Returning to the quaint coastal town of Harbor Haven, Maine—a place she once called home—Angie Curtis finds her memories aren’t all quite pleasant ones…
After leaving a decade ago, Angie has been called back to Harbor Haven by her grandmother, Charlotte, who raised her following her mother’s disappearance when she was a child. Her mother has been found, and now the question of her whereabouts has sadly become the mystery of her murder.
The bright spot in Angie’s homecoming is reuniting with Charlotte, who has started her own needlepointing business with a group called Mainely Needlepointers. But when a shady business associate of the stitchers dies suddenly under suspicious circumstances, Charlotte and Angie become suspects. As Angie starts to weave together clues, she discovers that this new murder may have ties to her own mother’s cold case…
I'm adding Harbor Haven, Maine, to the list of fictional and non-fictional small towns that I like. I am a small-town gal, after all. I was born in a little place in western PA that was barely bigger than I wide spot in the road, and haved lived in five states and one foreign country, some big cities, and now I'm back in a small town. OK. So I'm actually near a small town, not actually even in it.
Angie is certainly different than most cozy heroines. Her life was pretty messed up, with her mother disappearing when she (Angie) was 11. And Angie herself got out of town as fast as she could and about as far as she could while remaining in the US. She also has some actual PI training, which is not the norm.
But she's not uncomfortably out there, either. She does return to the small town where she grew up. The MC (or someone close to her) becomes suspect in a murder and when she goes around investigating what really happened, becomes a target herself.
Normal Rockwell or Thomas Kinkade could paint the pictures of many cozy towns. But Harbor Haven, depending in large part on one industry, tends to fall a little harder than most in hard times. Ms. Wait does a splendid job of portraying this issue without being on a soapbox about it, one way or the other. I really appreciated that.
OK. So let's sum up.
I love small towns.
I love cozy mysteries.
I love needlework.
I love well-written books.
Did I enjoy Twisted Threads, and am I looking forward to the sequel, Threads of Evidence, coming out in August of 2015? Heck, YEAH, I am!
Maine author Lea Wait writes acclaimed historical novels for ages 8 and up set in 19th century Maine (the latest of which, UNCERTAIN GLORY, takes place during the first two weeks of the Civil War,)the NYT-praised 7-book Shadows Antique Print traditional mystery series for adults, latest of which is SHADOWS ON A MAINE CHRISTMAS, published in September, 2014, and the Mainely Needlepoint mystery series, a traditional series for adults which will debut with TWISTED THREADS in January, 2015. Lea did her undergraduate work at Chatham College in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and her graduate work at New York University. While she was raising the four Asian daughters she adopted as a single parent she worked as a manager for AT&T. Now she writes full time, speaks at schools and libraries, and is married to artist Bob Thomas. She loves rowing, visiting historical sites, and, of course, reading and writing. See her website, www.leawait.com, and the blog she writes with other Maine Mystery writers, www.mainecrimewriters.com, and friend her on FB and Goodreads.
1. How is Twisted Threads different from the books you've written before?
The most important difference between my first series, the Shadows Antique Print mystery series, and the Mainely Needlepoint series is the difference between the protagonists. Angie Curtis, in Twisted Threads, was born in Maine, and has been on “the other side of the tracks” most of her life. Her book learning ended with high school. Maggie Summer grew up in suburban New Jersey and has a doctorate. But Angie has street smarts. She acts tough, even when she’s nervous or afraid. She’s also about 12 years younger than Maggie. Maggie is still learning to trust and take chances; Angie takes too many risks. Angie is learning about the antique and vintage needlepoint, which will be the core of the Mainely Needlepoint series; Maggie is already an expert on antique prints.
2. Was it difficult to raise four adopted daughters on your own?
Some days! When my daughters were all high school the same years we had some challenging times. Since they came home to me when they were aged 8-10, they brought different backgrounds and issues to our family, and adolescent emotions were a real challenge for them … and for me. But at least being a single parent my decisions couldn’t be appealed to a higher court! And despite the rough times, I’m proud of all four of my daughters today. They’re all living independent, successful, adult lives. Now I even have eight grandchildren!
3. What is your favorite place to visit in Maine?
Just being at home in my house built in 1774 on the Sheepscot River is a dream fulfilled. But one of my favorite places to visit is still Pemaquid Point, where the rocky cliffs meet the sea at Pemaquid Lighthouse, there’s a great sandy beach, a rocky beach Rachel Carson wrote about in her The Edge of the Sea … and one of my favorite working waterfront spots to eat lobster and clams.
4. Where would you like to travel that you have never been?
I’ve been to Calcutta, where I met one of my daughters, but I’ve never been to Thailand, Kora or Hong Kong, where my other three daughters were born. Some day!
5. If you could invite any writer from history to supper at your place, whom would you ask and why?
My first invitation would be to Emily Dickinson, but I suspect she wouldn’t want to leave her home to come, so my second invitation would be to Walt Whitman. I believe the character of the American people lies between the visions of those two poets.
6. Many writers are intimidated or do not like editing. What advice/encouragement do you have for them?
I’m smiling, because, next to research, I love editing best. The hardest part of writing for me is plotting and churning out that first draft. My first drafts are rough, even though I revise as well as write every day, but shaping my words into a final draft is a joy. One of my biggest writing challenges is allowing myself to stop editing. (I never read my published books – I’m too tempted to edit them yet again.)
7. What kinds of questions do you get asked at schools?
How old I am, how much money I make, whether I have a dog, why I write, when I’m going to write a book based on THEIR class…. Nothing is off limits. And I answer every question. One of my favorite questions: “What did you have for breakfast this morning?”
8. Do you have a favorite holiday?
Christmas. No doubt.
9. When do you know a book is 'done'?
When it’s due to my editor! And when I can read it all out loud (to myself) and only find a few sentences that don’t flow.
10. What would you like your readers to get from Twisted Threads?
I hope readers will enjoy meeting Angie and her gram and the other characters who make up the town of Haven Harbor, and that they’ll want to come back to visit again. The next book in the series, THREADS OF EVIDENCE, will be out in September of this year.
Click the button above to go to the tour page, which includes more reviews and several GIVEAWAYS!
(Disclsure: I received an e-copy of Twisted Threads from the author and publisher via Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.)
52 books in 52 weeks
105 Challenge - Cat. 12 (published this year)
Around the World Challenge (mini 2 - US states - Maine)
Ultimate Reading Challenge - (cat 4 - published this year)
Women Authors Challenge