Lea Wait ISBN: 978-1-4967-1671-2, 2018 $7.99
This isa the seventh mystery in the Mainly Needlepoint series written by native Mainer Lea Wait (profiled here). I have really enjoyed this series.
The narrator, Angie, returns to her native Maine and her grandmother’s house from Arizona where she worked for a private detective. In returning to her small coastal home town she becomes involved in her Gram’s business making souvenir and custom needlepoint using a small group of men an women in town.
That’s the setting for the series and as the novels have been written we have learned more about the Mainly Needlepoints and their friends because each novel focuses to some extent on one of them.
This one focuses on Angie and has its origin in a coat of arms she buys on a whim at an auction. She discovers behind the needlepoint documents dating from 1757. A friend from high school who’s a local TV reporter puts a story about the mysterious document on TV, Almost immediately death threats appear. The next day the reporter is found dead in her car and strangers are asking about Angie.
With threats against her, in living in a small town where everyone knows her, and with few clues Angie and her friends need to solve the mystery.
While the mystery itself is not difficult to solve, I loved that this book focused so nicely on Angie’s character and her life. While we hear her thoughts often because she is the voice of the books, the action has not revolved around her since the first book. It’s nice to see and lovely to realize how much she has settled in to her new life and her home town.
The Mainly Needlepoint series fits into the broader category of cozy mysteries but it does it in a unique way. The picture of life in Maine is very realistic, as one might expect. But Angie’s past as a private detective gives these books a bit more edge than I find in other cozies, many of which tend to be cloying.
I highly recommend this book.