It's hard to imagine anything bad ever happening in picturesque Haven Harbor, Maineuntil a famous face rolls into town and unthreads some very dark secrets. . .
Angie Curtis and the Mainely Needlepointers are all too familiar with the Gardener estate. The crumbling Victorian mansion, known as "Aurora," has been sitting vacant for nearly twenty-five yearsand some say it's haunted by the ghost of Jasmine Gardener, the teenage girl who died there in 1970 under mysterious circumstances...
Harbor Haven is abuzz with excitement when Hollywood actress Skye West decides to buy Aurora and sell off its furnishings. And Angie is intrigued when Skye asks her to appraise the estate's sizable collection of needlepoint pictures. But the more she examines the pieces, the more they seem to point toward Jasmine's murderand the murdererand it's up to her to stitch the clues together. . .
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
Evil enters like a needle, and spreads like an oak tree.
— Ethiopian proverb
One black Town Car, one blue Subaru, and a dented red pickup were parked in the driveway of the old Gardener estate. The massive Victorian had been empty ever since Mrs. Gardener, who'd lived there alone after her daughter's death, had herself died back in the early 1990s.
I remembered hearing stories about the ghosts who lived there. My friend Cindy, who was Catholic, had crossed herself every time we passed it. Local kids challenged each other to trick-or-treat there on Halloween to see who — or what — would open the front door.
I'd never heard of a boy or girl brave enough to walk through the wide gates guarding the entrance to the drive, past the large cracked concrete circle that had once been a fountain, to approach the actual door of the house.
When I'd asked Mama about it, she'd just shaken her head. Said some places drew evil or sadness to them. Someone should tear the old place down.
But no one had. And I'd never seen a FOR SALE sign there. The house seemed fated to someday collapse in on itself, keeping past secrets within its cracked walls.
A couple of times in my teens I'll admit I'd made use of a broken window in the carriage house, which had its own entrance a little farther down the road. For a few months, that window was an open invitation to the caretaker's apartment, which, while drafty and dank, was equipped with a bed. No caretaker had lived there for a while. Mice and bats — and teenagers in search of privacy — had made it their own.
After someone replaced that pane, no one was brave enough to break another window.
Today several people were walking through the uncut field of buttercups that had once been a manicured lawn. They were ignoring the blackflies and ticks, which lurked in tall grasses on early-June days in Maine, and were pointing at the old house.
I turned my small red Honda into the Winslows' driveway across the street and parked by their barn. During the first weeks I'd been back in Haven Harbor I'd borrowed Gram's car, but having my own wheels was really a necessity. I had to pay calls on the shops and decorators and private customers who'd commissioned work from Mainely Needlepoint, the business I'd taken over from Gram. And I couldn't leave her without a car. She had her own life to live, her own future to plan.
I'd never dreamed of me, Angela Curtis, becoming the director of anything, much less a company that did commissioned needlepoint for decorators and high-end stores. Turned out what I'd learned as an assistant to a private investigator in Arizona could be put to good use in Maine. Although running Mainely Needlepoint had been both a surprise and a challenge, the business was now well on its way to paying its debts. So far, I'd had no trouble locating the business's customers, despite having inherited a motley and incomplete set of books from both Gram and my predecessor, the agent who'd driven the business into financial trouble.
That agent was gone, swallows had returned from their winters down south and were refurbishing their nests under the roof in our barn, and Gram was busy planning her wedding to Reverend Tom.
They'd set the last Saturday in June as their wedding date — only three weeks off. Gram and I had spent a day at the Maine Mall in South Portland and found her a pale blue silk dress and jacket to wear for the ceremony. I hadn't yet found a dress suitable to wear for my role as maid of honor, but I wasn't panicked. After all, I had three weeks to shop.
I picked up the package I was delivering to Captain Ob and his wife, Anna, glancing over one more time at the Gardener estate.
Without thinking, I touched the small gold angel on the necklace Mama'd given me for my First Communion. "To keep you safe," she'd said.
