Scarecrows & Corpses

What will happen when Meredith (Merry) Gardner and her scout troop find a body in a Halloween corn maze? Who did the dastardly deed? Someone in town is not who they pretend to be.

A Meadowood Mystery is my latest project – a cozy mystery series to delight and intrigue readers. Here is an excerpt from the beginning of my new novel and the first in the series of Meadowood Mysteries – Scarecrows and Corpses.

{Meadowood is a typical, small, Midwestern town; within driving distance to big cities but basically a rural community surrounded by farmlands.  I love it here. My name is Meredith Gardner and I don’t think I’d rather live anywhere else.  It’s a town filled with caring people who look after each other and take pride in knowing everyone’s business, too much at times. Still, you have to admire the quaint buildings and store fronts that line the main street through town. We have our florist and butcher shops, one Savings and Loan Office and a branch of Wells Fargo Bank, the usual insurance and real estate offices mixed in with the commercial businesses; all located in brick and clapboard structures with gables or dormers that date back at least a hundred years.  A few were actually given status as historic landmarks by the state of Ohio.

I was on my way home from a morning of shopping; bags of groceries and Halloween treats filled the back of my older, apple red Dodge mini-van with its rusty bumper and quarter panels, compliments of too many icy winters with salty roads. It wasn’t the best looking vehicle on the road, but the engine ran like a sewing machine and the van seated plenty of kids, including the occasional scout troop.

As I waited for the traffic light to turn green, I admired the array of colors decorating the oak and maple trees lining Park Avenue.  The fall colors this year were so vibrant – crimson, gold, and burnt orange leaves fluttered in the crisp autumn breeze.  Who needs to travel to Vermont, or even the Appalachian Mountains, when the Ohio countryside provides such breathtaking scenery?  I cracked my car window and breathed in the cool fall air.  I smelled a whiff of burning wood from someone’s fireplace.  In the next block, I smiled as I spied slim spirals of smoke rising above the chimney of Joseph Cooper’s home.  

I drove slowly as I neared Frannie’s Frocks and waved to the owner standing out front – my aunt, Frances Andrews.  Aunt Fran had the best dress shop in town stocked with the latest fashion trends.   She smiled at me and waved back then pointed to her wristwatch as a reminder to me; we had a meeting to attend later. I waved again to indicate I got the message.}

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Nancy M. Wade