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Shadows of a Down East Summer
Antique Print Mystery No 6
Lea Wait

Perseverance Press
April 2011/ ISBN 978-1-56474-497-5
Mystery/Amateur Sleuth

Reviewed by Laura Hinds

Maggie Summer is more than ready for a nice vacation and some serious down-time with her gentleman friend Will Brewer. They’ve driven to the coast of Maine to visit his Aunt Nettie, who has enough plans for both Maggie and Will to keep them busier than worker bees at pollen gathering time.

Will’s tasks involve keeping Aunt Nettie’s house in order, and Aunt Nettie has Maggie pegged to help a friend solve a mystery; a mystery that dates back to 1890 and that’s just for starters. A woman who is a descendant of two of the women who modeled for none other than Winslow Homer is killed. She is, in fact, murdered and now Maggie has her family journals and papers that could change history and have a profound effect on those who remain. It’s up to Maggie to separate the fact from the fiction and put the puzzle together without becoming a victim herself.

Author Lea Wait has a wonderful way of pulling her readers into not only the story, but right into the essence of the place and time of her characters lives. Having read all the previous books in the Antique Print Mystery series, Maggie Summer has become like a long-time friend to me, and despite a long period of time passing between books, I felt as though Maggie had remained a part of my reading life all along and that we’d resumed our relationship as if no time had passed.

The time-shifts in this book make for an exciting and provocative read. In 1890, the story is told by Anna May whose journal Maggie is reading in the present time. Maggie has a trail of clues to follow to unravel, and as she does so, Lea Wait is able to provide readers with a detail rich glimpse of life along the Maine Coast. That in itself makes the book feel like a touch of a New England vacation. I really enjoyed this mystery. The mood changes and tempo resonated in my imagination with a nearly audible vibrancy.

Fans of Lea Wait will be waiting in bookstore lines or pre-ordering this book online if they are smart. It was well worth the anticipation, and I highly recommend “Shadows of a Down East Summer” to mystery lovers and history/art buffs as well.

Reviewer's Note:

Reviewer Laura Hinds is the author of 2009's "Are You Gonna Eat That Banana?"


Reviewed 2011
© 2011