Wicked Wednesday — Stowed Away

We are celebrating the release of Stowed Away the sixth book in the Maine Clambake Mystery series by Barb! Here’s a little about the book:

It’s June in Busman’s Harbor, Maine, and Julia Snowden and her family are working hard to get their authentic Maine clambake business ready for summer. Preparations must be put on hold, however, when a mysterious yacht drops anchor in the harbor—and delivers an unexpected dose of murder . . . When Julia’s old prep school rival Wyatt Jayne invites her to dinner on board her billionaire fiancé’s decked-out yacht, Julia arrives to find a sumptuous table set for two—and the yachtsman dead in his chair. Suspicion quickly falls on Wyatt, and Julia’s quest to dredge up the truth leads her into the murky private world of a mega-rich recluse who may not have been all that he seemed . . .

The title made me wonder if any of the Wickeds had ever stowed away. So it’s confession time Wickeds. Did you ever stow away? Sneak into somewhere you really weren’t supposed to be? Sneak a friend in? Or did you sneak out? If not what kept you from doing it?

Playing frisbee in the deserted coloseum in Pompeii

Barb: I can’t recall ever stowing away, but I am an inveterate sneaker-inner. Specifically, houses under construction are like catnip to me. As soon as the construction crew leaves for the day, I am there. I’ve done this since I was a kid and the last time was probably three years ago. I’ve always been interested in houses, as anyone who reads the Maine Clambake Mysteries knows. “Is your protagonist an architect?” one exasperated member of my writers group once asked me (sarcasm intentional). My most brazen sneaking-inning was during my post-college European tour. My friend Joanne and I took the train from Naples to Pompeii to find the site was closed due to a strike. We had neither the time nor the funds to return. As we debated what to do, three American boys came along and somehow we all egged one another into sneaking in. It is the eeriest thing in the world to be in a village where time has stopped with only four other people. I will never forget it.

Edith: Ooh, Barb, I’m the same with houses under construction! Can. Not. Resist. Poking around through walls that are only bare studs and climbing up stairs that are barely more than ladders? Candy to the illicit soul. I’ll even confess to a bit of, ahem, “hanky-panky” with a paramour in a house under construction. And I’ve definitely snuck out early from events I’d been reluctant to attend in the first place. And not a bit of remorse stains my conscience. I won’t have any remorse about sneaking away to read Barb’s book tomorrow instead of working, either!

Julie: I am a permission seeker. Always have been. Maybe that needs to be a 2018 goal. Stow away a couple of times. Barb, congratulations on this release. Cannot wait! I so love this series!!

Liz: The one place I considered sneaking in was the old, abandoned Norwich State Hospital property in Norwich and Preston, Connecticut. I have a thing for old asylums (yes, I know it’s creepy and weird) and I also wanted to use the setting for a book. I’m fascinated by not only how it was when it was a place, but the ways in which it settled into abandon. I desperately wanted to get into the tunnels underneath that connected the buildings on the massive campus. At the time, I worked as a reporter for the local newspaper and I had some contacts, but I could never finagle it. The buildings, and especially the tunnels, were dangerous – collapsing in places and full of asbestos. The area was also patrolled by security, which was a bit daunting. So I had to settle for some really great pictures I found online.

Jessie: I’m with Julie. I have run this question through my mind over and over and cannot think of any incidents of sneaking in or sneaking out. I almost jumped on the back of a moving train when I was eight but decided at the last minute not to grab on. The only places that ever make me want to sneak in are private gardens whose leafy bowers peak out through wrought iron gates. I saw a few in the UK and also occasionally in cities in the States and they always make me curious. Julie, want to plan a sneak -in with me this year?

Sherry: When we settled on this topic for today’s blog my first thought was where have I sneaked into that I’m willing to admit publicly? I couldn’t come up with anything so I turned to three long time friends (Carol, Cheryl, and Sherry) who knew me in my misspent youth. Sherry tried to say we sneaked into the library during college, but we knew that wasn’t true. But then Carol came up with something I’d all but forgotten. In high school during the summers we would sneak into apartment complexes swimming pools. Our town had a plethora of public pools and I can’t quite remember why we didn’t go to them. I’m guessing the apartment complexes had better chairs, less people during the day, and were less crowded. Or there were hotter older guys — that certainly would have been a big draw at the time.

Readers: Have you ever sneaked into a place you weren’t supposed to? Where was it? If not why not?

