A Little History With My Mystery

By Sherry, who is astonished my third book is out!

I love using a bit of local history in each of the Sarah Winston Garage Sale mystery books. In All Murders Final! Sarah goes to lunch at Longfellow’s Wayside Inn In Sudbury, Massachusetts. It is one of my favorite places. Thanks to Innkeeper Steve Pickard for permission to use the pictures of the Wayside Inn. Here is what the website says about the Inn:

Longfellow’s Wayside Inn—a nationally significant Massachusetts Historic Landmark—is the oldest Inn still operating in the United States and has been serving travelers along the old Boston Post Road for almost 300 years. What began as a two-room home in 1707, the Howe family ran a successful tavern and innkeeping business on this site from 1716 to 1861. To read more visit their website: http://www.wayside.org/about and don’t miss their Fun Facts page.

wayside2One of the things that fascinated me was the story of Jerusha Howe who lived at the inn from 1797 to her death in 1842. Jerusha fell in love with an Englishman who stayed there, and they became engaged. He left to go home to England to make arrangements for the wedding and was never heard from again. Jerusha never married and supposedly watch out her window for his return.

It’s said that guests staying in her rooms hear piano music, smell perfume, and men actually feel someone cuddle up to them. The story tugged at my imagination from the first time I heard it. I could picture Jerusha sitting in her room that looks towards the road waiting, waiting, waiting for her love to return. Did he die? Was he a fraud? It’s a mystery! Yankee Magazine had an interesting article about Jerusha that you can read here.

wayside3Sarah Winston has had her share of problems with men. In fact she’s sworn off them until the murder of Ellington’s beloved matriarch, Margaret More. It throws her right back into the middle of the push-pull of her complicated relationship with her ex-husband CJ, who is the Ellington chief of police, and with district attorney Seth Anderson. When Sarah visits the Wayside Inn she runs into Jerusha and feels like Jerusha is trying to tell her something but what? Can Sarah solve the murder and her love life? You will have to read All Murders Final! to find out.

Readers: Have you ever encountered a ghost? Or do you have a favorite ghost in a book?

And if a book launch isn’t exciting enough we are thrilled to be featured in the Boston Globe today! Here’s the link: http://www.bostonglobe.com/arts/books/2016/04/24/murder-they-wrote/asE9zXGm30LUk6vqnalOuM/story.html?event=event25

Here’s another link with a little bit about each of us: https://www.bostonglobe.com/arts/books/2016/04/24/meet-wicked-cozy-authors/M1gnjBmiIvuWxXXyeka6rL/story.html

Working with reporter Kara Baskin and photographer Jonathan Wiggs was so much fun. Here are two behind the scenes shots of the photo shoot! We felt like rock stars! We were sorry Edith couldn’t join us, but she was on vacation eight hundred miles away.


47 Thoughts

  1. How exciting, Sherry! I can’t wait to read about Sarah meeting Jerusha. I’ve never been to the Wayside – and I know I wouldn’t want to stay in her room. Congratulations on your book birthday.

  2. Hi Sherry – how interesting to read about your Wayside Inn love story. I had never heard that one. We lived in Sudbury at one point and have many memories of celebrating various events at the Inn and picnicking at the grist mill across the street – my husband and I still do that on occasion. Delighted to see you all in the Globe – so fun! Congratulations on your third book! M.

    1. Thank you, Marian! The Wayside Inn is amazing — we had friends take us soon after we moved to Massachusetts. I’m not normally a “ghost” person but the story fascinated me and it was fun to use years later in All Murders Final.

  3. Wonderful news, Sherry! I have fond memories of dinners and walks on the ground at The Wayside Inn. As for ghosts, yes, I shared an office with a ghost the last four years of my career in higher education. I never learned her name, but I certainly knew she was there. Before my office in the library was built– said to be the prettiest office on campus– she had occupied a comfy armchair in the corner by the window and spent hours reading. From what I was told, she passed away not long before plans were drawn up for my office. Her sacred space was violated, obviously, and lots of technology was dumped into her reading space. Which may explain why my brand new computer could not properly connect to the Internet through the Ethernet port and why my phone jack never accommodated a full-featured phone. I could get carried away and blame her for all the daydreaming I did in that office and all the scenes I wrote on my lunch breaks! But, you know, it was more than a year before anyone was hired into my position and given that office, and the person who replaced me in that office quit in less than a year. She’s a sly one, that ghost.

