Virginia is for Mysteries - Volume II

These are the settings and Virginia landmarks that inspired the stories in the latest anthology:

COMING CLEAN – Meriah Lysistrata Crawford Richmond – I-95 Corridor – Sherri thinks she and her best friend Andrea are just out for an afternoon drive, but Andrea has other plans – and a terrible revelation. Their trip will be longer and far more dangerous than either of them is prepared for.

THE WITCHES’ BRIDGE – Adele GardnerWilliamsburg – In a Halloween theme park, Susan witnesses her best friend Holly's murder on the witches' bridge. But the execution of her murderer proves scarier still.

MURDER IN THE NAME OF LOVE – Debbiann Holmes – Virginia Beach – Aspiring mystery writer, Sandra Den can't believe her luck when she gets access to a murder suspect. Against the backdrop of a prestigious hotel above the famous Neptune statue at Virginia Beach, Sandra has to make a choice if the man she has fallen for is innocent or guilty. With an intriguing love triangle, Sandra has to sort out the clues and her feelings as well.

A MYSTERY AT LURAY CAVERNS – Maria HudginsLuray Caverns – A stalactite at Luray Caverns is dripping blood. Geologist Rachel Elkins is called in to find the source but her investigation leads her back to an old romance she hasn’t seen since high school and to a family tragedy.

CORKED FOR MURDER – Teresa IngeChesapeake and Virginia Wine Country – When wine shop owner Halee Matthews discovers a dead body in her wine room, she tries to clear her name after being accused of murdering an intoxicated bridesmaid after a wine tasting.

REUNION IN SHOCKOE SLIP – Maggie KingRichmond and Shockoe Slip – Thirty years ago, bestselling author Nancy McGregor and Internet security expert Roger Rucker were lovers. One day, they meet by chance in Richmond, Virginia’s historic Shockoe Slip. Their reunion sets off a series of memories and events that end in tragedy. 

A COLONIAL GRAVE – Kristin KisskaBruton Parish and Williamsburg – When archaeology student Lauryn Battenburg discovers a bone while excavating in Colonial Williamsburg, little does she know she's found the victim's remains from a cold case murder.

DEATH IN THE GREAT DISMAL – C.B. LaneDismal Swamp – When someone is murdered in the Great Dismal Swamp, Antonia just wants the case solved and her life to go back to normal, but clues pointing to her husband or herself make her wonder if that will ever happen.

WAR AND MURDER AT NIMROD HALL – Vivian LawryNimrod Hall and Bath County – Sheriff Coltrain's intense scrutiny causes Clara to leave her life as a soiled dove in war-torn Richmond in search of peace and a fresh start. She decamps for rural Bath County. But her past and the war follow, and she finds herself nursing soldiers, entangled in a murder on the grounds of Nimrod Hall, and suspected of being part of a spy ring in Jefferson Baths in Warm Springs.

A HOUSE ON JEFFERSON STREET Michael Sean McGowanBrunswick County – Home becomes a terror for a novice teacher as events from her classroom literally come back to haunt her.

THE TANGLED WEB – Kathleen MixRichmond – When several devious plots intersect, only one person can emerge as the winner.

IT’S WINE O’CLOCK SOMEWHERE – Jayne OrmerodYorktown – Real estate agents see a lot of things in the houses they tour, but a bomb shelter with a dead body is a first for Terri Sullivan. The only way to clear her name and get her clients back after becoming a suspect is to find the real killer herself.

CAPE CHARLES COFFEE CAPER – Yvonne SaxonCape Charles – Volunteering to drive a friend’s coffee service route to the Eastern Shore, a caffeine-deprived woman runs into all kinds of “hot water” searching for a good cup of coffee and a way to stay out of jail.

ARTIFACTS OF A FRIENDSHIP – Rosemary ShomakerMecklenburg County – When a British tourist arrives at Mecklenburg County's Prestwould Plantation to investigate family lore surrounding a 19th century visit by her forbearers, she wheedles staff to indulge her exploration. Voices and secrets transcend the centuries in “Artifacts of a Friendship.”

