Sunday, January 24, 2016

"Thread and Gone"

Lea Wait lives on the coast of Maine. A fourth generation antique dealer, and author of the Agatha-nominated Shadows Antique Print mystery series, she loves all things antiques and Maine, and she’s learning to do needlepoint. She also writes historical novels for young people set in (where else?) nineteenth-century Maine.

Wait applied the Page 69 Test to her latest mystery, Thread and Gone, and reported the following:
So, question. Is page 69 of my latest mystery, Thread and Gone, representative of the book?

On page 69 my protagonist, 27-year-old Angie Curtis, who grew up on the coast of Maine, and her friend Sarah Byrne, who’s from Australia, are eating dinner at a lobsterman’s co-op on a wharf overlooking Haven Harbor, Maine.

They talk about the difference between hard shelled lobsters and new shells, and about whether native Mainers eat much lobster.

They’re also concerned about Mary, a seventeen-year-old girl in town who’s inherited the home her family has lived in for generation and is planning to sell it so her fiancĂ© will have enough money to buy a lobster boat. While cleaning her house she found a piece of medieval needlepoint, and asked Angie and Sarah, who have a custom needlepoint business that also restores and identifies old needlepoint, to appraise what she’s found.

What happens to that piece of needlepoint is at the center of the plot of Thread and Gone, and the relationship between several young people in town is key to two murders.

So – is page 69 representative of the rest of the book? Thread and Gone is a traditional small-town mystery. Page 69 sets the stage; it illustrates, in a small way, the difference between tourists in Maine and those who’ve grown up there. It points out the economic challenges for young people setting up a business. And it highlights the conflict that will lead to the murders at the center of the book.

As Angie and Sarah tear the claws off their lobsters and dip them in butter in an apparently peaceful setting overlooking Haven Harbor, they set the stage for violence to come.
Visit Lea Wait's website.

--Marshal Zeringue