dealer. She has a shop down on Main Street."
Sarah carefully opened the leather. It was cracked along its fold lines. Inside was a creased piece of cloth and a piece of paper. The paper had been folded over, and was brittle and stained. Sarah opened it carefully. "I should have cotton gloves on," she said, almost to herself. "I shouldn't be handling paper this old."
"I already touched it," Mary admitted. "I didn't think it was important. It's just an old letter. I couldn't even read it. The letters are faded, and I think it's written in French."
Sarah nodded as she bent down to look at the paper, careful to only touch the edges. Corners of the page had already crumbled, and the paper, like the leather that had protected it, had split along the fold line. "I don't think this is modern French. But you're right. It's a letter, signed 'Maria' or 'Marie.'" She raised her head and looked at the others in the room. "Do any of you read French?"
With Maine's centuries-old ties to Quebec, many old-time Mainers spoke and read French. But no one here did.
Sarah refolded the note carefully and then opened the piece of cloth. "Wow."
It was a square panel of elaborate embroidery on fine linen damask. A cross-shaped design in the center enclosed an oddly shaped bird worked in heavy silk threads in tent stitch. Embroidered flowers were in the corners outside the cross. The details were in split and stem stitches in once brightly colored silk threads or metallic gold or silver with a border of small pearls.
I'd never seen anything like it.
"So, what do you think?" said Rob. "Is it worth anything?"
Sarah moved back so we all could see. The panel was about sixteen inches on each side. The awkward looking dove or pigeon was outlined in black and then embroidered in shades of red, blue, and gray. Silver threads were woven into his wings, and a few pearls were on his head. "A Byrd of America" was stitched above him.
The embroidery might once have been studded with more pearls, but the silk attaching them to the fabric was broken in several places. A green and red vine framed the whole piece, surrounding the faded flowers in the corners.
Sarah bent down to examine it more closely. "This is the first time I've seen anything like this up close. But" — she glanced over at me — "Angie and I've been reading up on old needlepoint. I'm pretty sure I've seen pieces like this pictured in books. If it's not a reproduction, it could date back to Elizabethan times. Nothing like this was done in the states or in Australia. And that 'Byrd of America' label probably means it was copied from a natural history book. It wasn't a bird the needlepointer was familiar with."
Whenever she mentioned her home country, Sarah's accent increased. I tried to hide a smile.
"'A Bird came down the Walk — / He did not know I saw — / He bit an Angleworm in halves / And ate the fellow, raw,'" she quoted.
Sarah also had the habit of quoting Emily Dickinson in odd moments. The needlepointers were used to that, but I saw Mary and Rob exchange a puzzled glance.
No one explained.
"That bird's not one I've ever seen," said Dave. "And I'm pretty good at recognizing North American birds."
"So, if it's old, that means it's valuable, right?" said Rob.
"It could be," Sarah said slowly. "But we'd need to do a lot of research to find out for sure." She turned to Mary. "You said your house was built in 1770. Was your family here before that?"
Mary shrugged. "I don't know. We've been here a long time. The men in my family were sea captains." She hesitated. "I assumed we came from England. Or Scotland. A lot of the original families around here came from the British Isles. I never heard my folks say they were from anywhere else."
"Would anything in your house give us a clue? An old Bible with family records in it? Diaries? Ships' logs?" Ruth leaned forward to get a closer look at the embroidery. "Old documents might hide clues about where your family came from. And where they acquired this."
Mary looked embarrassed. "I've found a lot of old books and papers. One old leather hymnal was cool, but I didn't recognize any of the hymns. A few ships' logs might be mixed in with the rest of the papers. My father had a stack of old papers in his desk, and there's a trunk in the attic full of leather books and loose papers. A lot are old schoolbooks. I didn't look at them closely. The papers were hard to read; many had been nibbled by mice. I didn't think anyone would be interested in old ledgers and textbooks." She glanced at Rob. "I've been trying to find any china or furniture or scrimshaw or pictures in the house that might be worth selling. My mom once told me the captains brought gifts home for their wives after they'd sailed to Europe and the Caribbean and Asia." She shook her head. "Mom and Dad died about two years ago in a plane crash. I never thought to ask them any more about family history. I wish I had."