DOWN BY THE RIVER – Rosemary StevensRichmond – As she looks out over the moonlit James River, a Richmond woman reveals long-held secrets about the events of the summer of 1972 and how they changed her life forever.

USED – Linda ThornburgAbingdon and the Barter Theatre Authorities have declared the death of an old friend of Ham Cohen's a murder, even though it could have been an accident. It happened at a performance of Man of La Mancha in which Ham's friend had the starring role.

SPRING CLEANING – Heather WeidnerMill Mountain and Roanoke – Medical records manager, Douglas Weimer, gets more than he bargained for when he’s moved onto a new team and receives a project with a drop-dead delivery date. His assignment in Roanoke, Virginia, gives new meaning to work deadlines.

BIKES, BOATS AND BERRIES – Lee A. Wells – Jamestown Ferry – All FBI IT Tech Allison Mitchell wanted was a quiet day off.  A chance encounter with some local tourists, not only threatens to ruin her fun in the sun, but leaves her wondering at the truth behind the old adage, “curiosity killed the cat.”

WITHIN THIS CIRCLE – Ken WingateVirginia Museum of Contemporary Art and Virginia Beach – Charles Worthington is certain he will obtain the promotion he has so long desired. When he doesn't, a succession of four deaths and an exposed love affair plunge him toward a path of self-destruction.


Virginia is for Mysteries

MURDER AT MONTICELLO Meredith Cole
Charlottesville, Jefferson’s Home
A trip to Monticello turns deadly when guide Rory Adams takes members of a horticultural society on a tour of Jefferson’s house.

JUSTICE DELAYED Maria Hudgins
Tidewater Virginia, Thimble Shoals Lighthouse and Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel
As the saying goes, “Justice delayed is justice denied,” and justice has certainly been denied Tony Dyson who has spent his last ten years in prison for a murder he did not commit. Convicted on flawed bite mark evidence, new evidence has cleared him and he’s recently been released. Norfolk’s Judge Maris, who originally sentenced him, is determined to find out where the court went wrong, but meanwhile, what is Dyson up to?

 THE CAGED BIRD Fionna Quinn
Richmond, Historic Church Hill and focuses on St. John’s Church and Elizabeth Poe’s grave
A high-school student reveals that the dead and the accused are not the only ones impacted by a murder.

TWENTY-FIVE HEADS ARE BETTER THAN NONE Maria Hudgins
Hampton, Grandview Nature Preserve (Chesapeake Bay)
Grandview Nature Preserve in Hampton hugs the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay where the salt water of the Atlantic meets the water from the Bay. Marsh grass, woodland animals, sea birds, turtles, and long-legged waders meet and compete here. It’s an ideal spot for science class field trips, and Mrs. McCarthy has taken her high schoolers here for a beach study. But she hasn’t prepared the teenagers for what the tide has washed in.

SHOPPING FOR MURDER Teresa Inge
Chesapeake, Battlefield Shopping Center, site of Revolutionary War Battles
When fabric store owner Jana Karson tries to clear her name in the murder of ex-boyfriend and fellow merchant in the Great Bridge Shopping center, she uncovers a love triangle, bad debt and her own hurt feelings.

 OBSESSION Linda Thornburg
Nelson County, Elk Hill, a historic tobacco farm on Route 151
Ham Cohen visits a century old tobacco farm looking for a slave ancestor and runs into another man on the same quest. The two of them get together for dinner to talk about their ancestors and life in general and the other man falls on the restaurant floor and dies. Turns out he was murdered. Ham solves the mystery of who murdered him.

 GUIDE TO MURDER Teresa Inge
Virginia Beach, the Cavalier Hotel
A trip to Virginia Beach turns deadly when Connar Randolph, owner of the historic Cavalier on the Hill, discovers a dead body on her property while giving a tour of the inn.