Since her funeral I'd worn it every day. Maybe for reassurance? Maybe to remind me no place was truly safe? Mama, I'm okay. I'm home. Life is good.
I took another look at the people across the street.
Whatever was happening there, I'd hear about it soon enough.
When anything changes in a small town like Haven Harbor, word gets around fast.CHAPTER 2
Nothing is so sure as Death and Nothing is so uncertain as the Time when I may be to [sic] old to Live,
— Embroidered on a sampler by Lydia Draper, age thirteen, born December 6, 1729
Anna answered my knock. Through the open door I could see Ob sitting at his computer in the kitchen.
"Good to see you, Angie," said Anna. Her long, dark hair streaked with gray was pinned up against the seventy-degree heat, and she was wearing faded jeans and a T-shirt. It was a basic outfit for anyone over the age of three. Anna was over fifty. She eyed the package I was carrying. "Is that the needlework kit I ordered?"
"It is," I said. "Gram says you're one of the fastest learners in her class." I glanced into the package, to be sure I'd picked up the right one. "You ordered a marked canvas with symbols of Maine, right?"
"I did," she answered. "It was a patchwork picture. Maine, a lighthouse, a lobster, the date we separated from Massachusetts, a chickadee. Everything Maine."
I handed it over. "Have fun with it. Gram said to call or stop in if you had any questions or problems."
I might be the director of Mainely Needlepoint, but I was still in the early stages of learning the craft myself. Anna Winslow had picked it up enthusiastically. I suspected she spent a lot more time with her needle than I did. "And, Ob ...?"
Her husband, an experienced needlepointer himself, waved at me in acknowledgment and got up slowly to join us. His back must be bothering him again.
"Here's a check for the wall hangings you stitched this spring."
He grinned as he accepted it. "Always like a check coming in. I was just updating my website."
"For your fishing charter?"
"Reservations are down a mite this year. Still too early to predict how the season'll be, though. Some folks don't plan their vacations till the last minute. This summer I'm cutting the price for children aged eight to twelve. Seven hours of deep-sea fishing is a long day on the water for young'uns, and they need help, but I have Josh and a couple of college boys to help me. If we encourage families to come on board, it'll be good for the future of the business. Get kids interested in fishing when they're young, they're customers for life."
"I hope Josh is more help to you on the boat than he is to me around the house," put in Anna. "Takes me more time to remind him of his chores than it would to do them myself."
"He'll be fine," Ob said. "I'm looking forward to having him with me on the Anna Mae."
Anna rolled her eyes.
"Makes sense to me," I said. "Sure you don't want to take on any needlework projects this summer, Ob?"
He shook his head. "Can't be bothered now. If the charters don't pick up, I might be calling you, though."
I glanced out their front window. "I noticed cars and a pickup over at the Gardener estate. Don't remember ever seeing anyone over there before."
"Exciting, isn't it?" Anna said. "Word is the place has finally been sold."
"Sold? I hope to someone who has lots of money for repairs. Or who's going to tear it down," I said.
"Jed Fitch's their real estate agent. He said the purchaser's name is being kept quiet until the papers are signed tomorrow. Whoever it is, they're planning to fix it up," Ob said. "We've waited a long time for this day."
Anna sniffed a bit. "That crazy old place has been there too long, so far as I'm concerned. It's an eyesore. I hope those new folks burn it to the ground and start over."
"Now, Anna, you hush," Ob said. "It was a beautiful house in its day. It would be a feather in Haven Harbor's cap if someone could restore it to what it once was."
"How did you happen to talk with the real estate agent?" I asked.
"He came to me for the key," Ob said. "I've been the caretaker there, at least when I was paid, for over forty years now."
"I didn't know that," I said, immediately thinking of that broken window. "So you knew Mrs. Gardener."
"He surely did. That woman was a pain in your 'sit-down,' and that's the truth. Just because she had more money than the rest of us, thought she could order Ob around as it suited her."