"I'm sorry about your parents," I put in. Maybe that was why Mary was going to sell her home. She was closing that part of her life and moving on.
I silently hoped she was making the right decision. Mama had died when I was ten, and I'd never had a father. But, thank goodness, I'd still had Gram. And now I had our house. It hadn't been important to me when I was eighteen. Now I understood it was part of me, of my heritage. A part of my past I wasn't ready to discard.
"Don't throw any of those old books and papers away," Sarah cautioned. "They might be important to you or your children in the future. Or they might help identify things like this embroidery. If you don't want them, you could donate them to the Haven Harbor Historical Society for safekeeping."
Mary nodded slowly and moved back a step. "I have so many chests and boxes and drawers and wardrobes to go through. I don't have time to go through every piece of paper."(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Thread and Gone"
Copyright © 2016 Lea Wait.
Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
“While we were fearing it, it came—But came with less of fear/Because that fearing it so long Had almost made it fair—Emily Dickinson seemed to have written a poem for every occasion.” Gram and Reverend Tom are off on their honeymoon to Quebec and Angie Curtis is beginning to understand that she’s possibly going to be staying longer than she had planned. Mainely Needlepointers we’re picking up some work, but during “high season” their “real” jobs took presidence....it’s the tourists that helped keep the town afloat. And Angie made plans to make a will, until the lawyer is robbed and killed one night. The police- Pete and Ethan, find Lenore dead and her safe empty of not only jewelry but a very old piece of embroidery Angie had given her for safekeeping while they tried to trace provenance for a young woman clearing her family home for eventual sale. Not only who but why would someone kill Lenore? And what,if anything, has the needlework got to do with it? Leave it to the Mainely Needlepointers to figure out just how it all fits together. Recommended 4/5 [this was my library system’s ecopy and I’ve chosen to review it]
What a great story. Could the needlepoint piece Mary Clough actually be made by Mary, Queen of Scots? Angie is trusted with the old needlepoint piece to research. She takes it to a trusted friend to keep in the safe. The safe is broken into and the needlepoint is stolen along with jewelry. The trusted friend is left dead. Angie and her friends must now sort through all of the clues and old papers from Mary Clough's house to try to find a killer and a possibly valuable piece of needlepoint.
I am really enjoying this series. Who would have thought that an old piece of needlepoint would carry a story and have such an interesting twist to it. I loved this book! Protagonist Angie Curtis and her group of Mainely Needlepointers are a great cast of characters. They rung their business in the small town of Haven Harbor, Maine where they seem to be having their share of bad luck. In this story a young girl and her fiance bring Angie a piece of extremely old needlepoint has possible ties to Marie Antoinette or Mary Queen of Scots. There is also a letter found with the piece that is written in french. We find out that there is a long line of Mary's in this young girl's family as well as the historical ones and the attendents to Mary Stuart who were also named Mary. Who was the letter written to, and who wrote it? Wait also highlights a connection between Maine and France as well as including author's inclusion of quotes at the beginning of each chapter gives a real sense of the history of needlepoint. That is one mystery but of course there is also a murder or two that may or may not be tied together. When the needlepoint piece is stolen, Angie gets in her investigator mode to try and find it as well as help solve the murders. Some of those on the suspect list are locals living in a poor area dependent on tourism. Lobstermen owing money, young people who want out all add to the mystery and the reality of the area. This book grabbed my interest in the first chapter and kept me reading right up until the end. I did not figure out the murderer until just before it was revealed in the book, that always makes it much more interesting. I would definitely recommend this book to any cozy mystery lovers as well as those who enjoy learning about history in a fun way and those that enjoy antiques. There is a lot of interesting information imparted in a entertaining way. I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Lots of drama, mystery,and with new characters to join the old familiar characters Thread and Gone is full of history that I enjoyed as they solved the murder. It is a clean read. Angie Curtis is still in charge of the business of the Mainely Needlepointers. Her grandmother is on her honeymoon. Angie has been asked for help to find out about a old needlepoint that was found in an attic. Angie went to a lawyer and had the needlepoint put in her safe. The lawyer is murdered and the safe robbed. Angie does not give up and searches for answers that lead back to Mary Queen of Scotts. I have read all three books of Mainely Needlepoint and look forward to reading more of them. I was given this ebook to read by Netgalley and Kensington. In return I agreed to give a honest review of Thread and Gone.