33 Thoughts

  1. I’m married to a research scientist. Protocol “requests” that the wives, and if possible families, accompany them. Since there is always a “side program” for the families, that usually consists of a trip to a museum or culture event, then the next day shopping and high tea, which always ends in a gripe session on how much they hate their husbands’ “other wife” – their branch of science- I usually go to the culture, then spend the shopping day listening to lectures. I’m sure at least some of them know who I am, but no one seems to object. And the lectures, although technical, fascinate me, since, if you choose right, you get some great insights into what is going on in the field, and who is good and who is not at what they do. And often why- which is applicable to other fields. (And you get some really great ideas for murders and how)

  2. I wonder if I should just leave it at yes and be done with it! I come from a long line of sneakeriners.

    My Dad was my accomplice on this one in the very early 1960s- we were in the Statute of Liberty. At that time (and maybe still) the only place you could go was the crown. While we were walking the steps we saw that a workman had opened a heavy metal door to the arm and torch and left it open blocked only by a chain. Well-Dad grabbed my hand, said, “Let’s go.” and off we went. We raced up those stairs to the flame of Liberty’s torch. We couldn’t get out onto the walkway around the flame. That door was locked, but we tried!

  3. Do not EVER hide in a wicker laundry basket. I did so once, a long time ago now, and almost suffocated.

  4. No sneaking in, just not my thing even if I wish it was. Congratulations and Happy Release Day.

  5. A long time ago my family and I lived in a Philadelphia far suburb, and it happened that I had a classmate who lived directly behind. To put it politely, our parents never had a clue what we were doing (we started hanging out together when we were both seven), and we roamed all over. One of our favorite spots was an abandoned Victorian estate, that must have been impressive once. By the time we saw it, it was a wreck, with saplings growing through the parlor floor. We never went in, but we snooped around it a lot–it had a springhouse and a stream, and a huge barn built into a hill. There was also one different episode when we checked out a house in a new development under construction–but the less said about that, the better.

  6. I don’t think I’ve ever sneaked in anywhere. I’m more of a brazen bluffer. Like the time I talked myself into Yost Van Dyke in the British Virgin Islands for a New Year’s Eve party — on the strength of a photocopied birth certificate. LOL

  7. When looking for a house in our current hometown and I was 7 months pregnant with twins, I did sneak into one of the new houses we were looking at to use the bathroom. That’s the only time I’ve snuck into a new house uninvited. But it was a necessity

  8. Totally a “color inside the lines” kind of person, so I haven’t snuck in anywhere. I appreciate the brazen bluffer model – talking my way into places. But the other way to get into the back where the great unwashed are not allowed is to be part of the volunteer force – for events, on an ongoing basis for historical sites, etc. A clipboard, pen, and a brisk, “shall we take a look?” may or may not have occasionally worked. (Authorized!!!)

  9. I’ve gone thru a couple of “employees only” doors. Wouldn’t really call it sneaking tho, since I was looking for an employee to help me.

  10. Was never a sneak when I was younger…too afraid of getting caught. Pretty sure Mark and I have snuck in a few side doors. We did once entirely by accident. We had finished dinner and there was a Bruce Springsteen cover band playing on of my favorite songs, so I snuck in to hear it, not aware that it was a ticket only event. No one kicked us out, but we didn’t stay long.

  11. Okay, I’ll admit to stowing away. Once when staying in St. Martin, we took a ferry to spend the day on a smaller island. After an expensive lunch, we discovered that the restaurant wouldn’t take credit cards, so we pooled our cash with friends to pay the bill. This left us with no money for the ferry ride back, so we hopped on another boat, for people on a cruise ship side-tour, to get back to the mainland. This was much to the chagrin of our super-honest Midwestern friends, who were given orders not to make eye contact as the headcount was taken several times. Can’t wait to read STOWED AWAY, Barb. And Liz, Annette can give you some great stories about her psychiatric nursing experiences at the haunted Norwich State Hospital.

  12. Carry a clipboard and you can go anywhere. Or wear a fluorescent safety vest. I’ve walked into many places no questions asked. Once as a young teenager, there was a new zoo installed not far from where I lived. A girlfriend and I were hiking around and came upon the zoo from the backside. There was no all-encompassing fence at the time and we just walked in. We went through the whole zoo and then, on a lark, walked out the front gate. We hadn’t planned on our free admission, but it just worked out that way.

    Eagerly awaiting Stowed Away to what new things I should try! 🙂

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