O Stolen Night

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It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in beautiful Somerset Harbor, Maine. Everyone in town is wrapped up in the holiday hustle bustle, especially hardworking Maggie Watson and her friend, June McGillis. In addition to prepping Carriage House Antiques for their busiest time of year, the ladies have decked the halls of Old Faith Chapel for an exclusive showing of The First Christmas, a famous 19th-century painting. Maggie is full of good cheer -- until the $2 million-dollar artwork goes missing and its owners put her on the naughty list, threatening to sue her for not protecting their property.

Feeling responsible for the painting's disappearance, Maggie vows to catch the thief and bring the work of art home for the holidays. Unfortunately, tidings are anything but glad as her investigation progresses and two otherwise virtuous church employees fall under suspicion.

All Maggie wants for Christmas is the painting back, but peace on earth is hard to come by when she starts receiving menacing messages that warn her to mind her own business. Will Maggie bring comfort and joy back to Old Faith Chapel and the people of Somerset Harbor, or will she have herself a scary little Christmas?

Despite the ominous threats, frantic holiday preparations, and increasingly distracting matters of the heart, Maggie remains focused on reclaiming the painting. But even if she uncovers the truth, can she go tell it on the mountain before the thief silences her night? If she's not careful, the most wonderful time of the year could end up being the most treacherous instead.

The Characters

Maggie Watson is 44 years old. She has lived in the beautiful town of Bennington, Vermont, most of her life with her husband, Richard, who was a successful professor of archeology at a nearby university. Together, they built a loving home and raised their daughter, Emily. And then, three years ago, Richard suddenly died. Maggie had thought they'd spend the rest of their lives growing old together in their cozy New England cottage. But with Richard's passing, Maggie's life changed in ways she never anticipated. And now with Emily off at college, Maggie still isn't sure quite how she fits into this new, lonely phase of her life.

Then, when she unexpectedly inherits Sedgwick Manor -- her aunt's 19th-century colonial mansion -- and the adjacent Carriage House Antiques shop, she wonders if this is the change she needs to move forward with her life. So, on a chilly day in mid-September, Maggie and her equally curious cat, Snickers, head to the small seaside village of Somerset Harbor, Maine, and begin an adventure that will change their lives.

June has run the Carriage House Antiques shop for over 10 years and was a close friend and confidant of Maggie's late aunt. She's outgoing and witty, and she has a natural talent for decorating with antique furnishings. Maggie loves June's enthusiastic spirit and caring nature, warming up to her immediately. It's no surprise that June soon becomes Maggie's best friend and "partner in crime" as they dig into the mysteries of Sedgwick Manor.

Maggie's daughter is warm and friendly with a big, bright smile. She's always been close to her mother -- even more so since her father died three years ago. But now she has left Maggie in order to study nursing at St. Joseph's College in Maine. Maggie understands that Emily needs space to spread her wings and become the independent, responsible young woman she raised her to be, but she still misses her daughter.

An avid quilter, Ruth is the president of the Somerset Harbor Historical Society. She extends a warm welcome to Maggie and invites her into this small group of friendly women. Maggie takes an immediate liking to her. Ruth offers to help Maggie solve the mysteries of the antique pieces found in Sedgwick Manor. She has lived in Somerset Harbor her entire life and always seems to know the buzz around town. Ruth knew Maggie's aunt Evelyn very well, and Maggie can't help but wonder if Ruth might also know Evelyn's secrets.