"Anna, she was an old woman when you knew her — an old woman who lived by herself. She needed help with the place. She was always good to me."
"Good?" Anna sniffed. "Paid you close to nothing, and kept you on call, day and night."
"You lived close enough," I said, looking out their living-room window. The roof and turrets of the Gardener place rose above the stone wall surrounding their property.
"He used to live closer still," said Anna. "Used to live right over there, in the carriage house."
"You did?" I said, turning to Ob and envisioning that mattress — Ob's mattress — in the carriage house.
"Moved in there after my folks died, when I was a teenager. Did errands for Mrs. Gardener after school and weekends. Picked up her groceries and mail and mowed the lawns and such. She insisted I get my high-school diploma. But after that, I worked for her full-time. When Anna and I got married" — he threw her a sly glance — "Anna wasn't comfortable staying so close to Mrs. Gardener. Living somewhere with the history that place has. I'd saved up a bit by then, since Mrs. Gardener never charged me rent, and she made us a wedding gift of the down payment."
"Right across the street," I added. "Giving you the down payment was generous."
He shrugged. "She and I got along. And being just across the street, I'd still be close enough so I could keep an eye on what happened there. After Mrs. Gardener died, I kept walking through the house and carriage house once every month or two. If repairs were needed, I called New York and Mr. Gardener's lawyer would send up a check to cover my time and materials. Mr. Gardener never came up from New York after Jasmine died, even though his wife was living here, but he kept paying the bills. My salary stopped when he died, about ten years back. I still check on the place once in a while on my own conscience, but now it's in serious need of repairs. At first, I called the Gardeners' lawyer in New York, but he didn't seem to care, and wouldn't pay me to do the work. Wasn't my responsibility to take that on for free. I'm glad somebody's finally taking an interest in the old place."
"Old rubbish heap, if you ask me," put in Anna. "Just sitting over there, decaying more every year."
"I wonder who's buying it?" I asked. "Someone local? Or someone from away?"
"I can't think of anyone local who'd have the interest and the money," Anna said. "All we know is Jed said it was someone from California." She paused. "No doubt someone with money. Someone new to lord it over us locals."
"Funny the name of the buyer is being kept quiet. Who would any of us know in California, anyway? Be interesting to see what the new folks plan to do with the place. It isn't decent for living now." Ob looked past me, through the window, to where the old house stood.
"We'll have to wait and see," Anna said, nodding. "I still think they should burn it down and use the land for something practical. A farm. Or a couple of new modern-type houses. After all, Jasmine Gardener died in 1970. Long enough ago for people to forget what happened there."
"Murder isn't exactly something people forget," Ob put in, speaking quietly.
"She was murdered?" I asked. "I remember hearing that rumor when I was a kid, but other people said she'd drowned. That it was an accident."
Ob shrugged. "Some said that. Mrs. Gardener was convinced otherwise. That's why she never left Aurora after Jasmine died. Kept saying she wasn't going to die until she'd figured out who'd killed her daughter. Couldn't accept that death's as unpredictable as life."
I shivered a bit. "She was only seventeen, wasn't she? Jasmine, I mean."
Ob nodded. "Seventeen. Had big blue eyes and that shiny, long, straight hair girls had in those days. I always thought she looked like one of my sister's dolls that was too good to play with. Too perfect to dirty up."
"So you knew her?" I asked.
"I was ten when she died. But, yes, I remember her. My folks knew the Gardeners, and Jasmine was hard to forget." He shook his head. "It was real sad when she died. Nothing was the same after that. Not at Aurora, anyway."
"I'd forgotten they called the place 'Aurora.'"
"When the original Gardeners built that cottage, back in the 1890s, it was the fashion to name summer places. Some folks still do it, but not many. Anyway, story was the first Mrs. Gardener to live there loved to see the sun rise over the hills, east of town." Ob pointed. "She named it Aurora after the goddess of the dawn." He paused. "Pretty highfalutin', but they were from New York City, after all. A marble statue of the goddess Aurora, all naked except for her cape, stood in the middle of the fountain, right in the center of the front drive. Looked spiffy, all right, when that fountain was working."
