The Cats & the Riddle

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Beautiful—but mysterious—needle-felted sculptures of cats are being dropped off at homes, shops, and government buildings all around Stony Point, Maine, and no one has a clue as to where they came from or who created them. Even the members of the Hook and Needle Club are puzzled.

The club members know about the intricacies of the art of needle felting, but no one is accomplished enough to be the giver of the mysterious gifts. So the club, led by Annie Dawson and Alice MacFarlane, must decipher the riddle of the cats.

While working on the riddle of the cats, another mystery pushes its way into Annie’s life. Adam Smithfield, a publisher of children’s books from London, has tracked one of his most beloved authors, Candace Caine, to Stony Point. Smithfield asks for Annie’s help, but she senses that his interest in Candace goes deeper than a business connection.

If indeed Candace is in Stony Point, is she trying to escape an abusive relationship? Or is Smithfield’s spoken concern for Candace’s well-being genuine? Annie doesn’t know if she wants to find someone who simply doesn’t want to be found. And is there some link between the children’s author and the sudden appearance of the beautiful, needle-felted cats?

Join Annie, Alice and the rest of the Hook and Needle Club as they leave no stone unturned in their quest to solve the mystery of The Cats & the Riddle.

The Characters

Annie has lived in Brookfield, Texas, for the last 28 years but grew up in Stony Point, Maine. At 49, she is still attractive with her gray-blond hair, but since her husband, Wayne, died of a heart attack last year, her green eyes have lost their sparkle. She doesn't know quite how she fits into this new, but lonely, phase of her life. So she contents herself with her crochet projects and her garden. Still, however, her life lacks focus and meaning.

A childhood friend of Annie's, Alice has lived in Stony Point all her life. She is divorced and lives next door to Grey Gables in the small but cozy carriage house that used to be the gatekeeper's house for the mansion on the hill. Annie is delighted to reconnect with her long-lost friend.

Mary Beth is the owner of the local yarn shop, A Stitch in Time, in the center of town. She has lived in Stony Point her whole life, has never been married and seems to be the self-appointed town mother. It's nearly impossible to keep a secret around her since she knows absolutely everything going on in town.

Annie's daughter LeeAnn lives in Dallas, Texas and has an independent nature. She and her husband, Herb, have 5-year-old twins, John and Joanna. LeeAnn is worried about her mother's well-being but keeps in touch on a regular basis.