A Mainely Needlepoint Mystery #1
By Lea Wait
Author’s Website: http://www.leawait.com/
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Andra
A spoiler – but I promise only one!
Returning to the quaint coastal town of Harbor Haven, Maine—a place she once called home—Angie Curtis finds her memories aren’t all quite pleasant ones…
After leaving a decade ago, Angie has been called back to Harbor Haven by her grandmother, Charlotte, who raised her following her mother’s disappearance when she was a child. Her mother has been found, and now the question of her whereabouts has sadly become the mystery of her murder.
The bright spot in Angie’s homecoming is reuniting with Charlotte, who has started her own needlepointing business with a group called Mainely Needlepointers. But when a shady business associate of the stitchers dies suddenly under suspicious circumstances, Charlotte and Angie become suspects. As Angie starts to weave together clues, she discovers that this new murder may have ties to her own mother’s cold case…
This is the first book of a new series by this author and the first book that I have read from this author. I enjoyed her writing style and the pace of the mystery (two murders!). I found I became sympathetic to Angie right from the get go, being as she is returning to her childhood home in Harbor Haven, Maine as a result of Jenny’s (Angie’s mother) body finally turning up….and the label of “murder” being put upon her disappearance all those years ago, nineteen to be exact. At least Angie now knows her mother did not abandon her by choice.
In the midst of planning and executing a funeral and grandmother (Charlotte) and granddaughter (Angie) consoling each other, Angie learns that her grandmother has been swindled by Mainely Needlepointers‘ shady business associate Jacques Lattimore. And we are not taking chump change, but some serious cash…to the tune of $33,000, give or take. And it affects not only Charlotte but all the associated people providing the needlepoint:
- Ruth Hopkins – senior with a love of needlepoint, though with arthritis it is getting difficult to needlepoint;
- Dave Percy – biology teacher at local high school;
- Katie Titicomb – socialite and wife of mayor;
- Lauren Greene (married to Caleb Decker) – friend of Angie’s from grade school and person who found Jenny’s body;
- Ob Winslow – fisherman who depends on needlepoint income in the off season since he stopped wood carving and took up needlepoint; and
- Sarah Byrne – newest resident and member of Mainely Needlepointers in Harbor Haven. She also owns an antique shop on Main Street.
Angie uses her private investigator skills (along with her gun for persuasion purposes) to locate Lattimore. Some of the money is recovered but unfortunately not all of the money for Lattimore has a problem holding on to the money…a gambling problem it seems. Angie brings Lattimore back to meet with the Mainley Needlepointers, in an effort to obtain some of the money and sever their business association. Turns out that this is not all that is severed….Spoiler……for Lattimore ends up dying and as we learn, not from natural causes. And there we have the second murder to be solved.
The journey that Angie takes us through to find the killer(s) is at a good pace and the intrigue as well as an engaging storyline kept this reader interested throughout. Each of the characters had depth and many hidden twists and turns during the course of the book.
I must say this was an auspicious beginning to a new series. I loved the writing, how well the story flowed and its complexity – much more so than the usual cozy mysteries that I have read. I was kept guessing as to who the murderer was for not one but two murders until close to the end. I enjoyed the methodical way Angie pursued the truth. I will most certainly pick up the next book in the series.