Character Guest Post
Oh, hello. It’s nice to see you here. I’m Lois Stone and I came to live in the small town of Fenwater last summer. My best friend, Marge, was already here and she encouraged me to come. She said I’d love the pace of life after the mad rush of Toronto.
She was right. I do like it here. Now that I’ve unpacked and settled into my little stone cottage, I want to meet people and get involved in activities in the town. I hadn’t done much except go to work for the past three years after my husband died unexpectedly. But, since I came to Fenwater, I’ve joined the local pipe band and last night I went to the weekly meeting of the Quilters’ Club.
I love quilting. When I walk down my street in the fall and see the gorgeous colours of the leaves, they remind me of what’s waiting for me in my fabric box at home. It’s such a thrill looking into my box of fabric scraps. The wealth of colours and textures offers so many possibilities for what I could make.
I took a set of place mats I’m working on for my friends, the Rizzos, with me to the club. I had a lovely visit with them for Thanksgiving a couple weeks ago in my old Toronto neighbourhood. Well, except that I got involved in looking for a mugger while I was there but that’s a story for another time. Seeing the Rizzos reminded me that I need to finish this gift for them. So I took it along to the quilters’ meeting last night.
I enjoyed the evening at the club and met several lovely ladies. Marge knows everyone in town so she introduced me to all the ladies around the table and we soon got chatting. It was as if I’d known them for years. I did more listening then talking though as I’m still new here.
The main topic of conversation, of course, was the terrible robbery at the market earlier this week. Two security guards were injured in it. One of them is still in hospital. I feel awful for those poor men and I hate to hear about things like that happening. It frightens me. After all, I left Toronto to get away from the dangers of the city.
And talking about the robbery reminded me that I was at market the morning of the robbery. I went to get some vegetables before my shift at the library and found it was closed. Dave Stewart, one of the traders who has become a friend, was there and he told me what had happened.
The Hawick Quilt was stolen. The quilt is an historic one, made by a member of one of the founding families of our town. It is usually on display in the museum but was at the market this week to publicize Fenwater’s upcoming Fall Fair. It’s such a loss to the town. Not only is it historic but it’s absolutely stunning.
The quilt is a white wholecloth quilt. Most people are familiar with patchwork quilts made from scraps of fabric. Wholecloth quilts are made from a single piece of cloth and the front, back and batting in the middle are held together by intricately stitched patterns that cover the entire quilt. The Hawick Quilt beautifully depicts the early settlers’ Scottish ancestry with an intricate hearts and thistles pattern stitched into it. The townsfolk are so proud of the quilt. It really is a cherished piece of Fenwater’s history.
I’ve always loved anything historical, so I hate to think that a piece of this town’s history has been taken from them. It’s so upsetting to think it might be gone forever, but there’s also another reason the loss of the quilt disturbs me.
My friend Bruce built the display case to house the quilt and he was one of the only people who had a key to it. I guess it’s not surprising that the police suspect he may be involved in the robbery. I know he wouldn’t steal the quilt or attack the security guards. He’s not that kind of person. So I won’t stand by and let him be falsely accused. He’s been a good friend to me since I first met him last summer and, if I’m honest, I think he might see me as more than a friend and I don’t mind that at all.
Last summer I helped my friend Marge find the antique watch that had survived the sinking of the Titanic after it was stolen from the museum, and afterwards I said I wouldn’t get involved in any more crime solving. But I can’t stand by and let Bruce take the wrap for something he didn’t do. So, I can’t help it, I’ll have to do some nosing around and see if I can find out who stole the Hawick Quilt.
About The Heritage Heist
The Heritage Heist (Century Cottage Cozy Mysteries)
2nd in Series
Publisher: Independently Published (December 15, 2020)
Paperback: 278 pages
Digital ASIN: B08QMHW6DD
A fall fair, a cornered craftsman, an heirloom heist. When an antique quilt that is a cherished part of Fenwater’s past disappears from the market before her town’s fall fair, it’s up to Lois to resolve the quilt quandary.
Middle-aged widow Lois is enjoying her second season in her new town and her century house, away from the dangers of big city life in Toronto. She can’t wait to experience her first old-fashioned fall fair, complete with hot apple cider. But when the local market is burgled, her enthusiasm for the upcoming festival plummets. During the break-in one of the security guards is badly injured and an antique quilt, on loan from the museum, vanishes. Her friend, Bruce, designed and built the display case and has one of only two keys to secure it. That makes him a prime suspect in the theft. Lois won’t let Bruce’s reputation, nor the trust his customers have in the bespoke furniture maker, be damaged by the allegation. She’s determined to piece the clues together to find the quilt, clear Bruce’s name and save a piece of Fenwater’s history.
And so begins a week of deepening friendships, hot apple cider, calico cats, backseat shenanigans, hazy housemates, and few puzzle pieces to work with, set against the backdrop of a rustic market building amidst stately stone architecture, the crackle of flames in the hearth, a blaze of colour on leafy residential streets and the scintillating scent of cinnamon.
The Century Cottage Cozy Mystery series is set in rural Ontario, Canada during the early 1980s.
A tale for fans of Cindy Bell, Leighann Dobbs, Dianne Harman and Kathi Daley.
About Dianne Ascroft
Dianne Ascroft writes the Century Cottage Cozy Mysteries, set in rural Canada, and The Yankee Years historical sagas, set in WWII Northern Ireland. She has a passion for Ireland and Canada, past and present. An ex-pat Canadian, Dianne lives on a small farm with her husband and an assortment of strong-willed animals.
Her previous fiction works include An Unbidden Visitor (a tale inspired by Fermanagh’s famous Coonian ghost); Dancing Shadows, Tramping Hooves: A Collection of Short Stories (contemporary tales), and an historical novel, Hitler and Mars Bars, which explores Operation Shamrock, a little known Irish Red Cross humanitarian endeavour.
Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/DianneAscroftwriter
For other countries: https://books2read.com/u/4XLYBN
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