Shadows of the Past
Waits engaging fifth Antique Print mystery. . . does a good job depicting smalltown
Maine and recreating 19th-century journal entries.Publishers Weekly (2/21/11)
Antique print dealer Maggie Summers Maine vacation is unexpectedly interrupted when she finds herself the heir to four generations of family secrets involving unrequited love, jealousy, artand murder.
In Shadows of a Down East Summer, a journal kept by a young woman who posed for Winslow Homer holds the solution to murder mysteries both old and new. She and her friend were the fictional models for the dancers in Homers early sketches of his masterpiece A Summer Night (now in the Musée dOrsay in Paris). One of the largest dealers in Homers wood engravings in the U.S is author and antique print dealer Lea Wait. Following the centennial of Homers death in 2010, there is renewed interest in his work and in the renovation of his studio in Prouts Neck, Maine, owned by the Portland Museum of Art.
Mystery award nominee Lea Wait lives in a 1774 house on the Sheepscot River in Maine (which was moved from an island to the mainland in the 1830s). She learned the antiques trade as a child from her grandmother, a doll and toy dealer, and ran a print business together with her mother for years. No surprise then that she writes acclaimed historical novels for children as well as a mystery series about Maggie Summer, whose life has many parallels with her own, besides the prints they both deal in. (They both lived in New Jersey, studied American Civilization, are interested in adoption of overseas children, and have had a romantic partner in an allied field). Maggie calls her antique print business Shadows for the images of the past they portray, bringing reflections of earlier lives to the present.
Lea Wait has been an antiques dealer (fourth-generation) since 1977. Besides her Agatha Award-nominated five-book mystery series about antique print dealer Maggie Summer, she also writes books for young people. The mother of four adopted Asian daughters, now grown, she lives in Maine with her artist husband.