I used to be a high school teacher of Earth Science and I love caves. For one thing they keep the same temperature year round so all you need is a light sweater, and for another they are beautiful. Virginia’s Shenandoah region is blessed with a string of caves, the best known of which is Luray Caverns. If you haven’t been there, you really should go. It’s just off I81 northeast of Harrisonburg.
When our Sisters in Crime chapters decided to do Volume II of Virginia is for Mysteries, we wanted to put a map of the state with our story locations marked, as we had done in the first volume, but this time we wanted to better showcase sites all over the state. Since our members live in the Tidewater and Richmond areas, naturally our stories were concentrated there. I immediately thought of Luray and Blood. Don’t ask me why. That’s how my mind works.
It’s about two hundred miles from my home to Luray, so a round trip is an all-day event. I packed up my dogs, Holly and Hamilton, plenty of water and treats, and took off on a beautiful July day. I worried about what to do with the dogs when I got there, so I started out just scouting the surroundings. Talking to a guide in the breezeway near the main entrance, I discovered they had a place to park your pets. Problem solved. I bought a ticket and joined the next group going down. As I walked through, I thought about what it would be like if they had to evacuate the whole place. I’ve no doubt the orange-shirted guides know what to do, but thinking about it morphed into this story, page 49. Read it.
Maria Hudgins lives in Hampton, Virginia. For thirty years, she taught high school sciences, including biology, earth science, oceanography, and chemistry. Maria is the author of five travel mysteries set in exotic locations, two ebook mysteries, and short stories in Ellery Queen’s Mystery magazine and Virginia is for Mysteries. Visit Maria on Facebook, Twitter, and www.mariahudgins.com.