Tightening the Threads - Lea Wait

Tightening the Threads

By Lea Wait

  • Release Date: 2017-03-28
  • Genre: Women Sleuths
4.5 Score: 4.5 (From 5 Ratings)
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In the coastal town of Haven Harbor, blood runs thicker than water—and just as freely . . .

Antique dealer Sarah Byrne has never unspooled the truth about her past to anyone—not even friend and fellow Mainely Needlepointer Angie Curtis. But the enigmatic Aussie finally has the one thing she’s searched for all her life—family. And now she and long-lost half-brother, Ted Lawrence, a wealthy old artist and gallery owner in town, are ready to reveal their secret connection . . .

Ted’s adult children are suspicious of their newfound aunt Sarah—especially after Ted, in declining health, announces plans to leave her his museum-worthy heirloom paintings. So when Ted is poisoned to death during a lobster bake, everyone assumes she’s guilty. If Sarah and Angie can’t track down the real murderer in time, Sarah’s bound to learn how delicate—and deadly—family dynamics can truly be . . .


  • was hard to put down and completely engaging story.

    By glhince
    I’ve read (devoured) all of the books in this series recently – even as I’m slow to get reviews up for some. There’s something very comforting in the narrative voice of Angie as she works through her own issues in coming back to town and her rather infamous mother’s history, full of the small town feel, particularly that of the Maine coast in a town that is inundated each summer with tourists. Far from being a space that only caters to the summer people, they’ve built and attracted year-round businesses, built friendships and survived to solve several murders. Now, Angie’s best friend Sarah, an ex-pat Aussie that owns a small antique shop in town, and just recently shared some personal bombshells, is in hot water. Especially when her long-hidden ties to her brother, Ted, a wealthy art gallery owner and son of a famous artist turns up dead, his will revealing Sarah will be inheriting it all. Of course we do know that Sarah didn’t poison Ted, but with his adult children all screaming for blood and a rather convenient appearance of this new family member, it’s up to Angie, Sarah and Patrick to ferret out the clues and do some real digging to both prove her family ties and find the real culprit. Lea Wait informs this story with extensive research into foster-child emigration and relocation to Australia from the UK, and we follow Sarah’s search through records in three countries, slowly unveiling her own family history, and we discover more clues to the culprit. Plenty of suspects, drama, intrigue and the new characters and personalities introduced with Ted’s rather eclectic family all play roles where each becomes the focal point for suspicion, with plenty of drama to spare. While the other members of the Mainely Needlepoint collective are relegated to cameo and backseat roles, their inputs add a sense of life proceeding on despite Sarah’s crisis, and serves to highlight that sense of community and insight (not to mention outside points of view and a touch of gossip) that have come to be a staple in this series. With a culprit that I didn’t see coming, as Wait does manage to throw a net-load of red herrings into this one, a sense of rightness in the conclusion and a once closemouthed and mysterious in all the good ways character in Sarah taking center stage and revealing more of her story, it was hard to put down and completely engaging story. While it does work as your first introduction to the series, this is one that is best read from the beginning to see the relationships develop, and they are wonderful reads, perfect for fans of cozies with a twist. I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
  • Fifth book in A Mainely Needlepoint Mystery series!

    By Kris Anderson, The Avid Reader
    Tightening the Threads by Lea Wait is the fifth book in A Mainely Needlepoint Mystery series. Angie Curtis is surprised when her friend and antiques dealer, Sarah Byrne tells her why she has been spending so much time with gallery owner, Ted Lawrence. It turns out that Ted is her uncle. Sarah has finally found family and this weekend Ted is going to tell his children about Sarah. They are all coming to town for Ted’s seventy-fifth birthday. Sarah asks Angie to come along for the weekend at Ted’s home The Point. Jeremy, Ted’s longtime gallery employee and Patrick West will also be in attendance. After Ted’s children arrive, they enjoy a special dinner and then birthday cake along with champagne. Ted then announces that the kids (they are all adults) have a new cousin and introduces Sarah. But, Ted is not finished with his pronouncements. He tells them that he has stage four lung cancer, and he will be altering his will to include Sarah. He wishes for her to receive the Robert Lawrence (Sarah’s grandfather) paintings. The children are outraged and Jeremy is less than pleased. The next day they prepare for a lobster and clam bake on the beach. Everyone is enjoying the delicious seafood dinner when Ted suddenly stands up. He cannot speak and points at his throat. Ted is quickly rushed to the hospital where, unfortunately, he passes away an hour later. Someone in the family objected to Ted changing his will, and they were making sure he would not be able to accomplish his goal. Luke Lawrence hires Angie to investigate Ted’s death. He wants the case wrapped up as quickly as possible (so everyone can return home). The next day Angie receives word that there has been another death. Is foul play involved? Angie needs to work quickly before Haven Harbor gets a bad reputation (or someone does away with the rest of Ted’s ungrateful children). Tightening the Threads is easy to read, has good characters, and a beautiful setting. The author provides some lovely descriptions of the town and surrounding area. I thought the book had a good pace. I did not find any slow spots. The mystery did not start until I was forty percent of the way through the book. The first part of the book sets up the story and the last part is in solving it. I give Tightening the Threads 4 out of 5 stars. The mystery was intriguing. I like how the author crafted it and the unique method of murder. I thought that part of it was easy to solve, but the other element was a little more challenging (I am trying not to give anything away). I do wish that there had been a good outcome for Sarah. I am a little disappointed with Angie and her jealousy concerning Patrick West. Patrick and Angie’s relationship is in the early stages and her jealousy seems unwarranted. Patrick does not seem the type of person to kiss and cheat. The author included a secondary mystery regarding bones in a wall dividing Angie’s property from her neighbors. It really seemed like a senseless inclusion (it was a letdown). Then there was the issue of Ted’s wife, Lily. The way it was written in the book, I thought Lily’s death would turn out to be a long unsolved murder (I expected it to go somewhere). Her death was mentioned a couple of times, and I kept thinking the author would tie it in somehow (a lover did her in, a jealous friend, someone spiked her drink). Overall, though, I enjoyed Tightening the Threads. It captured and held my interest. I will be reading Thread the Halls when it comes out in October.