Dangling by a Thread by Lea Wait is the fourth book in the Mainely Needlepointers mystery series. I have not read the previous books, but feel like I was able to jump right in and fully enjoy the mystery. Hermit Jesse Lockhart lives alone on King's Island, three miles east of Haven Harbor, Maine, where he's created a private sanctuary for the endangered Great Cormorants. But when a wealthy family wants to buy the island and Jesse's cousin Simon petitions for power of attorney to force him to sell, Jesse is the one who becomes endangered. Mainely Needlepointer Dave Perry, who befriended Jesse in the VA hospital, rallies the group to his defense. Angie Curtis and the ravelers stitch “Save the King's Island Cormorants” pillows and sell T-shirts to pay for Jesse’s legal counsel. But tragically, on a visit to the island, Angie finds Jesse dead. Now the search is on for a common thread that can tie the murdered man to his killer.
Dangling by a Thread is a fast, exciting read with complex characters. Angie is still getting used to living alone since her grandmother has gotten married and moved out of the house they shared. She is also getting used to running the Mainely Needlepointers business that she has taken over. When she sees an odd stranger come to town she begins an adventure that will lead her to discover more about threatened birds and murder. Jesse, the stranger, is a veteran that has taken on the mission of protecting the Great Cormorant’s nesting ground on an island he owns with a cousin. The fact that it allows him the isolation he craves is a bonus. When the purchase of the island is proposed it begins a spiral of stress, uncertainty, and eventually murder. I like that the mystery is more involved than it seems, and that while there are hints and clues through out the story I was not positive that I was right in who was involved until the very end, and that the last couple twists were slightly different than I expected. This is a fun weekend read tat kept me interested and entertained.
Dangling by a Thread is a solid cozy mystery that hints at past and future romance but never loses focus on the mystery and character connections. I liked the characters and the well constructed mystery. I just might pick up the earlier books in the series just to see how Angie came to be who and where she is.