A Mainely Needlepoint Mystery
Kensington Publishing Corp.
The first in the Mainely Needlepoint series! Angie Curtis left Haven Harbor, Maine when she was 18 to escape her mother’s legacy. Now it’s ten years later, her mother’s body has been found, and she’s pulled back into a world she’d thought she’d left behind. And then the agent for her grandmother’s custom needlepoint business is murdered. Has Angie’s return home stirred up long-hidden secrets? And is she herself in danger?
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“A cozy debut that hits all the sweet spots: small town, family ties, and a crew of intriguing personalities.” – Library Journal
“Exciting writing .. Lea Wait’s taken the “amateur sleuth aspect to the edge. And the pack and vividness show that this Maine author has come into her own, with a series that promises excitement, adventure – and some insight into the heart of a very smart and savvy young woman. Fresh and intriguing!”
– Kingdom Books
I’ve always admired early needlepoint and samplers. I often looked at it in museums or antique shows, and imagined the (usually) women who’d spent so many hours sitting alone or with family members, perhaps stitching while someone read aloud, by the dim light of a fireplace or whale oil lamp. Needlework was a way to be creative; to decorate clothing and home; to add beauty to worlds often were bereft of decoration.
Sewing was a skill demanded of all women.
Needlepoint, on the other hand, was for generations was a skill of privilege or a vocation. Wealthy women employed others to do plain stitching, and even those skilled at needlepoint themselves, employed others to create tapestries and bed hangings and other, large, pieces of embroidery.
As a child, I remember my grandmother, her worktable next to her chair, sewing, darning, tatting, knitting, or embroidering. Like the women of earlier generations, her hands were never idle. She tried to teach me, but my hands were too clumsy (and I was too impatient) to perfect any skills. I embroidered a few handkerchiefs, but none I could be proud of. The only one of my grandmother’s skills with needles I managed to make my own was knitting.
So when I had the opportunity to begin a new mystery series, I decided it was the perfect opportunity to earn more about needlepoint and other forms of embroidery.
Vintage and antique needlepoint would be the center of my series, which also would include the creation of custom needlepoint, done today by highly skilled stitchers for modern and antique chairs, pillows, wall hangings, and valences. I decided to set my series in a Maine harbor town with a working waterfront (unlike Weymouth, in my Shadows series, which is set in a town on a tidal river,) and then I began to find my characters, all of whom are survivors.
TWISTED THREADS, the first book in the Mainely Needlepoint series, introduces Angie Curtis, a young woman with a troubled background, her grandmother, and some of the men and women of Haven Harbor. I hope my readers will welcome them, and look forward to learning more about them in future books.
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