"They tore the fountain down," I said, remembering the story.
"Mrs. Gardener said she couldn't stand to look out her window and see the place her daughter died. She hired men in town to break up the statue with sledgehammers and cart away the pieces." He shook his head. "I was too young to be a part of all that, but I remember my father coming home and telling my mother and my sister, Rose, and me. He was worried about Mrs. Gardener then — afraid she was going out of her head. But her mind was fine, so far as I could tell. She was stubborn, though. Didn't believe Jasmine had fallen and hit her head and drowned in the fountain. It made no sense to her. Years after that, when I knew her pretty well, she spent all her time thinking of what else could have happened. Talked about it all the time. That's about all she did, in fact. That and" — he pointed at the needlepoint kit his wife was holding — "doing needlepoint. The woman always had a needle and yarns in her hands."
"It's a sad story," I said, looking out the window as the red pickup pulled out of Aurora's driveway. "But maybe it will have a happy ending. Maybe whoever bought the house will fix it up the way it used to be."
"They may try," said Ob. "With enough money they might be able to bring back the house. But they'll never bring back Jasmine."CHAPTER 3
With fingers weary and worn With eyelids heavy and red.
— Thomas Hood (1798 — 1845) The Song of the Shirt, 1843
I kept thinking about Jasmine Gardener on my drive home. She'd died when she was only seventeen. Today she'd be sixty-two. Thirty-five years older than I was. She might have been married and had grandchildren by now. Or had a great career as ... what? I couldn't guess. All I knew about her was she'd been a rich girl and she'd died.
She might have made a major contribution to the world. Or she might have lived an ordinary life. Or a disastrous one. She didn't have a chance to choose. To die at seventeen meant all her possibilities were wasted. Canceled. Gone.
I'd been seventeen ten years ago. What had I accomplished with those years?
It was a depressing thought.
I'd felt like an average, ordinary girl, growing up not-rich-and-not-destitute in a harbor town in Maine until Mama disappeared, when I was almost ten. Then I became the subject of whispers; I was someone to be pitied. I was someone whose mother, many said under their breaths, was a slut. As a teenager I'd raged, followed in some of Mama's footsteps, and hated everything and everyone. I certainly hadn't made life easier for Gram, or for anyone else in Haven Harbor. Or, I was beginning to admit now, for myself.
Then I'd spent ten years in Arizona. Had I made a difference to the world? A difference, perhaps indirectly, to our clients whose spouses I'd tracked and who'd ended up winning in divorce court. No differences I was proud of, although my work had paid the bills.
And here I was, back in Haven Harbor. After all these years Mama's body had been discovered a month ago, and I'd been able to find her killer. I'd committed to staying in town six months. I wasn't ready to sign up for more small-town life than that.
Being back home opened some chapters of my life I'd tried to close forever. Meant confronting the memories and nightmares I'd grown up with.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Threads Of Evidence"
Copyright © 2015 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
Murder mystery, needlepoint and assistant to a private investigator are what this book is all about. Angie Curtis has return to Haven Harbor from Arizona where she had been working as an assistant to a private investigator. Her grandmother is getting married to Reverend Tom and she is the maid of honor. She is helping her grandmother run her needlepoint business, Mainly Needlepoint. She and her friend, Sarah, have been asked to help Skye West get ready for a lawn sale. Skye has just bought the Gardner house which has been empty for 45 years and the last party held there ended with the death of Jasmine Gardner. As the story unfold, you will learn why Skye believes the death was anything but accidental. She asks Angie to look into the death and find out what really happened. There are many twists and turns in this book and the ending wraps up this book but leaves it open for a sequel.
