Book Review: Tightening the Threads (Mainely Needlepoint) by Lea Wait

Tightening the Threads is the fifth book in the Mainely Needlepoint mystery series by Lea Wait. I have read one of the previous books in this series. While I think those that have been following along from the beginning will get more out of the story that newcomers, I think this is a very accessible series and new readers can pick up the relationships and personalities pretty quickly.

Antique dealer Sarah Byrne has never told the entire 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 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 cousin Sarah-especially after Ted, in declining health, announces plans to leave her his museum-worthy heirloom paintings. So when Ted is poisoned during a lobster bake, fingers are pointed. If Angie can't track down the real murderer in time, Sarah's bound to learn how delicate--and deadly--family dynamics can truly be.

Tightening the Threads is a great continuation of the series, and a good read even if you have not read any of the other books in the series. I like that Angie is not looking for trouble, it just kind of falls in her path. I think that the dynamics between Sarah, Ted, Angie, and the rest are even more interesting than the mystery in some ways. Ted's children and their family history offers more conflict and suspense beyond the murder. However, the mystery offered a few twists and turns that I really was not expecting. It is nice to be surprised, and I have read enough mysteries that it does not happen as often as it used to. I thoroughly enjoyed the read, but still find myself pondering some of the smaller mysteries from the story, and hope that some open questions are subtly covered in later books.

Tightening the Threads is a solid mystery, with more twists than I could have expected. I enjoyed the character dynamics and the interplay just as much as the mystery. I am looking forward to what mysteries fall into Angie's lap next.

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