Monday, June 25, 2012

Being Chief Isn't All It's Cracked Up to Be

by Art Preston, from Sheila Connolly's Orchard Mysteries

I don't think we've met before:  I'm Art Preston, Chief of Police for Granford, Massachusetts.

I love Granford.  I grew up here, and I've worked here all my life,  Married my wife here too. Being Chief is easy, because there's not a lot of crime in Granford.  A lot of what I do is things like chasing cows off the road, or figuring out which pre-teen kid is swiping gum from the one and only store in town.  Now and then somebody decides to get seriously drunk.  If I know the guy (yes, it's usually a guy, and yes, I usually know him), I'll try to talk him down and take him home before he does harm to himself or anyone else.  These days people sometimes have good reason to drink too much—there aren't many jobs in Granford, and that's true for most of this area.

I guess you could say I've always been more of a peacekeeper than a law enforcer, and that's fine with me.

And then Meg Corey moved into town.  I like Meg—she's good people.  She landed here at a bad time in her life, but she kept her feet under her and now she's making a go of the old orchard on the south end of town.  And it looks like she and Seth Chapin are an item.  I've known him since he was a kid, and I think it's probably a good match for both of them.

But Meg keeps finding bodies.  It's like she's a magnet for trouble.  I don't think Granford has ever seen anything like it, and we go back over three centuries.  I know I haven't, for as long as I've lived here.

Not that it's really my business. Since Granford has a really small police department, anything big like a murder investigation gets turned over to the State Police from Northampton ASAP.  I can't say I'm good buddies with that Detective Marcus (who's getting pretty tired of making the trip to Granford, let me tell you), but I do respect the guy.  At least he's honest, and he's willing to admit he's made a mistake now and then—even though it's usually Meg who's pointing out where he went wrong.  He shouldn't complain—it keeps him from looking stupid.

I've got to admit that life in Granford has been a lot less dull since Meg Corey came to town.


  1. Things should settle down again soon, shouldn't they? For my own personal reasons, I don't like this "magnet for trouble" idea...

  2. Consider yourself lucky, Chief! Meg makes for a great read, too.

  3. It's a trade-off, right? Not as dull equals more bodies??

  4. At least you got Meg has your back and perhaps the next murder case they'll leave it to you to solve with some help from Meg.

  5. Sounds like you needed Meg, Chief!