  4. I visited the Wayside Inn for the first time with my mother and grandmother in 1967; I was there last a month or two ago to give a talk about Irish genealogy, and several times between. But I didn’t know about the ghost! Maybe I’d better get back there again (especially since my next book seems to involve spiritualism).

    Congratulations on the new book–which as you know I read and enjoyed!

    1. Oh, zounds (or some other appropriately quaint epithet): just checked the family tree, and of course I’m related to the whole Howe family of Sudbury. Jerusha’s 2x great grandpa was my 9x great grandpa. Now I have to go back. Road trip, anyone?

  5. I love anything and everything haunted! We must go there this fall when I am back in New England. Congratulations, Sherry, on the third in your fabulous Sarah Winston series.

  6. Love this spooky tale of Jerusha Howe and that you put her in your new book. I think I would do lunch at the Inn, but not stay overnight – don’t want Jerusha cuddling my hubby.
    Happy, happy book birthday! May there be many more! See you at Malice!

  7. I used to live very near the Wayside Inn. My husband, raised on bland Midwest food, loves the place because it serves 19th century New England food: corn bread without jalapeno peppers, plain roasted meat, pudding for dessert. I love it for the Stonewall, a martini made with applejack instead of vermouth. It’s called that because after drinking two of them, you might as well have walked into one. No signs of a ghost in the dining area, though.

  8. I also include some local history in each of my Greek To Me Mysteries. I will have to check my family tree. Pretty sure there are some Massachusetts Howes in there, so maybe Sheila and I can add another round of cousin-ship to each other 🙂 And yes, I think I’ve seen a ghost in my mother’s house. And I know I’ve heard one on more than one occasion. There was just no other explanation for it! Congratulations on your release, Sherry. I can’t wait to read this one!

      1. Nothing surprises me any more. I used to blog with Jeanne Munn Bracken, a former librarian from Lincoln who loved mysteries, and only recently did we discover we’re descended from two of the Towne sisters from Salem (her ancestor was hanged, mine survived), which makes us very, very distant cousins.

        So, Susannah, if your Howes started out in Sudbury, the odds are on our side.

  9. Happy book birthday! I’ve gotten to read this book, and I loved it. You’re in for another treat from one of these talented ladies.

    Speaking of whom, I read the article yesterday, and it’s fabulous. Congrats to all of you!

    My favorite ghost in literature? It’s got to be Granny Apples from Sue Ann Jaffarian’s Ghost of Granny Apples series. Although my favorite ghost story is A Christmas Carol.

    1. Thank you so much, Mark! We were so thrilled to be in the Globe — I still can’t believe it! It’s hard to beat the ghosts in A Christmas Carol!

  10. I’ve never seen a ghost, but I did scream when I read The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson. My favorite ghost story, it was a National Book Award Finalist. Curl up with it on a stormy night. Enjoy your book birthday, Sherry!

  11. I just started reading All Murders Final tonight. I loved the first two books in this series. I know I will enjoy this one just as much.

  12. Congrats on your new release! I just finished the Longest Yard Sale and enjoyed it very much. I’m looking forward to reading All Murders Final. Thanks for sharing the inn, it looks lovely. I’ll definitely have to visit. Again, congrats!

  13. Happy belated Book Birthday! I had preordered “All Murders Final!”, so it’s waiting on my Kindle for this w/e, when I’ll finally have time to sit down and do some reading. The Wayside Inn sounds wonderful. A trip to Maine is high on my bucket list, so I’ll have to add visiting the Wayside Inn. I’ve never encountered a ghost IRL, but I love ghost stories. My favorite literary ghost is probably Aunt Dimity, in Nancy Atherton’s series. She’s my ideal ghost — wise and kind and very non-threatening.

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