Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Threads of Evidence (A Mainely Needlepoint Mystery #2)

Author:  Lea Waits
Genre:  Mystery

Paperback, e book
ISBN # 9781617730061
Kensington Publishing
304 Pages
$7.99; $5.84 (Kindle)
September 1, 2015

Four Stars

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...


Angie Curtis is back in Haven Harbor, Maine living with her grandmother after being in Arizona for a number of years.  She has taken over the directorship of the group known as Mainely Needlepointers, who sell their work around the state.  Angie's friend Sarah Byrne, one of the group and owner of a local antique shop, calls Angie because an old decaying mansion in town has been purchased by an actress, Skye West - and Patrick, Skye's son, has asked Sarah to appraise the needlepoint pictures left hanging on the walls.  Sarah has asked Angie to help her.  When the women realize the sheer extent of the work, and the fact that Skye basically wants a "yard sale" out of anything that can be salvaged, she offers the two women $15,000 each for a week of work.

Skye learns that Angie worked for a PI in Arizona and wants to hire her.  Skye believes that Jasmine didn't die from falling head first into a fountain and drowning, but was murdered.  She also believes the previous owner of the house, Millie Gardener, was murdered too.   So Skye has compiled a list of possible suspects and wants Angie to ask questions and see if anyone knows anything about what happened that night.  But when Angie agrees and begins digging around, she doesn't realize just how close to the killer she might be.

This was a nice cozy to dig into, and was written well.  With Angie preparing for her Gram's wedding, and Gram's wedding shower, she now has to try and find a killer, without the killer knowing what she's doing.  Plus, Sarah has decided Patrick is her personal property, and even though Angie wouldn't mind pursuing a relationship with him, she doesn't want to lose Sarah's friendship and keeps him at arms' length.

We find that more than one person didn't like Jasmine, and thought they had reason to see her dead.  But Angie doesn't want to believe any of them would kill her, so doesn't really follow the clues as closely as she should.  It is only with the help of Sarah and Dave (another Mainely Needlepointer and high school biology teacher) that Angie is able to start putting the them together.

This is the second book in the Mainely Needlepointers series, but can be read as a stand-alone.  All in all, it was an enjoyable read.  Recommended.


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