[I voluntarily reviewed this library book] In this, the second cosy mystery of this series, Angie and the rest of Mainly Needlepointers are on their way to becoming successful again and Gram and Rev.Tom are closer to their wedding as Angie get a crash course in maid of honor requirements while helping rebuild the crafters' reputation. Angie and Sarah have been hired to sort through what's left in the biggest house in town as it has been purchased by a celebrity with nebulous ties to the former owners. Aurora has been left abandoned since the death of its owner whose life psychically ended the night her daughter died in 1970. And now, along with the sorting and clearing of the Gardener estate, Angie's gotten herself involved in solving the mystery of Jasmine Gardner's death. Was she murdered? Her mother went to her grave insisting she was,and the more Angie digs around, she also begins to believe it. And the question is, who did it? This book was better all around than the first. It has a better foundation and the characters are focused which allowed for the story to feel less forced. I really want to see what will happen as the series progresses. Highly recommended.
Angie and Sarah are called into an old mansion named Aurora, recently purchased by movie star Skye West, to look over the needlepoint pieces done by the past owner to see if any of them can be saved or repaired. Skye also hires them to be in charge of a yard sale of all of the items she doesn't plan to keep. The money is good but not good enough to involve murder. The Mainly Needlepointers become involved in finding the person who may have killed Jasmine Gardner who died mysteriously in 1970. This is a great series. Each book is better than the one before.
I have enjoyed this series.
Title: Threads of Evidence - A Mainly Needlepoint Mystery Book 2 Author: Lea Wait Published: 8-25-15 Publisher: Kensington Books Pages: 304 Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense Sub Genre: Crafts & Hobbies; Women Sleuths; Cozy Mystery; Amateur Sleuths ISBN: 9781617730061 ASIN: B00QDYJPO Reviewer: DelAnne Reviewed For: NetGalley . Angie Curtis is called to the famed Aurora Este by Hollywood actress Skye West to appraise a collection of needlepoint. All the pieces seem to connect to a young girl murdered during a garden party decades earlier. As Angie unravels the threads of the mystery surrounding Jasmine's life and death before she becomes another victim of a killer desperate to go to any means to keep the secrets hidden. This is the second in the series but is written in such a way as to allow new readers to catch up on major past events without bogging those who read the preceding book to become frustrated. Lea Wait's characters are well developed and her story a gripping mystery that will hold you captive to the very end. threads of Evidence is easily understood by all, even those not knowledgeable in needlepoint terminology. Lea Wait will soon become one of your favorite authors.
This was the 2nd book in the series and I enjoyed it as much as the first. I love the information regarding needlepoint so much I actually purchased a kit. I like the characters very much, they are intense but not too much so and the story line held my interest, I finished in a single read.
Very Good Book
I missed the first book in this series but I didn’t feel lost reading THREADS OF EVIDENCE at all. Author Lea Wait gave enough background to let me know about her characters. Protagonist Angie Curtis, the Mainely Needlepointers, and other characters in the book are extremely well developed. Though they seem more intense to me than characters in most cozies. This book was an attention holding, fast moving story that led to a reveal like none I have read. There were so many twists and turns. So many things to think about and question. I’m interested to see what the third book will hold. Not a needlepointer? No worries. You don’t have to know the craft to enjoy this story. It may however inspire you to take up needlepointing.
