Monday, October 29, 2018

Thread Herrings by Lea Wait

First Line: "This is an adventure?" I grumbled, still half asleep, as I maneuvered my sweatered-parkaed-and-booted self into the passenger seat of the faded red van Sarah Byrne used for her antiques business.

Angie Curtis didn't expect to enjoy her first auction so much; she even bid on an old embroidered coat of arms and won. At first glance, there's nothing special about the piece of embroidery. In fact, it's in bad shape. But when Angie takes it out of the frame, she finds a document dated 1757-- a claim for a child left at a foundling hospital.

Angie's imagination is completely fired up, and she has to know more. Her friend, news reporter Clem Walker, airs a local interest spot on TV in an attempt to get more information. What they get are death threats, and Clem is shot to death in a parking lot the next day. Everything points to that tattered coat of arms being the catalyst, so Angie's own life is in danger. Now all she has to figure out is how to solve a mystery when she's hiding from a killer.

I've enjoyed Lea Wait's Mainely Needlepoint cozy series from the beginning. I've painlessly learned a lot about Maine through these books-- from its fascinating history to its landscape and weather to the customs of present-day Mainers. And I am happy to announce, Thread Herrings is the best of the series so far.

I loved the reminder of how much fun attending auctions can be, and I can imagine many other readers being tempted to attend their first one from Wait's description of Angie's experience at the beginning of the book. But the one thing that takes center stage in Thread Herrings is the mystery. Angie's friend is shot to death on her way to meet Angie at a local restaurant. From strangers asking locals where she lives to death threats by email and other means, it's clear to see that Angie's life is well and truly in danger and Wait skillfully ratchets up the suspense (and the need to read faster to make sure Angie doesn't come to harm).

And guess what? Wait doesn't create this palpable tension by having Angie do something stupid! I can't tell you how refreshing that is. Angie gets a bad case of cabin fever, but when the local and state police tell her to stay put and stay inside, she does it-- and the book is still scary and suspenseful. (There are authors who need to make note of this because I'm not the only reader who can't stand characters who are TSTL-- Too Stupid To Live.)

The reveal at the end of Thread Herrings is a satisfying one, and now I have to settle down and wait for the next installment. It can't come fast enough for me.

Thread Herrings by Lea Wait
eISBN: 9781496716729
Kensington Books © 2018
eBook, 304 pages

Cozy Mystery, #7 Mainely Needlepoint mystery
Rating: A
Source: Net Galley


  1. You had me at the setting, Cathy. And the auction context is interesting, too. I haven't been to many, but they can be great. Glad you enjoyed this one.

  2. I need to try this series. Think I could start here? And, yes, you're not the only one who can't stand the TSTL.

    1. Yes, Kay, I do think you could start here. Wait provides enough background for you not to feel lost.


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