Dollycas’s Thoughts I was so impressed with this story. Could you imagine having a piece of needlework that could be from the 1500’s? What a treasure, until it goes missing. They had thought a lawyer’s safe would be secure but sadly it wasn’t and the attorney was killed when it was stolen. I think I would have gone over the edge. But Angie and the Mainely Needlepointers keep their heads about them and do the research and investigate not only the provenance of the stitched piece but do everything to catch a murderer too. This was one of those stories that once you start reading you just can’t stop. I really enjoyed all the history. The many Mary’s of Scotland and the connection to France and Maine. It was so interesting and tickled my memory. I probably learned all about it back in school and this story brought it all back and more. Lea Wait also shines a light on the local economy which reflects the economy nationwide as we all are working harder just to get by. It really helped me to identify with the characters in the story. Gram is away on her honeymoon for most of this story but Angie is getting much more comfortable running the business. Sarah Byrne, one of the Mainely Needlepointers, played a big part this time with her knowledge of history and antiques. They were also assisted by fellow needlepointers, Dave Percy and Ruth Hopkins. Dave teaches biology at the high school. Ruth is elderly and arthritis in her hands makes it hard to do much stitching but she a huge help investigating. Each chapter starts with verses that were stitched on samplers from the past. “When idle drones supinely dream of fame the industrious actually get the same.” – Verse stitched on sampler by Sally Alger at Miss Polly Balch’s School in Providence, Rhode Island, 1782 Another marvelous mystery from Lea Wait.
Lea Wait has crafted an absorbing mystery with unusual twists and turns. It will keep you guessing!
THREAD AND GONE is the 3rd title in the Mainely Needlepoint series by Lea Wait. I quite enjoyed the ‘sense of place’ in this book and the down-to-earth characters. The mystery held my interest and the plot was evenly paced. The premise of the story - that a small piece of needlepoint (sewn by Mary, Queen of Scots or one of her ladies in waiting) could have been discovered in a Maine attic is not overly fanciful. The Maine coast abounded with sea captains and ocean voyages. There was quite a ‘privateer’ history as well. There is a strong link between the two Marys - Mary, Queen of Scots and the French queen, Marie Antoinette - and they were known for their needlework. I found these tie-ins very interesting. I wish the ending wasn’t so abrupt. There is no follow-up - the future of Mary Clough? the emotional upheavals of the families involved? what happened to the needlework? I want to know more details.
This is a great book; this is the third book in the Mainely Needlepoint Mystery series by Lea Wait. Angie Curtis and her fellow Mainely Needle-pointers are enjoying their holidays. When Mary Clough drops in on the group’s Fourth of July supper to ask a question about antique needlepoint she is discovered in her family Colonial-era home. Angie and her friends set out to solve the mystery and find out what really happened to Mary. If you are looking for a great mystery, then you need to read this book. I am looking forward to reading the next book in this great series! A Review copy was provided to me in exchange for a fair and honest review. The free book held no determination on my personal review.
I like this series. Interesting historical facts. Lookforward to the next one.
