Thread and Gone (Mainely Needlepoint, Book #3)
by Lea Wait
Release Date: December 29th 2015
Ebook Edition; 304 Pages
Genre: Fiction / Cozy Mystery
Source: Review copy from publisher
3.5 / 5 Stars
When a priceless antique is stolen, murder unravels the peaceful seaside town of Haven Harbor, Maine. . .
Curtis and her fellow Mainely Needlepointers know how to enjoy their
holidays. But nothing grabs their attention like tying up loose threads.
So when Mary Clough drops in on the group's Fourth of July supper with a
question about an antique needlepoint she's discovered in her family
attic, Angie and her ravelers are happy to look into the matter.
best guess is that the mystery piece may have been stitched by Mary,
Queen of Scots, famous not just for losing her head, but also for her
needlepointing. If Angie's right, the piece would be extremely valuable.
For safekeeping, Angie turns the piece over to her family lawyer, who
places it in a safe in her office. But when the lawyer is found dead
with the safe open and ransacked, the real mystery begins. . .
Thread and Gone is the third installment in the Mainely Needlepoint series and I enjoyed it quite a bit. The characters were quite interesting, and I definitely loved reading the history of Mary, Queen of Scots, most of which I already knew, but liked how the threads were woven into the story, no pun intended.
As always, I love the setting of these books; I would be quite happy to visit this area and explore some of the actual places that are mentioned as they sound quite interesting. I like how the cultural aspects of the town and the day-to-day matters are included as you really get an understanding of how much tradition matters to people and personally, I don't see anything wrong with that. I would love to live in a house that my family has owned for several centuries, with papers holding many secrets within them, and I never could understand it when people just didn't show any interest in such things and are quite willing to thrown things like that into the dump; it makes me want to cringe. I guess that's the historian side to me though.
I found the history of Mary, Queen of Scots, to be quite neatly woven into the story, and for those who are not familiar with the story, it would be quite interesting. I liked it, but am already familiar with her story and some of her needlepoint history having visited Holyrood Palace a number of years ago, so I paid more attention to the mystery rather than to the history, I am afraid. I do have to admit however, that the story of the needlepoint and how it came to Maine was neat; I would have liked to have known more about the type of threads they used and other stitching patterns as I did find that interesting, having done some needlepoint myself. That was one of the parts I did find a bit lacking in this story though, and really missed the whole group getting together to share their needlepoint ideas; I just like it when they all get together as it rounds out the story quite nicely.
One of the characters I was not crazy about was Rob and couldn't see the attraction to him by Mary, the girl who was searching for provenance for the needlepoint she found in her parents' house. Being more interested in money and worth, he was ready to sell anything in Mary's house to finance his business and pay for their wedding. I really thought Mary needed to grow a backbone and stand up to Rob; I am curious as to how long their marriage will last as the other young marriage in this book was already in trouble. Perhaps the author is sending a message to her readers? The other thing that really made me wonder about was the author's continuous commentary on Angie's drinking habits; it just made me wonder if this was a set-up for future novels, and perhaps the author was going to tackle problem drinking later on. To be honest, I found this to be more interesting than the mystery, which just kind of ended, after being extremely disjointed. I was a somewhat disappointed in the ending as it was rather abrupt and didn't seem to flow with the rest of the novel.
Thread and Gone is one of those novels that I enjoyed for the historical aspect and for the character building rather than the mystery, which I found to be rather abrupt and disappointing. The research was definitely interesting, and even history buffs with a good knowledge of Mary, Queen of Scots, would find it fascinating to trace the trail of the needlepoint. I like how the author included more characters in this one, and I hope they will be included in future novels, as many stories were started here that do need to be completed, or continued. Other than the research however, I didn't find the mystery to be intriguing and found the conclusion to be rather abrupt, which didn't flow with the other aspects of the novel. Despite all this, I enjoyed the first two novels quite a bit, and look forward to the next novel in this series as I am curious as to what trouble Angie will discover next.