In the second book of the Mainely Needlepoint series we again meet Angie Curtis who returned to Haven Harbor Maine after the body of her missing mother was found. Angie has agreed to stay for at least six months. Her grandmother, who raised her, is getting married and has turned over the reins of Mainely Needlepoint to her. Several of the communities members work for them restoring and creating new Needlepoint Projects. The beautiful, yet dilapitated mansion, Aurora, has been standing empty for many years. The previous owner's daughter died mysteriously during a party 45 years earlier. When the actress, Skye West, purchased the mansion to restore, Haven Harbor is abuzz. She also states that she intends to find out who killed Jasmine, 45 years earlier. She enlists the help of Angie, a previous investigator in Arizona, to assist her in this task. The characters that inhabit Haven Harbor are typical Mainers with the suspicious eye to any "foreigners". They are engaging yet tough. I enjoyed the story and meeting the characters. I will go back to read book one. I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
There are several things I look for in a cozy. Let me break these down for you. The cover. It must be colorful and fun and have something to do with the story. The cover for Threads Of Evidence is all of those things. It’s fun, colorful and a bit spooky. Showing the antiques, the needle point, and the candle gives it a haunted atmosphere. The title. The title is quirky and leads right into the theme of this one. The mystery. This has more than one. I had fun reading how they connected and didn’t have clue until near the end. Then, I was wrong. You have a cold case, the accidental death or murder of a young girl in the 70s. And the attempted murder of a new resident in the town of Haven Harbor, Maine. The town. I like small towns. Haven Harbor, Maine is just that. The author painted a pretty picture with her words and I felt comfortable there, despite the dark deeds occurring. The characters and their names. I’ll talk about names first. I like it when names are used that are popular in the area the story takes place. Some are quite unusual and fun to try to pronounce in my head. You get plenty in this cast. About those characters themselves. I’m huge on character driven stories and like to have several to love and loathe. There are so many in this book, I can’t possibly pick a favorite. Angie’s return home is anything but uneventful. She lands a job appraising the contents of Aurora, a long abandoned and fallen to ruin mansion. Doesn’t every town have one of these? She’s quickly drawn into the cold case of a young girl’s possible murder. Her previous job working for a private investigator help her in this case. She’s good at sniffing out clues and handling the local police. Let’s just hope her curiosity, like a cat’s, doesn’t require she needs nine lives. There’s the famous actress, Skye West, who along with her handsome son, Patrick,(possible love interest for Angie?) purchased the aging mansion and are fixing it up. I believe there is more to the purchase than that. Perhaps another mystery to explore? I could go on, but then I’d be telling you half of the story. I read this one fairly quickly. The writing flowed easily, the characters were engaging and distinct, and the mysteries had me hooked. I needed to solve them for myself. I was also fascinated with the old mansion. I used to spend summers with my best friend at her father’s place. He had this small cabin in the middle of nowhere. We’d find these overgrown roads and drive down them to see where they went. We found many old houses in various states of decay. Being careful, we explored them. I found a lot of interesting stuff, and often wondered about the previous owners. Why did they abandon the house and leave their stuff behind? Did something tragic happen? I often thought I felt a presence lingering. Pretty sure it was my over active imagination. What fun it must have been for these characters to go through that old mansion. Discovering it’s past, uncovering it’s secrets. A fun cozy, with all the material to make me happy.
Dollycas’s Thoughts I loved this story even more than the last. Aurora is the name of an estate outside of Harbor Haven that has been vacant for years. It is a Victorian with a past. A young lady, Jasmine Gardener, died there at an end of summer party back in 1970. The case is still open. The youngest member of the Mainely Needlepointers, Sarah, runs an antique store and she had a visitor come in saying his mother has bought the home and plans to bring the old place back to life. They needed someone to go through the house and separate the trash from treasure. Sarah quickly accepts the job and brings Angie along to assist her. There are several needlepoint items throughout the house. The most salvageable are a group of framed pictures depicting special places around Harbor Haven including Aurora. The woman that purchased the home is Skye West, a Hollywood actress. She seems to be very interested in Jasmine’s death, she believes the girl was murdered and that with a little help she can solve the case. Could that help come from the Mainely Needlepointers? I don’t think Angie could stay out of it if she tried. Again Angie and Gram stole my heart, but Skye’s story was very interesting too. The more we learn the faster the pages start to turn. It was almost impossible to put the book down. I made the mistake of starting this book on a very busy weekend for me. My solution was take the book with me everywhere I went and read it every chance I had. I had reached a very exciting part right when we had reached our destination and was torn whether to join the family or keep reading. Well of course I joined the family, but as soon as we arrived home that night I curled up with the book and didn’t move until I finished. This story has something for everyone, a strong mystery that is so well written, fabulous characters you will love, humor, romance, and suspense too. The entire story was very unique and I was totally surprised at the ending. You do not have to know anything about needlepoint to enjoy this story but if you do I predict you will love it as much or more than I did. The next book in the series Thread and Gone comes out the end of December.
