|A reenactment taking place at Hale Farm in N.E. Ohio|
After almost a year I’ve finished the fourth book in my Catherine Jewell mystery series – The Body in the Goldenrod. Now I’m only waiting for my granddaughter to finish with the covers for both the Create Space version and the e-book version. She’s told me she’s working on it. For this one, I’ll also be publishing it on my own without any help from the kid I had put up the last ones. I’m sure I can do it okay even though it may take me a little longer.
|A re-enactor faking death|
This book is slightly longer than my other three and has two plots going through it. The major plot takes place with a Civil War Reenactment going on in Elmwood Gardens in which one of the reenactors is murdered during one of the battles. The victim in this case is someone everyone hates so it’s no surprise he’s murdered, but it’s a hard murder to solve since there are so many people who wanted him dead.
The other plot has Martha MacDougal, the police chief’s mother, telling Catherine Jewell about the back packing trip she took at the end of book two with that hunk of an environmentalist who came to stay at her bed and breakfast. She tells about a murder they were involved with when someone was murdered in the group of birders they joined on the trail. Of course, I always have to add new characters, and in this case in addition to the victim and a few others, I’ve added a whole family that I spent some time developing. So much so in fact, that they will be in future books, too, because I like them so much.
So now what’s next? I have a short story I’m working on for the Writers Who Kill holiday season when we take a break from blogging. I’ve also been working on the plot for my next book, tentatively called The Murder in the Corn Maze. I haven’t written anything yet, but I know who the victim is and the how, where, and who murders the victim. Where the murder takes place, you know from the title.
I grew up next to my grandparents’ farm where every year there were large fields of corn we played in while being careful not to break down any stalks. So I could imagine the scene except I’d never visited a corn maze. It seemed this would be the perfect time to do a little research since corn mazes are popular in October when the next book takes place. This past Saturday, Laura, who is both my beta reader and my friend from my writers group, and I went to visit a corn maze at Ridgeview Farm in Middlefield, Ohio, after first eating a tasty lunch at an Amish restaurant to build our stamina. The corn maze was fun, but we didn’t cover the whole eight acres of the maze. Laura grew tired, and I figured the twenty to thirty minutes we spent in there gave me enough of an idea to plot my own corn maze for the future murder.
We enjoyed browsing through their little farmer’s market at the entrance, and although we weren’t in the market for pumpkins, it was fun watching kids and their parents picking out pumpkins for their Halloween Jack O’ Lanterns.
Another thing we had fun watching were the pig races with pigs approximately four or five months old, I’m guessing since I’ve never raised a pig. Three pigs were released at a time with funny names like Elvis Pigley, Sir Oinks-a-lot, and Dill Piggles. Each pig had a child volunteer cheering their pig on.
It was a pleasant day. The weather was beautiful with blue skies and a few white clouds, and the trees still colorful in their autumn regalia. Because my normal road to Middlefield was closed, I took back roads traveling on country roads with Amish farms on both sides of the road while sharing the road with the Amish horse and buggies we passed. We saw children in a pony cart, and an Amish woman hanging out a lot of clothes on the line for what must have been a large family. There were some Amish boys mowing the yard with non-motorized push mowers. Because the terrain was slightly hilly, we often had incredible views over the countryside.
When we left Ridgeview Farm, I took Laura to The End of the Commons in Mesopotamia. It was another place she’d never been, and she loved the very large general store with so many unique and interesting things and everything the local Amish, as well as the tourists who make regular stops there, could want. We settled for single scoops of ice cream – which were huge scoops – in a cup as our late afternoon treat and sat at a table covered in Plexiglas with historical pictures. Some tables had a picture frame type of table top with artifacts from the past in there, instead. It was the perfect end to our day.
|The End of the Commons|
What is the best research you’ve done or would like to do?