Lea Wait

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USA Today best-selling author and speaker Lea Wait writes the Mainely Needlepoint mystery series, the Shadows Antique Print mystery series, and the Maine Murder Mystery series.

"When I was single I was an adoption advocate and adopted four daughters. Now I write mysteries and historical novels about people trying to find love, acceptance, and a place called home."

Click here for a printable list of Lea Wait's books.

By popular demand! Lea’s bibliography on historical needlepoint.

Be one of the first to hear about Lea’s new books! Send your email address to her at leawait@roadrunner.com.

It's no big mystery.
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Sheepscot River Press
ISBN 978-0-9964084-9-3
Paperback $10.00 or e-book

It’s 1777, and the war for American independence is not going at all well. Rory and Sarah, young teenagers who’ve recently immigrated from Scotland to the coast of Maine, are eager to help their new country ... but what can they do? Alternating their adventures (Sarah’s on the home front, in Wiscasset and Boothbay, Maine, when the British invade, and Rory’s, heading to Saratoga with the York Militia,) CONTRARY WINDS is the exciting story of how in times of danger and challenge, everyone with courage has a part to play. Based on true events; historical notes included.

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Sheepscot River Press
ISBN 978-0-9964084-8-6
Paperback ($10.00) or ebook.

Between 1780 and 1860 English landowners evicted tens of thousands of Scottish Highlanders from the hills and glens where their families had lived for generations. Some Scots were lucky enough to be sent to populate Canada or Australia. Others joined refugees from the Irish potato famine and the industrial revolution in the increasingly industrialized cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh, creating some of the worst slums in British history. FOR FREEDOM ALONE is the story of one Highland family, a father and his three children, struggling to keep their family, and their hope, alive in 1848 Edinburgh. Father finds there are few jobs for men; women and children can be paid less, so are more desirable employees. Meggie, fifteen, is lucky to find work at a hotel; twelve-year-old Rab, tries to learn the ways of the streets, while little Kirstie, only four, huddles in a dark room to be safe. A story of courage and survival for readers of all ages, especially those whose ancestral roots are deep in the Scottish Highlands.

Lea Wait writing as Cornelia Kidd

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Crooked Lane Books
Available in hard cover and e-book formats
Publication date: June 12, 2018 – Order now!

          Maine’s Quarry Island has a tight-knit community built on a solid foundation of family, tradition, and hard work. But even on this small island, there are secrets.
Anna Winslow and her husband Burt and son Jake are a lobstering family with deeps roots on the island. But Anna’s life changes dramatically when she learns she has a younger sister, who grew up in a very different world. Izzie visits the island, and the two sisters bond over solving a murder that is very close to home … and make plans for their futures.
And …there are recipes.

“I enjoyed the deft plotting and the cast of characters, especially Anna and Izzie, a formidable team I look forward to knowing better in future books.”
– Suspense Magazine

“An intoxicating read ... really sets the stage for an amazing series ...”
– Cozy Mystery Book Reviews

“Very highly recommended ... riveting from beginning to end by a master of the genre ...”
– Midwest Book Review

“Entertaining ... Kidd clearly knows coastal Maine ... (Anna) and Izzie prove to be a formidable force, one that will easily sustain a series.”
– Publishers Weekly

“A wicked good mystery brimming with family secrets, authentic characters, a rustic Maine island setting, and plenty of good food. You can practically smell the salt air and taste the lobster rolls.”
– B.B. Haywood, NYT bestselling author

“Compelling .. I couldn’t put it down.”
– Barbara Ross, author of the Maine Clambake mysteries

“A five-star hit!”
– Edith Maxwell, bestselling author of the Quaker Midwife Mysteries, the Local Food Mysteries, and the Country Store Mysteries

New: read the three-page prequel online now.


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Pre-order the seventh book now!
Publication date: October 30, 2018

Kensington Publishing Corp.
ISBN: 978-1-4967-1671-2
Also available as an e-book

Angie's first auction may turn out to be her last—when she bids on a coat of arms that someone would literally kill to possess . . .

Tagging along to an estate sale with her fellow Needlepointer, antiques shop owner Sarah Byrne, Angie Curtis impulsively bids on a tattered embroidery of a coat of arms. When she gets her prize back home to Haven Harbor, she discovers a document from 1757 behind the framed needlework—a claim for a child from a foundling hospital. Intrigued, Angie is determined to find the common thread between the child and the coat of arms.

Accepting her reporter friend Clem Walker's invitation to talk about her find on the local TV news, Angie makes an appeal to anyone who might have information. Instead, both women receive death threats. When Clem is found strangled in a parking lot, Angie fears her own life may be in jeopardy. She has to unravel this historical mystery—or she may be the next one going, going . . . gone . . .

“Wonderful sense of place and characters and a fast-moving plot right from the first page. Highly recommended!” --- Suspense Magazine

New: read the two-page prequel online now.


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Pizza To Die For ... a different kind of Lea Wait mystery! Protagonist Mikki Norden is spunky and capable ... even in the most hilarious circumstances. Moving from Seattle to the suburbs of New Jersey, she’s trying to feel at home. But are the wacky characters she keeps meeting really typical Jerseyites?

At fourteen, protagonist and future chef Mikki Norden is ready for any kitchen emergency – except the unexpected death of her mentor, Mr. Baldacci. But Mikki’s learned a lot about solving crimes from her mother, an almost-published mystery author. So when local police rule Mr. B’s death a heart attack, she knows she has to prove otherwise.

Mikki grows up fast as she discovers secrets surrounding Mr. B and his restaurant .. and within her own family.

For anyone over the age of ten who loves a good mystery ... and a good laugh.

“Light whodunit . . . a well crafted mystery with plenty of suspects (and) a great cast of characters ... a fun read."   —Dru’s Book Musings (2017 winner of Mystery Writers of America Raven Award)


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Order the most recent novel in the Shadows Antique Print Mystery series.


Maggie Summer is making big changes in her life. The antique print dealer has taken a sabbatical and moved to Maine to run an antiques mall with Will Brewer, her significant other. And she will finally adopt the daughter she’s been longing for. However, the troubled girl doesn’t want any part of the plan, showing affection only for the harbor seals, which remind her of her “real mother.” But someone starts shooting the seals–and a young fisherman is murdered. Then Will confesses a secret from his past, and Maggie begins to wonder if this is the biggest mistake of her life.

“Shadows on a Morning in Maine is an extraordinary novel by a master of the mystery/suspense genre ... unreservedly recommended for community library collections and the personal reading lists of dedicated mystery buffs.” - Midwest Book Review

Read the two-page prequel online now.


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Want to know more about Lea and her artist husband, Bob Thomas? Living and Writing on the Coast of Maine takes you inside a year in their lives with wry humor and insights, as they love each other, Maine, and making a living writing and painting. A must read for anyone wondering what it would be like to live in Maine ... or be a published author.

Read the free exerpt online now.

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