Series: Mainely Needlepoint #2
on August 25th 2015
Genres: Cozy Mystery
Source: the publisher through NetGalley
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Also in this series: Twisted Threads, Thread and Gone
Also by this author: Twisted Threads, Thread and Gone
It's hard to imagine anything bad ever happening in picturesque Haven Harbor, Maine--until 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 years--and 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 murder--and the murderer--and it's up to her to stitch the clues together. . .
I received a review copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.
I really loved Twisted Threads, the first mystery in Lea Wait’s Mainely Needlepoint series, so I could hardly wait to read the second book. I wasn’t disappointed. Like its predecessor, Threads of Evidence is a well-crafted cozy mystery with realistic, believable characters. Even the movie star Skye West and her artist son Patrick come across as three-dimensional, rather than stereotypes or caricatures. In fact, Skye reminds me a little of Meryl Streep or perhaps Glenn Close – a woman who tolerates the glare of celebrity for the sake of her art, and who stays fairly down-to-earth in her daily life.
As in Twisted Threads, the mystery here has its roots in the past. Last time it was the disappearance of Angie’s mother; this time, it’s the death of a teenage girl 45 years ago. Jasmine Gardener’s drowning was ruled an accident at the time, but could it have been murder? As Angie and Ms. West begin digging for answers, it begins to look as if someone doesn’t want the truth uncovered.
I love the blend of past and present in this series; it gives the town and the people a depth that many cozy mystery settings and characters lack. I also love the way Wait skillfully weaves needlepoint into the plot; it’s neither contrived nor superfluous. And main character Angie Curtis appeals to me in several ways. She grows as a character – slowly, of course, because there still needs to be room for her to develop in later books, but she does grow. She’s a sensible heroine, especially compared to some of the TSTL* cozy heroines I’ve come across. Angie’s background as a PI’s assistant means she knows enough to be smart and cautious about going into potentially dangerous situations. And things do get dangerous in this book, for the Wests as well as for Angie.
For me, the real test of a mystery novel is whether the author can give me all the clues the “detective” gets, and still manage to confound me. In this case, I figured out a lot of the mysteries before Wait revealed the answers (usually just before!), but she still managed to surprise me in a major way toward the end. That’s exactly the way I like my mysteries: solvable, but neither boring nor predictable, and with at least some unexpected twists.
It’s pretty clear to me – if not yet to Angie – that she’s in Haven Harbor to stay. And I couldn’t be more pleased. I’m hooked on the series, and can’t wait to read more of Angie’s adventures!
* Too Stupid To Live
* * *
There’s a tour-wide giveaway for Threads of Evidence. If you’ve already entered on another blog, your entries should show up here. If you haven’t entered yet, here’s your chance! The prize is a stack of books and a tote bag from Kensington Books – plenty of reading for the dedicated mystery lover!
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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- COYER Scavenger Hunt - Summer 2015
- Cruisin' Thru the Cozies 2015