Angie Curtis and the Halloween Promise by Lea Wait

Threads of EvidenceThe massive Victorian house was dark, silhouetted against the night sky. The shutters banged with the cold wind, and moonlight reflected off shattered windows

No welcoming lights invited Trick or Treaters to call. No one had lived in the old Gardener place for years. Except, whispered some in Haven Harbor, ghosts.

But the four costumed children were drawn to the mysterious house, fascinated by its past. Every Halloween they stopped here and looked nervously through the high iron gate protecting it.

“Com’on. Let’s do it this year. Let’s go in.” Angie pushed against the rusty gate hanging between stone walls bordering the estate. The gate clanked and then scraped against the broken concrete of the driveway. It opened just wide enough so children could pass through.

“Your mom’ll kill you,” said Clem. “No one’s supposed to go in there.”

“No one will know,” Angie whispered. “No one lives there.”

“Ghosts do,” added Cindy, reaching for her little brother’s hand. He pulled it away.

“There used to be a statue of a naked lady in a fountain,” Henry whispered. “Dad told me. It was right in front of the house, where everyone could see. I wish it were still there.” He held his bag of candy tight and lifted his ghost-costume above his sneakers so he wouldn’t trip. “If it were still there, I’d go in.” He was younger than the others, and the only boy. “I would. I’d go right through those gates and up to the house and look at that statue.”

“Shush, Henry,” his sister said. “No way are we going in.”

“We could sneak in for a few minutes.” Angie hiked up the witch’s costume her grandmother had stitched for her, complete with a treat bag needlepointed with a black cat.

“No one would ever know. We could go just as far as the front doors.” She took a step toward the house. “Com’on! Don’t be chickens. I’ll give you each one of my chocolate bars if you come. The best kind. The kind the Winslows handed out.”

Clem, a rotund Cinderella, hesitated, but then shivered and shook her head. “Not even for chocolate. I’m not going in there.” Clem’s bag of goodies was already heavy. She’d started knocking on doors before the sun had gone down.

“I’ll come with you, Angie,” Henry said, walking toward her.

His sister, Cindy, grabbed his shoulder. “I’m supposed to watch out for you, Henry Titicomb. You can’t go in there. It’s trespassing. We’re not allowed.” Cindy stared at the dark house looming over them. “Mom says that place is evil. A girl died there. Right where that fountain used to be, in front of the house.” She almost dropped her candy bag as she crossed herself. She’d wanted to be a nun for Halloween until her mother told her that was sacrilegious, and she should pray for more suitable choices. Tonight she was a sparkly pink princess.

“The girl’s name was Jasmine. I think she drowned,” said Henry.

“I heard she was poisoned,” said Clem.

“Maybe both,” Henry whispered.

Cindy crossed herself again.

“That was years ago.” Angie moved a few steps down the dark drive; further away from the group.

“Old Mrs. Gardener died there, too. She never left the house. People say her ghost and her daughter’s ghost and the ghosts of her seven black cats are there, in that house,” said Cindy. “Everyone knows ghosts come out on Halloween.” She glanced around, as though a ghost might appear at any minute.

“There’s no such thing as a ghost cat,” Angie declared. “Com’on. I dare you!”

“You do what you want. Henry and I aren’t going in.”

“If we’re not going in, let’s go get more candy,” said Henry. “Mom said we had to be home by 8 o’clock.” He started walking up the street, alone.

“Stop!” Cindy said, holding her sequined crown and running after him. “We promised we’d stay together.”

“We did promise,” said Clem, hesitating. “Angie, come on.”

Angie took two more steps inside the gate, and looked up at the dark house. Then she turned and ran after the others.

Who – or what – was in that deserted house?

Halloween wasn’t the day to find out.

But some day she’d know, Angie promised herself. Some day she’d find out what had really happened in the Gardener house.

Read more about Angie and the Gardener house in Threads of Evidence, the second book in the “Mainely Needlepoint” mystery series, published by Kensington. The first book in the series is Twisted Threads.

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 12 a.m. eastern on September 1 for the chance to win a print copy of Threads of Evidence. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. Winner will be notified within 48 hours after giveaway closes and you will have three days to respond after being contacted or another winner will be selected.

About the author
LeaWThreads of Evidence is the second book (after Twisted Threads) in Lea Wait’s Mainely Needlepoint series. Lea lives on the coast of Maine with her artist husband, Bob Thomas, and Shadow, her black cat. She also writes the Shadows Antique Print Mystery series and historical novels for young people. She invites readers to check her website,, and to friend her on Facebook and Goodreads.


  1. I’ve read the first book in this series and this one sounds like it will be a great follow up to it.

  2. Halloween, ghosts, & Victorian mansions: what a great lead-in to a mystery. Lea Wait is a great writer & I’m looking forward to reading Threads of Evidence. Thanks, Dru & Lea for this giveaway.

  3. The old Gardner house sounds appropriately spooky. I would like to read this book. Thanks for the giveaway.

  4. This book sounds like a delightful book which I will enjoy reading. Thank you for the giveaway.

  5. I love Halloween my favorite time of year. This book sounds like it has it all, now on my TRL, Fingers crossed

  6. I can’t wait to read this book. Just reading the above captured my attention and I want to know what happened. I loved the first book and can’t wait to get this one.

  7. Please don’t enter me in the contest (I already won a copy of Threads of Evidence in another contest). I just wanted to say that I did a Read & Review of this book for NetGalley and it is an AWESOME read!!

  8. Would love to read this book. It reminds me of a spooky house on my block as a child. Thankyou for the opportunity!

  9. I’ve read all of Lea Wait’s books and enjoyed them. After reading the first in the series I put this on my want list.

  10. Can’t wait to read the book. Thanks for the prequel. It makes me really eager to get started on the book.

  11. Dru you present the most interesting authors and books. Thanks for the information. It is really helpful when making a decision about what book to purchase when on a budget.

  12. Lea, we are so excited for you — and so glad you joined the discussions for cozy mystery readers and writers on Amazon’s Meet Our Authors forum.

  13. WOW…this sure does sound like an awesome Halloweenie mystery!!!! I really loved, loved, loved the first book in this series and can’t wait to read this one!!!! I am sure it will be a really bootiful read…lol!!!!! Thanks Dru for the chance to win!!!! God bless!!!!!

  14. I would love to have this book. I love cozies and am an avid needleworker as well.

  15. Sounds spooky and fun!! Would love to win this one. Thanks for the opportunity to win it and the wonderful blog today.

  16. I recently picked up the first in series and am looking forward to reading it. I can’t wait to add this to my library – thank you for th chance to win!

  17. Who wouldn’t want to find out what happened in that old house. I think I would have kept on reading right past that excerpt. Sounds good!! This series is on my TBR list. It’s sounding even better now.

  18. Loved the first one in Mainely Needlepoint series. Can’t wait to read this one. Thanks for the giveaway.

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