THREADS OF EVIDENCE by Lea Wait is the second title in A Mainely Needlepoint series. I read the first title, TWISTED THREADS, and enjoyed it, so I decided to read this title also. The main character, Angela Curtis, has relocated to her hometown of Haven Harbor, Maine and lives with her grandmother. She has become the director of her grandmother’s business, Mainely Needlepoint. (Please refer to TWISTED THREADS for all of this background information.) When the old, abandoned Gardner estate is purchased, Angela and her friend, Sarah Byrne, are drawn into the puzzling and mysterious death of Jasmine Gardner 45 years ago. I liked the characters in this book - they were realistic and their lifestyles plausible. The mystery was also interesting and ultimately had a needlework tie-in. I greatly enjoyed the quotations from early 18th and 19th century samplers which began every chapter. I liked seeing the ages of the girls who ‘worked’ these samplers and where they were from. Two of the locations were from areas where I grew up - Mad River Township and Springboro - both in southwestern Ohio. All in all, a pleasant read. I would recommend this series for fans of a ‘cozy mystery’.
Picture a cozy small seaside town on the coast of Maine filled with colorful characters and we have the setting of this suspenseful cozy murder mystery. This is the second book in the Mainely Needlepointers Series and I must say I greatly enjoyed the book. This can be read as a stand-alone. Lea Wait has our main character, Angie Curtis investigating the forty-five year old death of Jasmine Gardener. Jasmine was the daughter of the town’s rich family that owned the estate, Aurora. Each summer the family hosted an end of season party for the entire town prior to their return to New York, however at this last party tragedy occurred. Jasmine died and her mother insists she was murdered, and continued to insist until she died, which left Aurora empty and falling into disrepair. Suddenly the house is sold to an actress from California and things really begin to happen as the actress, Skye West and her son, Patrick, are in town to solve the mystery of Jasmine's death and restore Aurora. The author did a wonderful job of filling this story with colorful characters; a murder mystery that someone does not want solved, attempted murder, arson, and secrets, long-held secrets. A part-time investigator, Angie is managing her grandmother's Mainely Needlepointers, and partners with Sarah in restoring old needlepoint work to its original splendor. To top-off all Angie has on her plate, her Grandmother is marrying Reverend Tom in three weeks and they have a wedding and a bridal shower to organize; now she has a murder to solve and stop another murder from occurring. She cannot resist helping with Sky’s investigation into Jasmine’s murder, she is hooked and must solve the mystery as mysteries abound in this story. The plot was consistently interesting, and never lagged or bogged down. The suspense was kept at maximum peak throughout the book. The way Ms. Wait revealed the identity of the murderer was a stroke of genius. I thought I had it all worked out several times but found I was not correct. I loved the needlepoint sayings before each chapter; it added an extra element to the story. This is an easy read that anyone that enjoys cozy mysteries will love. I look forward to the next installment. I received this book from the publisher and Netgalley in return for an honest review.
Great Series! This is a great series; this is the second book in the Mainely Needlepoint series by Lea Wait. Angie Curtis is a member of the Mainely Needlepointers in the town of Haven Harbor, Maine. When a famous Hollywood actress Skye West decides to buy the crumbling Victorian mansion, “Aurora” she asks Angie to appraise the estate’s sizeable collection of needlepoint pictures. The more Angie examines the pieces it looks like she is finding clues to a murder of a teenage girl who died of mysterious circumstances in 1970. Now it is up to Angie to piece the clues together to find out what really happened. If you are looking for a great mystery, then you need to read this book. I am looking forward 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.