 A TRI-ING DAY Smita Harish Jain
Stafford, The Battle of Aquia Creek
James Parker, the proverbial 98-pound weakling, has only one enemy … that he knows of. Tired of losing to Patrick Swann — in school, in work, in love, and in life–Parker sets out to beat him at his own game, triathlon. Entered in the fictional Battle of Aquia Creek Sesquitennial Half Ironman, both men compete in the same age group, giving James a chance to finally claim a victory over Swann and Swann a chance to crush James once and for all. Thinking he has designed the perfect end to his nemesis’s tyranny, Parker rests easy, until the end, when he realizes that it is he who has been his own worst enemy. 

A NOT SO GENTEEL MURDER Maggie King
Richmond, Kent-Valentine House, headquarters of the Garden Club of Virginia.
A birthday party at Richmond’s historic Kent-Valentine House sets the scene for this tale of betrayal, loss, and the power of family ties. After two years, Sharon Taylor is still reeling from the deaths of her husband and daughter, but she drags herself to her friend’s party. Divorcee Olivia Thompson has her eye on Sherwood Aimsley as her new husband and is devastated when he shows up at the party with a statuesque beauty on his arm. Sharon and Olivia keep each other company while their happier friends whoop it up and spread cheer. Until truth and illusion collide … and the evening ends in tragedy.

 BIRDSEED May Layne
Norfolk, Downtown area via The Tide light rail system
Freddie’s supposed to be taking care of things at his girlfriend’s apartment in Norfolk while she’s gone, but he’s too busy eyeing the new girl at the office, and bad things happen.

DEATH COMES TO HOLLYWOOD CEMETERY Vivian Lawry
Richmond, the Hollywood Cemetery
Clara is a fun-loving “soiled dove” who specializes in fetishes in Civil-War Richmond. When a body turns up in Hollywood Cemetery, because of the peculiar aspects of the case, the sheriff concludes he is one of Clara’s clients. Clara must solve the murder to protect herself and her livelihood.

WHERE HEAVEN FINDS YOU WAITING Michael McGowan
Norfolk, the Naro Theater
Past, present, reality, and illusion culminate in one young man’s act of love and vengeance.

BEST FRIENDS HELP YOU MOVE THE BODY Jayne Ormerod
Virginia Beach, the Cape Henry Lighthouse
Playing hooky from work lands two best friends in trouble when their day of sightseeing has them discovering only one thing…a dead body.

KEY TO A CRIME Fionna Quinn
Henricus Historic Park and Pocahontas State Park
Find out how a young homeschooling mom finds herself driving down 288 with a dead body in the back of her pale-blue minivan.

THE CHRYSLER CASE Yvonne Saxon
Norfolk, the Chrysler Museum
An assistant to the art conservators at the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, Virginia, discovers a room with duplicates of valuable paintings and clues to a murder. But the museum’s imminent remodeling will close the building for over a year. She has 72 hours to find the artwork and the murderer before both he and the originals disappear forever.

DEATH IN THE HOUSE Rosemary Shomaker
Richmond’s Capitol Square area
Delegate Carolyn Flournoy’s future is compromised. “She could have been Governor one day,” says fellow delegate Phillip Exeter. “Code Alpha”, gloomy tunnels, and suspicious circumstances in Richmond’s Capitol Square ignite attention-seeking Delegate Pamela Taylor’s involvement, and her unlikely bond with Flournoy spurs her to find the truth.

WASHED UP Heather Weidner
Virginia Beach, Chic’s Beach
A suitcase with a rusty gun and shriveled hand appears on the beach outside of a struggling bar near the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel in Virginia Beach. A friend of the bar’s owner seems to know where it came from, and he gains instant celebrity with his story about a paranormal experience. The attention does wonders for the bar’s profits until something ordinary provides the missing piece of the puzzle.