"Waymouth, Maine. How could anything bad ever happen in a place as beautiful, as perfect, as this one?" With that second sentence, author Lea Wait dooms Waymouth in the intriguing mystery, Shadows on a Maine Christmas. When antiques print dealer Maggie Smith goes to Maine knowing she has decisions to make, she doesn't realize she'll also get caught up in a murder investigation over the Christmas holidays.
Maggie knows she wants to adopt, but the man she loves doesn't want children. And, she's in New Jersey while Will has moved to Maine to take care of his ninety-two-year-old Aunt Nettie. Maggie and Will have to have a discussion, but it can probably wait while they enjoy the Christmas festivities in the picture-perfect town of Waymouth. And, Nettie is excited to host some women who have been part of her life for decades. One of Nettie's friends, Betty, has Alzheimer's though, and reacts to Will with fear at one point. Maybe they can overlook her reaction, but fear rears it's ugly head again when Betty's caregiver is murdered.
Against Will's advice, Aunt Nettie and Maggie team up to ask questions. Aunt Nettie has secrets, and she might be willing to reveal her own, but she isn't willing to tell those that belong to other people in town. And, Waymouth has secrets that go back decades, as well as violent secrets today. This Christmas season, Maggie will uncover unexpected strength and tragedy.
It's difficult to comment on Shadows on a Maine Christmas without giving away too much. Wait touches on social issues and women's history in a compelling mystery. She blends Christmas observations, small town beauty, a little antique background, with personal relationships. It's not easy to combine charm and tragedy, but Lea Wait succeeds beautifully in Shadows on a Maine Christmas.
Lea Wait's website is www.leawait.com
Shadows on a Maine Christmas by Lea Wait. Perseverance Press. 2014. ISBN 9781564745477 (paperback), 224p.
FTC Full Disclosure -The author sent me a copy of the book, hoping I would review it.