When it Takes a Village: Lea Wait

Edith, posting from Silver Spring, Maryland the day before Malice starts! Please join me in welcoming back a woman with amazing strength of character and will – and talent, too – the lovely Lea Wait.

Thanks for the invitation to be here!

It’s the Merry Month of May, and I‘m celebrating the publication of THREAD ON ARRIVAL, the eighth book in my Mainely Needlepoint series, centered around a small diverse cast of characters who do custom needlepoint (and identify and restore antique needlepoint) in the working waterfront community of Haven Harbor, Maine.

As do most small communities Haven Harbor takes care of its own. One of those is Ike Hamilton, a lifelong resident of the town. Ike was born with an intellectual disability. His parents cared for him when they were alive, but they’re gone now, the house they lived in was condemned, and Ike lives in the garage his father had equipped as a workshop, with water and heat. He survives on disability payments and by redeeming bottles and cans. Many people in Haven Harbor save their empties for Ike, who makes regular rounds to collect them. Some people share their meals with him. The postmaster drives him to the redemption center every Saturday. And the local police keep an eye on Ike on cold winter days.

In return, Ike keeps an eye on everyone in town. He knows more than most people imagine about what is happening in Haven Harbor, although he sometimes misinterprets what he sees. Exchanging gossip for bottles and food is his currency. Ike’s a kind man, very conscious of what is right and what is wrong, so when he meets Leo, a teenaged runaway, he offers to share his home with the boy.

And because he does that, Leo is the logical suspect when Ike is found, murdered.

Will Haven Harbor embrace the young newcomer? What secrets did Ike know that might have led someone to kill him? Mainely Needlepoint protagonist Angie Curtis decides to find out, especially after her fellow needlepointer, Dave Percy, takes a special interest in Leo. But, then, Dave has secrets, too.

Readers: Who have you known who keeps track of goings on in your town or community?

BIO:  Maine author Lea Wait has had 27 books published, including the Mainely Needlepoint series, the Shadows Antique Print Mystery series, and the Mainely Murder series. She also writes historical novels for both adults and children. For more information about Lea and her books, friend her on Facebook and check her website, www.leawait.com, which includes links to prequels of many of her books, including THREAD ON ARRIVAL. 

10 Thoughts

  1. I love all of Lea Wait’s books. I had the good fortune to read an ARC of this title several months ago, and the subject really resonated with me. How well do we really know our neighbors? Bravo, Lee. Your best one yet, and with your track record, that’s really something!

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  2. First, I must say that THREAD ON ARRIVAL sounds absolutely wonderful and I can’t wait for the opportunity to read it. Love the cover!

    My husband is from a very small town. It use to be just 16 blocks square, but has grown a couple of blocks in the last 36+ years. I think everyone in this town is that way. I had never experienced such know everything that’s going on folks in my life until after hubby and I married. Just to read the local paper (which doesn’t exist any more) was unreal. I can remember once when hubby gave me the paper and asked me to read this 2 column article. It was very detail about which I thought was a big event. It told what they ate, who was there, how long they stayed. Just about every detail you could imagine. When I was done reading it, hubby told me that it was this elderly couple in town whose grown kids, who live right next door, came over with their kids for a Sunday dinner after church. Quite the eye opener. 🙂
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

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  3. I still think of an encounter I had with a neighbor. I was out walking in my complex, and he stopped me, asking for our security company’s number. I didn’t have it on me, and he wanted me to go home and get it. Why? He wanted to report a group of teens sitting at a nearby picnic area laughing. This was early evening. I couldn’t see any reason so I asked why. He told me to just trust him, they were up to no good. So I wished him luck finding security’s number and walked away. Don’t know what happened, but those teens looked like a group of friends having innocent fun to me.

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  4. In the rather small town I grew up near, we all knew that if you committed mischief at one end of town, your parents would know before you could get home at the other end. A little stifling to a teenager but nice for parents.

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