First Line: After ten years of not celebrating December 25 other than by listening to carols on my car radio during surveillance gigs, I was determined this Christmas would be perfect.
Movie star Skye West is bringing her costars, screenwriters, and director to her home in Maine for The Perfect Christmas, which means her son Patrick and Patrick's girlfriend, Angie Curtis, have to shuffle all their own priorities to make it so. If not for Angie and her group of Mainely Needlepointers, Patrick would find himself buckling under the weight of his mother's to do list, and for a while, things are running smoothly. But once the celebrity guests arrive, strange things begin to happen. Christmas cookies make Patrick ill, and an unscripted tragedy occurs. It's imperative that Angie and her group of friends catch a killer before Santa appears at the town pier on his lobster boat.
Lea Wait brings readers a wonderful Maine Christmas in this sixth book in her Mainely Needlepoint series, which has been one of my favorites from the very first book. Since Angie worked for a private investigator for ten years while living in Phoenix, she has the background to make her one of the strongest amateur sleuths you'll find. She shares all her findings with the local police, and she doesn't do anything stupid-- both things that I really appreciate.
There hasn't been much needlepoint being done in the last few books, but that's not really a problem. Wait begins each chapter with a quote from an historic sampler, and those quotes can tell readers quite a bit about the embroiderers and the times they lived in. (People really can live on through their stitching.)
The mystery is a good one with a large suspect pool, and the motive for the crimes isn't easily deduced. I had my eye on one suspect in particular, and I enjoyed watching the mystery unfold. What I didn't enjoy were Skye West and her son.
A week before Christmas, and this woman decides that she wants her large Victorian mansion lavishly decorated, a never-ending gourmet food supply on hand, and needlepoint gifts stitched for each of her guests. Everyone in town is supposed to drop what they're doing and dance to her tune because-- after all-- she does pay well for what she wants. (Her son behaves the same way.) I won't tell you what my response would have been, but you can tell that I felt like a put-upon member of the Mainely Needlepoint family.
Chances are excellent that you will, too. A wonderful Maine setting, strong mysteries, and an excellent cast of characters. Come join the family. I promise I won't make you learn needlepoint!
Thread the Halls by Lea Wait
Kensington Books © 2017
eBook, 320 pages
Cozy Mystery, #6 Mainely Needlepoint mystery
Source: Net Galley