Tightening the Threads (A Mainely Needlepoint Mystery)
5th in Series
Setting – Maine
Kensington (March 28, 2017)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
Kindle ASIN: B01HWKM6CU
In the coastal town of Haven Harbor, blood runs thicker than water—and just as freely . . .
Antique dealer Sarah Byrne has never unspooled the truth about her past to anyone—not even friend and fellow Mainely Needlepointer Angie Curtis. But the enigmatic Aussie finally has the one thing she’s searched for all her life—family. And now she and long-lost half-brother, Ted Lawrence, a wealthy old artist and gallery owner in town, are ready to reveal their secret connection . . .
Ted’s adult children are suspicious of their newfound aunt Sarah—especially after Ted, in declining health, announces plans to leave her his museum-worthy heirloom paintings. So when Ted is poisoned to death during a lobster bake, everyone assumes she’s guilty. If Sarah and Angie can’t track down the real murderer in time, Sarah’s bound to learn how delicate—and deadly—family dynamics can truly be . . .
This fifth installment of the series brings us the story of Angie’s friend Sarah. Sarah is an Aussie that moved to Haven Harbor. She has her antiques business and works with the Mainely Needlepointers but has remained pretty well stitched up about her past and her family. She has grown close to Ted Lawrence, a wealthy man, who runs an art gallery. His father was a famous artist. Ted’s is an artist too but never reached the acclaim of his father. She finally reveals to Angie that she and Ted are related and explains the history is complicated. Ted wants to celebrate his birthday with his children that he rarely sees and introduce them to their Sarah. Things do not go as planned when Ted dies during a family lobster bake. The entire family makes up the suspect list with most the family’s fingers pointing at Sarah. She, Angie, and their friend Patrick start tightening the clues together and following the threads to catch the real killer…but can they find the truth in time…
Lea Wait never disappoints and this time she draws in a piece of history I knew absolutely nothing about. There was a time when number of foster children in Britain was more than the system could handle and children were sent to Australia. Sarah’s search for her family takes her from Australia to Britain and then on to Maine. That doesn’t quite bring all the family dynamics to light but as the story continues and the mystery plays out more secrets are revealed. The author explains this child migration and the aftermath in such interesting detail all while not taking away from the coziness of the mystery. I love learning something new when reading just for fun.
The new characters she created, Ted’s children, are an eclectic group. His daughter and her husband live in the northern part of the state and have an organic farm. One son has a high pressure job in New York and the other is a frustrated poet and perpetual student. The family hasn’t gotten together for years. There was already plenty of family drama even before their father’s murder. Ted also has an assistant that has helped him in the gallery for years. Together they all bring their own excitement to the story.
As this is Sarah’s story the other Mainely Needlepointers are absent or just have cameo appearances. I was fine with this as Sarah and Ted’s story is a pretty powerful one that I really enjoyed.
This is another solid addition to this series. It flows well, has several twists, diverse characters, and kept me guessing from start to finish.
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”