Threads of Evidence by Lea Wait is the second book in the Mainely Needlepoint series. Angela returned to Haven Harbor, Maine a month ago. She thought she would only stay around for about six months to help her grandmother. Now, though, she is the director of her grandmother’s Mainely Needlepoint business and has started another business with her new friend, Sarah Byrne. Sarah owns an antique shop and she also does needlepoint projects for Mainely Needlepoint. Their new sideline business is to identify, conserve, and restore old needlework. Angela is busy with learning the ropes at Mainely Needlepoint and preparing for her Gram’s wedding. Gram (Charlotte Owen) is marrying Reverend Tom on the last Saturday in June. Angela has yet to find a dress to wear as maid of honor and Gram would like to have a wedding shower (she did not get one when she married the first time). The Gardner Estate called Aurora has been empty since Millie Gardener died in the early 1990’s. The actress, Skye West just purchased the property. She has hired Sarah and Angela to look at the beautiful needlework. Millie Gardener did a lot of needlework in her later years. Unfortunately, since the house was so neglected a lot of it is damaged. There are ten panels, though, that were framed that can be salvaged. Skye West asks Sarah and Angela to set up a sale of all the furniture and belonging. She wants everyone in town to come. Skye offers them $15,000 to get the sale ready in one week. Turns out that Skye has an ulterior motive for buying the Aurora. She visited the estate when she was seventeen. She was friends with Millie’s daughter, Jasmine. Jasmine died the night of the end of the summer party at Aurora. It was ruled an accident, but Millie believes her daughter was murdered. Skye has come to find out the truth. Angela gets pulled in the case when Millie finds out that she worked with a private investigator in Arizona. It has been forty-five years since Jasmine died. Can they really find out the truth after so much time? The killer does not appreciate Skye and Angela nosing around. Millie left them some clues, but can they figure them out in time? Threads of Evidence was a good book. I enjoyed reading it and solving the mystery. I like the way it was written. The book is very easy to read, lovely setting, and good characters. The mystery is medium level. It is not simple, but also not extremely complex (I figured it out before I was halfway through the book). I loved the clues and how they were incorporated into the needlepoint. The only thing I did not like was Sarah Byrne’s obsession with Patrick West, Skye’s son. As soon as she saw him, she was very focuses on him (even though he was more interested in Angela). Sarah acted more like a teenager than a grown woman who owned a business. One other thing that I found strange was Angela’s focus on alcohol. She was not a heavy drinker or an alcoholic, but it seemed to be mentioned quite frequently throughout the book. I did not understand her concern over it (nothing wrong with a glass of wine in the evening or with dinner). Otherwise, an entertaining novel. I give Threads of Evidence 4.5 out of 5 stars. Threads of Evidence can easily be relished without having read the first book in the series. I received a complimentary copy of Threads of Evidence from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The review and opinions expressed are my own.
Book 2 of Mainely Needlepoint Series Everyone in Haven Harbor was familiar with the run down, decrepit mansion, which was once known as Aurora. The previous owners of the splendid home were the Gardener’s, summer residents from New York City. The Gardener’s were known for their end of summer parties on Labor Day weekend, where food and fireworks were always a recurring event. When a tragic death occurs at their last summer party, the lovely Aurora soon begins to collapse, as did the family itself. Mrs. Gardener refused to leave Aurora and her husband vowed never to return. 45 years later, new owners arrive in the quite little town of Haven Harbor, Maine, determined to restore the mansion back to its resplendent beauty. The residents are curious as to why these “from away” owners are working so hard to restore the home, and even more curious as to why they are asking questions about that fateful night so long ago. Angie Curtis, still trying to reclaim her life in her hometown is soon swept up in the mystery of the Aurora and soon begins to unravel the secrets that were hidden so long ago. Lea Wait is a wonderful storyteller who weaves mystery, love, and friendship into all of her stories. I enjoy reading each needlepoint sample she includes at the beginning of the chapters. I have found myself researching some of the pieces she describes. This is a definite 5 star book and I encourage anyone who is not familiar with this series to give it a try, you will not be disappointed. I look forward to reading more! I was given a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.