The Scarlet Thread by Margaret Page Hood

1956

Fox Island, in Penobscot Bay, loses its first summer tenant when Mrs. Dyne is killed and Deputy Sheriff Donan must backtrack through the history of the house she has rented. Through the speculation of the townspeople, the tales of curses and ghosts, the feelings against off-islanders, Donan follows the trail of the scarlet thread, proves his case of murder and reluctantly catches his killer.

I can’t get enough of these Maine mysteries! Solid, well plotted, great characters and takes me away to Maine as I read. Gil Donan is a reluctant although thorough sheriff. Someone is always pointing out his youth…
“H’m,” Josh was plainly disgruntled, “can see you’re young in the business. Always look on the worst side of folks, Gil, then you’re not fooled when you catch ’em up to mischief. If they’re okay, man can always be agreeably surprised, and no harm done.”
And Gil really hates having to arrest them…
‘He was glad poetry-quoting little Sarah hadn’t bought any of that damned scarlet thread. He shouldn’t be in this business. Never wanted to find anyone capable of crime.’
But he doggedly goes about collecting clues and has a good sense of people and always sees what others miss.
This mystery centers around an old two story house that has a curse on it from two generations ago. Josiah Bickford became a Mormon late in his married life and took himself two more young wives. The first Mrs. Bickford didn’t much like that and put a curse on their family home. After several deaths in the house over the years people started to believe in the curse. Was the curse the cause of Mrs. Dyne’s death, was it just a sad accident or was there more to it? Great read!
This book counts for Vintage Scavenger Hunt 2016 Gold category Tombstone. Two small tombstones to the left of the house!
Peggy Ann
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