Wicked Wednesday: Celebrating Murder at the Mansion

Happy Wednesday readers! Liz here, and today we’re focused on celebrating Sheila Connolly’s newest, Murder at the Mansion, A Victorian Village Mystery. This is Sheila’s brand new series, and the book arrived yesterday. Here’s a sneak peek:

cover - birds fixed - Murder at the Mansion 12-11-17

From the cover:

Katherine Hamilton’s goal in high school was to escape from her dead-end hometown of Asheboro, Maryland. Fifteen years later she’s got a degree in hospitality management and a great job at a high-end boutique hotel in Baltimore. Until, that is, the hotel is acquired by a chain, and she’s laid off. When Kate’s high school best friend calls with a mysterious invitation to come talk with the town leaders of Asheboro, she agrees to make the trip, curious about where this new opportunity might lead.

Once Kate arrives, the town council members reveal that their town is on the verge of going bankrupt, and they’ve decided that Kate’s skills and knowledge make her the perfect person to cure all their ills. The town has used its last available funds to buy the huge Victorian mansion just outside of town, hoping to use it to attract some of the tourists who travel to visit the nearby Civil War battle sites. Kate has less-than-fond memories of the mansion, for personal reasons, but to make matters worse, the only person who has presented a possible alternate plan is Cordelia Walker―Kate’s high school nemesis.

But a few days later, while touring the mansion, Kate stumbles over a body―and it’s none other than Cordelia. Kate finds herself juggling the murder investigation and her growing fascination with the old house, which itself is full of long-hidden mysteries. Kate must clear her name and save her town―before she ends up in hot water.

Congratulations Sheila! Can’t wait to check out this new series! I know the rest of the Wickeds are psyched to read this too! Wickeds, would you move back to your hometown? What job would you want there if the town asked you to do something for them?

Edith: Yay, Sheila! I love seeing you start a new series, even with all your past and current successes under your virtual belt. Me, I would never move back to my hometown south of Pasadena, California. Sure, it’s lovely when the air is clean and you don’t have to venture forth onto the superslabs. But most of the time the air is not clean (Rose Parade day notwithstanding – although those are MY mountains that you see in the background) and there are way, way too many people who live in the sprawling LA megalopolis for my adopted New England tastes. Now, if someone offered me the job of paid busybody in my grad student town of Bloomington, Indiana? I might accept!

Jessie: Sheila, I wish you every good thing with the new series! My family moved around when I was a child and I don’t feel as though I have a hometown in the way most people mean. I can say that none of the places I lived as a child are places I would return to on purpose. I love my adult life and the places I spend time in now far too much to go back!

Barb: I’m in the same boat as Jessie. I don’t have a place I think of as my hometown. We moved from the northern New Jersey suburbs to the Philadelphia suburbs when I was in elementary school, then in the middle of seventh grade to northeastern Pennsylvania. I resented the move terribly and complained the whole time (which must have been delightful for my parents). I finally escaped early as an exchange student my senior year. So no, not going back there, even though my parents lived out their lives there and my brother and his wife live there still.

Downtown Davenport

Sherry: I love my hometown of Davenport, Iowa. There is so much to do there — an amazing art museum, library system, science museum, symphony, tons of parks, plays, a minor league baseball team that plays in a stadium right on the Mississippi, and so much more. BUT, the weather. I think that is the only thing that holds me back. It’s so hot in the summer and so cold in the winter. Way colder than it was when we lived in Massachusetts. So it’s unlikely, but not impossible that I would move back.

Readers, what about you? Would you move back to your hometown? What job would you want there if the town asked you to do something for them?


21 Thoughts

  1. Looking forward to This! I might move back to my old hometown, but I am not sure what I would offer. Maybe help with social media posts for a couple of the lical festivals?!

    1. My current town (for the last 15 years) purchased an historic 18th-century building on the edge of town, using public funds with voter approval (which surprised the town government!). I’ve been keeping an eye on how the town is renovating it (carefully–it didn’t need much structural work) and how they are attracting visitors. I’ve been to a couple of the events there. It helps that the place has a very interesting history.

  2. This book’s cover is so incredibly eye-catching I’d definitely pick it up to have a look in a bookstore. Sounds good too.

  3. I’m so boring. While I had a long, international career and spent time in many exotic locales, my home base has always been . . . well, my original home base. New England towns west or northwest of Boston, North Shore in the summer (for awhile full-time) and the city itself. I pass memories of a lifetime in my errands and commutes everyday, and I kind of like that.
    Congratulations on a new series, Sheila – more fine story-telling in a different place!

    1. Thank you! I decided when I was about eleven that I wanted to live in New England (which I hadn’t seen at that point), based on a tiny picture in a Readers Digest article. I didn’t know then that I had literally hundreds of ancestors there. I figure they were calling to me all along.

  4. Intriguing story Sheila! You’ve made the mansion a character too. Born and raised in Salem, MA, I now live in Florida–but keep that magical city always in my heart–(and in my Witch City mysteries!)

    1. One of my Barton ancestors lived about a block inland from the House of Seven Gables–it’s a special town. I do believe that buildings and places have their own character and belong in a book.

  5. I grew up in a suburb of Buffalo and I probably would not move back (that window closed years ago). One, I no longer want to put up with all that snow and two, I like it where I am.

  6. Congrats, Sheila! I would never move back to my hometown. It is very conservative and racist. I love living in Lancaster, PA!

    1. My father lived in Willow Street near Lancaster in the last years of his life–I loved the drive out that way from where I lived. I will admit that the parts of my fictional Asheboro that aren’t based on Boonsboro came from my high school home town in New Jersey. My sister and I took a nostalgia tour a year ago, and I was amazed at how little it had changed physically since we left a long time ago. This was a New York commuter town, and had never had any industry.

  7. This is a question I’ve struggled with for a long time. I love living in Southern CA, and I’ve lived here my entire adult life. But my family is still in my home town, and it would be nice to be closer to them. I really want to live both places.

    Dream job? Billionaire. Then I could be in both places as much as I wanted.

  8. Congratulations on the new book Sheila. It sounds like fun. Dream job? Got it. Retirement! Back in my home town, it would still be retirement!

  9. Sheila, congratulations! Very intriguing cover. I hope they will carry this one at my library because I really think I would love this series!
    No, I would not move back into my hometown. Much has change there in the past 40 years. I have lived in many big cities, medium sized cities, small towns, and I have always made myself at home. They say home is where the heart is…well wherever my husband and our three furbabies are then I am home.

  10. Congrats Sheila! I enjoy my visits with family in my hometown every year, however, I wouldn’t want to move back there.

  11. Congratulations Sheila. I am thrilled you started a new series.

  12. I am a military brat. I don’t have a home town. Well, as we all are saying lately, they are closing our hometowns. The various military bases/posts where we spent our childhoods. So there’s – literally – no where to go back to these days.

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