Friday, October 28, 2016

Environment and Economic Concerns Collide in Downeast Maine

DANGLING BY A THREAD (Mainely Needlepoint # 4)
Lea Wait
Kensington Books
October 25, 2016

It has been three months since Angie Curtis moved back to her hometown of Haven Harbor, ME. Her much-loved Gram has married the pastor and moved out of the family home and left Angie rattling around in the big house. The needlepoint business is going well and Angie is reconnecting with old friends and making new ones. However, as her self-imposed six months for a decision about staying in Haven Harbor approaches, she finds herself restless. On one restless early morning she walks down to the harbor and watches a man row in from a small island offshore. She has never seen him before and is intrigued. It turns out that he is a hermit named Jesse Lockhart who has lived on the protected island with a population of Great Cormorants for three years and is called "The Solitary" by the people of Haven Harbor. Only Dave Percy, a needlepointer and high-school teacher seems to know much about Jesse. Multimillionaire Gerry Bently is visiting in Haven Harbor and is determined to buy the island and build a huge home there. Jesse, as part-owner, has no interest in selling. He just wants to be left alone to protect the Great Cormorants. Someone is willing to kill Jesse to make sure that the sale goes through.

I always enjoy the Mainely Needlepoint series and Dangling by a Thread is no exception. As a long-time summer visitor in Maine, I am well aware of the tension that between those who want development and those who are concerned for the environment. Maine has always had a hard-scrabble economy and people struggle to get by. In today's world, it's good to see people work together to solve a problem, and that is the way it's done in Haven Harbor. Angie and her group of needlepointers are an interesting and likable group in a setting I love.The antique sampler sayings and descriptions that precede every chapter are often hilariously dour and revealing of the life of early New Englanders. I highly recommend the Mainely Needlepoint series for cozy mystery readers and those who have an interest in Maine life.

Lea Wait is a regular contributor to the Maine Crime Writers blog and recently posted a piece on real-life Maine hermits. Anyone who loves Maine and crime writing should take a look at this highly entertaining blog. Thanks to Kensington Books for an advance digital copy in return for an honest review.

RATING- 4 Stars

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