by Sandra Murphy
Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of Tightening the Threads. We also have a link to order it from Amazon, and from an indie bookstore where a portion goes to help support KRL.
Angie Curtis hasn’t questioned her friend Sarah Byrne about her past. She knows Sarah is adopted, from Australia, and loves antiques. Otherwise, their friendship stays pretty much in the present. Angie runs the Mainely Needlepointers, a diverse group of stitchers who repair or create needlepoint to be sold. One theme is Save the Cormorants, a local endangered bird as well as water and lighthouse scenes.
Sarah’s been spending a lot of time with art gallery owner, Ted Lawrence, son of the famous artist, Robert Lawrence. His work sell for millions. Ted is in charge of the remaining paintings and finding new artists to promote. Ted’s own art is good but not as good as his late father’s. Sarah’s devotion to Ted causes a lot of talk in town—just what is their relationship? He’s quite a bit older than she is, after all.
When Angie finally finds out, she’s floored. Ted is Sarah’s uncle. It seems that although Robert had his own family, he was quite friendly while traveling and had other relationships as well. Sarah’s longed for a family and now she has one. Robert was her grandfather.
Ted and Sarah plan his 75th birthday party, inviting the legitimate family members to meet Sarah. The party includes Patrick, Angie’s kind of boyfriend and part-time employee of the art gallery, Jeremy, the gallery manager, Angie as a buffer and support for Sarah, Ted’s sons Luke and Michael, daughter Abbie, and son-in-law Silas. The weekend is more than a meet and greet though, when Ted announces he’s changing his will to include Sarah. This is met with a lot of resentment, poorly hidden, on the part of the adult children who had counted on the millions Robert’s artwork would bring at auction.
Ted also informs them that his health is failing, and he’ll be dead within six months if the doctors have guessed right. That news is barely acknowledged as the family is still focused on Sarah butting in on their inheritance. In spite of a positive DNA test, they cling to the hope she’s an impostor.
Part of the celebration is a clambake on the beach. Clams are scarce this time of year and some places are closed off from digging due to contamination, but a few clams are found, lobsters and mussels are bought, corn, onions, and potatoes added to make a great meal. Ted chokes while eating and is rushed to the hospital where he dies. Was it an accident, a contaminated clam, or murder? After all, his new will hadn’t been signed yet so the family had a lot to gain by his death and none of them seem too broken up about it.
Sarah is a suspect, although not a good one since now she receives nothing from the estate. The whole party ate the same thing—everything was cooked in a sand pit—so how could the killer have targeted Ted and made sure no one else was harmed? When a second death occurs, it solidifies the idea Ted’s death was murder, although how the two are related is as much a mystery as who did it.
This is the fifth book in the Mainely Needlepoint series. Angie grows with each installment, as a friend, businesswoman, and personally. Patrick offers a hint of romance. The mystery is a good one, as always. Maine is described so well, readers will feel they’ve walked the beaches looking for elusive clams.
Lea Wait has just signed a contract with Kensington for three more books, so readers can keep up with Angie and all things Maine.
To enter to win a copy of Tightening the Threads, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “threads,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen April 29, 2017. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.
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