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Mystery Loves Company Baltimore, MD
Stolen money that's never been found and a forgotten family secret are the ingredents for this award winning mystery.
When Kim's mom buys an antique tapestry at a local yard sale, the young detective has no idea how close to the past she is until she begins research on a school history report. Noticing unusual images in the tapestry, Kim embarks on uncovering a family secret and discovering the link between the tapestry, the local town library and Black Bart.
Getting Kelly involved in the case is a plus, and with their combined sleuthing they stumble upon evidence of missing stolen money. Is the tapestry showing that there's really stolen money stashed in a secret place? The detective duo won't let up until the truth is exposed.
She was about to say something more but the doorbell rang and Kelly walked on in, plopping a designer book bag on the tiled front foyer flooring and flashed me a big smile.
“Hi!” She practically shouted, while waving and walking into the sitting room. “Well, what’s going on?”
“Like I said over the phone, I still need a little help with my project,” I said and gave her a little wink, hoping to shut her up before she said something about the tapestry in front of Mom. Unfortunately, I forgot to mention for her to not say anything just yet.
“Something in your eye? No, you said it was urgent and…”
“It is urgent,” I said through a tight smile, “It’s urgent that I get this project done and you promised to help me. Remember?”
Kelly paused and looked at my face for a moment and, hopefully, noticed how I was directing my eyes toward my mother and raising my eyebrows high on my forehead. Finally it all seemed to click in her mind, “Oh…oh, yeah, you did say that, didn’t you. Okay, let’s get started.”
“Well, I’ll leave you two alone to get your work done,” Mom said heading for the kitchen, “You want a drink, Kelly?”
“No thanks. Not right now,” Kelly said, then satisfied that my mother was going to stay out of the room, she sat on the floor in front of me and started looking over my report.
Irritated, I snatched the paper away from her and looked my best friend right in the eyes, “How dense can you be?” I scolded softly, “I could’ve kicked you in the shins a moment ago! I didn’t tell Mom about the things I’ve noticed in the tapestry and I’m not going to tell her. At least, not yet anyway.”
“Sorry. How was I to know? You were sitting there giving me all these facial signals like you had muscle spasms and I was trying to play along. You could’ve mentioned that you didn’t tell your mom when you called me, you know,” Kelly snapped back defensively.
“All right, all right. Sorry, okay?” I said, holding up my hands in surrender.
“Okay,” Kelly said happily, flashing me a winning smile and snatching back the report paper I was working on. “Now, is that the tapestry you were telling me about?” She asked without looking up at the hanging.
Kelly never ceased to amaze me. I honestly thought she hadn’t noticed it when she first came in, but with a quick eye and that photographic memory I should’ve learned by now that nothing gets past Kelly.
“Fill me in again,” She said.
“Okay. Come here and look at this.” We got up and walked over to the tapestry. “Here, right here,” I said quietly, pointing to the side of the building, “You see the box? It looks like it’s exploding out of the side of the house.”
“That’s true, but why would there be bricks piled up when the house is stone?” Kelly asked, fixing me with a hard stare.
I froze in mid-sentence as the sudden realization of Kelly’s observance hit me like a sledgehammer. “Oh, wow, I totally didn’t think of that. You’re right! That makes no sense at all now that the obvious is staring me in the face,” I commented.
“Hmm, let’s see what else this tapestry holds,” Kelly said in a sly manner.
We stood back from it a few steps and searched the entire image with our eyes. After standing there for what felt like a good ten minutes Kelly finally said, “You know what?”
“Those white stones in the background. I don’t think they’re stones, I think they’re tombstones.”
“What!” I said as I stepped forward for a better look.
“Yeah, look at them,” Kelly traced the outline of the white stones with her finger, “They may be in the background close to the outline of trees, but if you look closely you’ll see that they’re all the same shape and size. Look. See? Shaped like a little arch, just like a tombstone.”
“I must be blind. How could I’ve not noticed that? You’re right, though, now that you mention it, they do look like tombstones rather than just plain white stones that would outline a yard or something,” I agreed. Silence fell between us for a brief moment and then I said, “Why would tombstones be in a yard where children are playing?”
“Very good question,” Kelly mused, “I didn’t think of that.”
I flashed her a sideways glance of disbelief and continued with my deductions, “Well, tombstones are only in graveyards and the only type of buildings that have graveyards are churches.”
“True,” Kelly said, finally sitting down in a chair close to the tapestry.
“You’ve lived here longer than me. How many churches are there in Creston?”
“Oh, jeez! I don’t know. You have to account for all the different religions; Christian, Catholic, Jewish, and so forth, and all the different churches…” Kelly rambled.
“But most of those churches and synagogues are modern. None of them have this type of stone,” I stated not only cutting her off but also hoping to reduce the list of churches I thought we might have to research.
“Yeah, but what about the bricks in the picture?”
“Well, I’m still thinking on that one. Right now the only theory I have is that it’s telling us the building is part brick and part stone, or there’s brick under the stone where the box is. Or the house was built when stone or brick was used -- I’m not sure. I have to ponder on this for a bit longer,” I said flopping into the chair across from Kelly.
“Kim, there’s only one place where we’re going to find the type of information we need in a situation like this,” Kelly stated very smartly. I just looked at her, waiting for her dramatic finish, “The Library.”