Thread And Gone is the third book in the Mainely Needlepoint series. Another great story for this enjoyable series. With Grams and Pastor Tom off on their honeymoon, Angie is preparing her first 4th of July dinner for her friends, the Mainely Needlepointer's. As they are about to begin their dessert, Mary Clough and her boyfriend Rob Trask show up and ask to speak with Angie. Ethan Trask, Rob's brother, and a state trooper has told them to talk to Angie about what appears to a very example of needlepoint. Mary, who is close to her 18th birthday, has been busy cleaning out the family home she has inherited. Angie and Sarah feel sure that the needlepoint piece may date back to the late 1500's and was made by Mary Queen of Scots. Mary and Rob plan on getting married soon and Rob wants Mary to sell the piece so he can get a down payment for a lobster boat and a double-wide trailer. Angie convinces Mary to let her give the piece to Lenore Pendleton, a lawyer, to put in her office safe until she and Sarah can authenticate it and possibly get a provenance for it. Then the day after Angie leaves the piece with Pendleton is found dead in her office, the safe wide open and the needlepoint piece gone. Naturally, Angie feels bad about Pendleton being murdered, but even more that a needlework which had in intrusted to her is missing. Angie and Sarah continue to pursue the background of the piece and find are able to find a link the piece with Mary,Queen of Scots and Marie Antoinette. Now if they can just find the missing needlepoint work so it can be returned to Mary, they also just might be able to find the murderer. Wait also provides chapter headings that describe various needlepoint works through the ages. She also provides the reader with a short history of Mary, Queen of Scots, Marie Antoinette and the sea captain that bought the piece to America in the late 1700's. Delicious sounding recipes are also included in the book. I love this series, even though I'm not a needlepointer, as Wait provides the reader with an interesting look at the life in a small seaport of Maine and it's interesting residents. Will definitely be watching for the next books in this series.
Is it possible that a small segment of antique needlework is the cause of the current trouble and problems in Haven Harbor? A dead attorney, her safe broken into, and the antique needlework , that was given to her to safe guard is stolen. Who knew where the needlework was? Who knew how much it was worth? Lea Wait it the other of 2 mysteries and several historical novels for ages 8-14. The mystery series Lea has written are the Shadow Antique Print series and the Mainly Needlepoint series. Lea is another of the authors that I love to read. I can count on her stories being direct and to the point. Not a book that is riddled with sex and curse words. Lea, keep on writing and I'll keep reading. I was given a copy of this book by Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Thread and Gone by Lea Wait is the third book the Mainely Needlepoint series. Mary Clough has found a beautiful old needlepoint piece in a leather case while cleaning out her family’s attic (to get the house ready to sell). Mary (eighteen) and her fiancé, Rob has brought it to Angie Curtis and the Mainely Needlepoint group to have it appraised. They all agree to let local attorney, Lenore Pendleton hold the piece in her safe while it is being researched. The piece looks quite old and is in the style of Mary, Queen of Scots. Unfortunately, Lenore is murdered and her safe is cleaned out (it contained jewelry as well as Mary Clough’s needlepoint piece). Who knew about the needlepoint and why did they steal it? Angie is trying to adjust to living alone. Her grandmother, Charlotte is on her honeymoon with Reverend Tom. Angie is very happy for her Gram, but she misses her companionship. Angie is keeping herself busy looking for Mary’s missing needlepoint. I found Thread and Gone to be very predictable. I kept hoping for a great twist at the end (I thought of a great alternate killer), but I was disappointed. I just wish the culprit had not been so obvious. Thread and Gone is easy to read and picks up where the last book ended. I missed the interactions with Angie's grandmother, Charlotte and the rest of the needlepointing group. I did like the history of Mary, Queen of Scots and Marie Antoinette (and their needlework). I give Thread and Gone 3 out of 5 stars. I just thought Thread and Gone was lacking. It was not as enjoyable as the first two books in the series. It also had a different feel. Alcohol seemed to be a big feature in Thread and Gone. They seemed to be consuming alcohol all the time especially Angie. Beer and wine were mentioned so frequently (it was just odd and unnecessary). There is also a lot of internal dialogue with Angie thinking about the case (and other things) instead of interacting with other people. I hope the next book in the Mainely Needlepoint series will be better (like the first two books in the series). Thread and Gone can be read without having enjoyed the first two books in the series. I received a complimentary copy of Thread and Gone from NetGalley and Kensington in exchange for an honest review.
