Historic embroidery is a motive for murder in a small Maine town.
Angie Curtis couldn’t get away from her hometown of Haven Harbor fast enough when she was a teenager. Now she’s back, living in the house of the grandmother who raised her while Gram is on her honeymoon. Angie is giving a July Fourth dinner for fellow members of her small business, Mainely Needlepoint, when state trooper Ethan Trask’s younger brother, Rob, arrives with his fiancee, Mary Clough. Mary’s been cleaning out her parents’ house, which has been in the family for generations, and she’s discovered an old panel of embroidery. She and Rob want Angie and the other members of the needlepoint group to estimate its worth so that Rob can sell it to buy his own lobster boat. The panel and the old letter in French accompanying it certainly look antique, and while Angie’s establishing their provenance, she entrusts the panel to Lenore Pendleton, Gram’s lawyer. It seems like a good idea until Lenore is found in her nightgown bludgeoned to death in her own living room. All her jewelry and the embroidery are gone. Even though Ethan doesn’t want Angie to meddle, the 10 years she worked for an Arizona private eye make it impossible for her to walk away. As she pursues the possibility that the panel has connections to both Mary, Queen of Scots, and Marie Antoinette, Angie establishes who knew that the embroidery was with Lenore, and whom Lenore knew well enough to let into her house at night. Then Angie identifies what appears to be a prime suspect, with only one slight complication: the suspect is dead.
It’s a big jump from needlework to homicide, but Wait combines a plausible plot with the same rockbound coastal atmosphere as in Shadows on a Maine Christmas (2014).