Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Going Home to Blue Plum or Things I’d like to Avoid

by Kath Rutledge from the Haunted Yarn Shop Mysteries by Molly MacRae

How does it feel to be back in Blue Plum? You know you’re not the first person to ask that, don’t you? But that’s okay. Nobody means any harm. It’s a throw-away question, pleasant small talk. Maybe a way of avoiding less pleasant talk, like the whole reason I am back, but that’s okay. I’m happy avoiding unpleasant. For instance the Spivey twins If they were to show up right now you’d find nothing but a void right here where I’ve been sitting. That was probably mean, though. I’ll add “mean” to my list of things to avoid, right under “Spiveys.” 

But back to being back in Blue Plum. Do you know where in Tennessee it is? About as far north and east as you can get without being in either North Carolina or Virginia. It’s tucked up in the corner, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The landscape reminds me of an appliquéd quilt with ridge behind ridge behind ridge and each layer of hills is a deeper color, shading from jade to emerald to cyan to amethyst, and the last disappearing into an indigo so black you can imagine infinity.

And the town itself? It’s small, it’s old, the buildings are quaint. It’s laid out along a creek valley and the creek runs behind the courthouse. The sidewalks downtown are brick. The curbs are limestone. There’s Mel’s on Main, the best café your nose will ever lead you to. And there’s the Weaver’s Cat, Granny’s yarn shop that’s so much more. And Ardis who runs it now that Granny is gone. And that’s why I’ve been avoiding really answering your question. You noticed that, did you?

Because I can talk around it. I can get out the maps and the snapshots and give you a copy of the Blue Plum Bugle. Buy you lunch at Mel’s. Take you in the Cat and introduce you to Ardis with her honeysuckle ways. But that isn’t really telling you how it feels to be back in Blue Plum. And that’s because, with Granny so suddenly gone, I really can’t feel. Because to me, Granny was Blue Plum.

Well, now see, ending on a low note is another thing I need to add to my list of things to avoid. Granny had a good long life. She was a spry old thing. I spent most of my childhood summers with her and loved every minute. So let me try again.

Being back in Blue Plum is like being handed a glass of sweet tea and a piece of homemade pie and sitting with one of Granny's cats in my lap. Is that better? Of course, if the Spiveys made the tea it’s too sweet. And if the pie didn’t come from Mel’s it isn’t worth eating. And if it’s too late in the afternoon they’ll both spoil supper and the cat will scratch me. But that’s what it’s like being back in Blue Plum. The good, the bad, and the avoidable. 

What’s on your list of things you’d like to avoid?

Kath Rutledge’s latest adventure is the national bestselling SPINNING IN HER GRAVE, third book in the award-winning Haunted Yarn Shop Mysteries, which are available in mass market, e-book, and audio wherever books are sold.

Visit Molly MacRae on Facebook and Pinterest, or find her the first Monday of each month at Vintage Cookbooks and Crafts


  1. I'd like to avoid lots of things, especially needing to investigate a murder. There won't be more in Threadville, right?