Friday, July 15, 2011
The English Ivy Inn
(From Lorraine Bartlett's Victoria Square Mysteries)
"Last night I dreamt I went to Mandalay . . . ."
Actually, I didn't . . . I dreamt I owned the English Ivy Inn . . . also known as The old Webster Mansion on the eastern fringe of Victoria Square, the little business district in McKinlay Mill, New York.
If my husband hadn't invested all our savings in Artisans Alley, we'd--or rather I'd--have owned the place by now. Or at least I'd like to think so.
I have decorated every room in that house so many times. I've collected at wallpaper samples, paint samples, flooring samples. I've got bedding, and linens, and china, silverware and glassware.
I've made lists of questions to ask potential employees. I'd have to have help cleaning the place--six bedrooms and bathrooms, plus the parlors, kitchen and dining room.
Of course, my husband was supposed to be the host while I did all the background work. After he died I had to change the dream. Well, I had to change my dream even before he died.
And now that I've been managing Artisans Alley for a few months I've had to amend my dream yet again. I'm still determined to own the Webster Mansion. The thought of it keeps me going on the worst days when I'm threatened by bill collectors, shut off notices from the utilities, and vendors who act like two-year-olds.
But I'm determined to own that lovely old home one day.
Nothing is going to stop me. Nothing.
Unless I find another dead body somewhere . . . or someone buys it before I can . . . .
Lorraine Bartlett writes the Victoria Square Mysteries. The first in the series, A Crafty Killing, is now available. The next book, The Walled Flower, will be available in February 2012.
Lorraine also writes the New York Times bestselling and Agatha-nominated Booktown Mysteries as Lorna Barrett, and the Jeff Resnick Mysteries as L.L. Bartlett.
In September, Lorraine will releasing a special Victoria Square supplement -- which she'll announce on her blog, Dazed and Confused.