I really enjoyed book three in the Mainely Needlepoint Mystery series. I have enjoyed the other two in the series and feel that each can be read alone if you haven't read the earlier ones. One of the reasons I love these books is the history and samples at the beginning of each chapter. The author is great about who,where,and when each were done. I used to cross stitch with my mom as a young girl and enjoy it. I am also a huge history nut and loved the Mary,Queen of Scots and Marie Antionette references throughout the book. I could read about them all day. The story line in this book had me so intrigued. Besides the history in this book I also loved the characters and theme of family and traditions. You can't put a value on family. You have the needle pointers at the Fourth of July yearly Maine celebration. This is the first one in 10 years that Angie has been too. She has a dinner party with everyone except Gram of course who is on her honeymoon with Tom. Everything is going great until she has a knock at her door. There on her doorstep are Mary Clough and Rob Trask her fiancé asking about a piece of needle point found in the attic of her parents house that she is trying to clean out. This gets the attention of some of her needle point friends who come and look at the amazing piece. Both Sarah and Ruth think this piece could date back hundreds of years and be very valuable. This peaks the interest of Rob who I have to add I don't like. He seems to only be about the money and value of everything instead of the family value and tradition. Mary is wanting to keep a lot because she has lost both of her parents and wants to keep a piece of them. Really don't know how these two are going to make it??? Everyone agrees that they should put the needlepoint in a safe place while they are researching. They decide to put it in Lenora's office safe which happens to be in her house. Lenora is a lawyer that handles wills, estates, and divorces. Meanwhile Rob is blabbing all over Haven Harbor how valuable this needlepoint could be and that he wants to sell it to buy a boat. But wait, isn't it Mary's? YEAH! Rob and a "friend " end up going to see the needlepoint the next day only to find Lenora dead in her office and the safe cleaned out! Angie feels bad not only because Lenora is dead but she promised Mary it would be safe. Angie and her needlepoint friends begin not only doing research on the needlepoint but investigate why someone would kill Lenora??? Will Angie be able to stay out of the investigation or will she become the next victim? I loved this book and found it easy to follow especially if you are a history buff. I received this book from NetGalley for an honest review.
Author Lea Wait has embroidered mystery and needlepoint to create a masterpiece of a cozy! I started this series with book two, THREADS OF EVIDENCE and instantly fell for this delightful series. Protagonist Angie Curtis and her group of Mainely Needlepointers are a great cast of characters. The setting of Haven Harbor, Maine sounds like just the sort of place I’d love to visit. With THREAD AND GONE, author Wait has penned an excellent mystery that kept me rooted to my chair. The intrigue started right away, and I wasn’t about to stop reading until I knew all the answers. With an exciting conclusion that lasted for at least two chapters, I was out of breath by the time I finished they story! On a side note…I love that each chapter starts with a quote or tidbit. They’re fun and interesting to read. Make sure to check out the back of the book for a yummy recipe, and an excerpt of DANGLING BY A THREAD, book four in this wonderful series!
I was excited to read this new book in the needlepoint series. While I enjoyed the history regarding Mary, Queen of Scots and Marie Antoinette, I was not as engaged in the story as I hoped I would be. I missed the needlepoint group as a whole, when they got together it made the story more enjoyable. I felt that some of the mystery was left unsolved, but maybe the author is holding out until the next book. I did not like Rob Trask at all, he was not portrayed as a nice guy and I had a hard time getting through the story because he was such an unlikable character. My other issue is with Angie and her drinking. I'm not sure if the author is intentionally making her drinking an issue, but I am a bit tired of all the innuendos surrounding her habits. Again, maybe this topic will be answered in her future books, but this time I was a bit disappointed by the story as a whole. There were some really interesting parts, but some very disjointed parts as well. I will not give up on the series, I am hoping the next book will answer some of my questions. I received an ARC from NetGalley via Kensington Publishing in exchange for my fair and honest review.