Twisted Threads

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Authors: Lea Wait
Tags: Fiction, Mystery & Detective, Women Sleuths
and the longest stretch of rocks at low tide. Even at high tide you had to navigate the reach between it and Second Sister carefully.
    Children were told every seventh wave would be the big one. How many times had I stood here, counting waves, trying to make that true. But the waves obeyed their own rules, and wouldn’t conform, no matter what everyone said.
    I inhaled the smells of the mud flats and the ocean, then smiled.
    I loved this town on the sea. Even when it hadn’t loved me.
    I walked the short length of the beach, looking down. Mama’d shown me where to find starfish here, and limpet shells, and sea urchins, some alive and some dead, bleached white by the waters and the sun.
    I looked for a sign, something to tell me what to do now. A few feet from the ledges at the end of the beach, I saw it: a pure white stone, smoothed by the sea. And, close by, another. Smooth and black.
    I picked them up, one in each hand, as I had hundreds of times before. I closed my eyes, wished, and then threw them both back to the sea.
    They landed at exactly the same time, sending out circles of ripples.
    I would get my wish.
    But had I wished for the right thing?
    I took one more look at the sea and headed home. Toward Gram. First I had to help her. Find that Jacques Lattimore, and do what I could to get the money back, which I already suspected he didn’t have.
    Then I’d decide what to do next. One thing was sure. I’d have to navigate carefully. The hidden rocks in this town weren’t only in the harbor.

Chapter Nine

    From the manner in which a woman draws her thread at every stitch of her needlework, any other woman can surmise her thoughts.
     
    —Honoré de Balzac (1799–1850)

    A state police car was parked in front of the Harbor Haunts Café when I passed it on my way home. Ethan Trask? What other cop would be in Haven Harbor this afternoon? Probably filling his stomach. Or maybe Lauren was waitressing there this afternoon and he was asking more questions.
    Right now I didn’t want to think about possibilities. I needed time to digest everything I’d heard—to shuffle all the pieces of the puzzle in my head and try to get some of them to link.
    Or maybe, for a few hours, I didn’t want to think about anything. Had I seen a bottle of cognac in Gram’s dining room? Cognac sounded like a sane remedy for an increasingly raw afternoon. And memories.
    The media people had apparently given up their watch, but I was still wary as I headed up the hill. I circled the block and went in the back door, which opened into the kitchen.
    Where Reverend McCully was kissing Gram.
    They broke apart as the door opened. “I’m . . . sorry,” I said. “I went for a walk and was just coming back. . . .”
    “Nothing to be sorry about,” said Gram, although she stepped away from the reverend and smoothed her hair. “I should have told you before. But with your coming home, and your mama and all . . . and we haven’t exactly gone public. Tom being a minister, he has to be very careful. People talk.”
    People had talked about Mama. They’d talked about me. But . . . Gram? And how old was this reverend?
    Reverend McCully nodded. “Your grandmother’s a very special person, Angie. She was helping out at the church and we became friends. . . .”
    “And then . . . more than friends,” said Gram. I swear she was blushing. “We’ve been . . . seeing each other . . . for almost a year now.”
    “We were blessed to find each other,” said the reverend, looking at Gram with an expression less than totally holy. “We were going to announce our news to the congregation this spring, but first there was this trouble with Jacques Lattimore, and then your mother’s body was found. We didn’t want people to think we were ignoring problems and only focusing on our own happiness.”
    “Announce?” I looked from one of them to the other. “You mean—”
    “Charlotte said ‘yes.’ She’s agreed to marry me,” he continued,

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