Meg Corey has the greatest luck--she keeps finding all sorts of things in that lovely old house of hers. Oh, right, you don't know me. I'm Gail Selden, head of the Granford Historical Society. Granford's an old town with about three centuries of history. It was a Chapin who did most of the surveying in this end of Massachusetts, back in sixteen-something-or-other, and the Chapins still live here--including Seth, Meg's next-door neighbor.
But the Historical Society isn't exactly grand. We own one beat-up building on the town green (it started life as a school house more than a century ago), and the heating is kind of iffy--and the air conditioning is non-existent. I'm a volunteer, and I'm the entire official staff, unless you count a few more volunteers who show up when they can, which isn't often.
We keep our "things" in the building, and that includes the taxidermy collection donated by someone who apparently had a lot of time on his hands and stuffed about everything you can imagine. So they sit in the building wherever we can find space for them, and believe me, they scare their fair share of people. Lots of beady eyes staring at you when you walk in the door. Hmmm, maybe that's why we don't get a lot of visitors...
Anyway, to get back to Meg. I met her when she first moved to Granford and wanted to find out something about the history of her house. I was happy to help. It's a nice old place, and nobody's messed around with it much in the 250 years since it was built. Maybe these days a lot of people would rush to modernize it, but to an historian it's a treat to see it the way it was built. Meg keeps coming to me with new questions, and we've become friends.
But I'm so jealous! Not only does she have this great old house, but she keeps finding these wonderful surprises in the most unlikely places! I suppose any old building hides a lot of secrets, but the Warren house has had some surprising ones. I'm happy she shares them with me, although she hasn't said anything about donating them to the Historical Society. To be fair, she has volunteered to help with our cataloging, which is maybe fifty years behind--and it's not easy, since our paper collections are scattered all over town, wherever we could find space. Heck, maybe we'll find some happy surprises of our own, if she keeps helping out.
But I won't spoil the fun: I'll let Meg tell you about the treasures that keep popping up. Funny how they keep relating to murders, but I don't think that's Meg's fault.
Sheila Connolly writes the Orchard Mystery series for Berkley Prime Crime. The latest book, Bitter Harvest, will be released on August 2nd, so you can find out what Meg finds this time (and it's not a body!)