Season of Misdeeds

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Maggie Watson has found that her knack for solving mysteries has centered on the rooms of Sedgwick Manor and her shop, Carriage House Antiques, for well over a year since she inherited the property from her beloved Aunt Evelyn. But when Maggie discovers a trunk laden with artifacts from the Revolutionary War, she needs her sleuthing skills to reach new heights.

But while the contents of the chest shed light on the world of colonial America, its very presence immediately stirs up questions from Maggie’s present day. How did the exquisitely carved trunk end up in an abandoned outbuilding on the manor grounds? Who is the rightful owner of the chest and its priceless cargo? How far would someone go to get it back?

The answers could prove illuminating—or deadly. 

Maggie’s daughter Emily, who initially discovers the ancient trunk, channels Maggie’s inner detective to help her on the case. A nursing student by day, Emily has been fascinated by Maggie’s penchant for whodunits and wants to experience this new side of her mother. Along with their pet cat Snickers, the dynamic trio may prove to be unstoppable.

But who is behind the unseen force that keeps thwarting the investigation? Perhaps it is Jeff Davidson, a man who has spelled trouble for Maggie before. Arrested at the manor when Maggie first moved to Somerset Harbor, Davidson has wriggled his way out of jail just in time to become a thorn in Maggie’s side. He says he represents a client who is interested in obtaining the chest at any cost.

Maggie needs to know the origin of the chest and its cache of historic colonial relics before the bidding escalates to murder. 

The Characters

Maggie Watson is 44 years old. She has lived in the beautiful town of Bennington, Vermont, most of her life with her husband, Richard, who was a successful professor of archeology at a nearby university. Together, they built a loving home and raised their daughter, Emily. And then, three years ago, Richard suddenly died. Maggie had thought they'd spend the rest of their lives growing old together in their cozy New England cottage. But with Richard's passing, Maggie's life changed in ways she never anticipated. And now with Emily off at college, Maggie still isn't sure quite how she fits into this new, lonely phase of her life.

Then, when she unexpectedly inherits Sedgwick Manor -- her aunt's 19th-century colonial mansion -- and the adjacent Carriage House Antiques shop, she wonders if this is the change she needs to move forward with her life. So, on a chilly day in mid-September, Maggie and her equally curious cat, Snickers, head to the small seaside village of Somerset Harbor, Maine, and begin an adventure that will change their lives.

June has run the Carriage House Antiques shop for over 10 years and was a close friend and confidant of Maggie's late aunt. She's outgoing and witty, and she has a natural talent for decorating with antique furnishings. Maggie loves June's enthusiastic spirit and caring nature, warming up to her immediately. It's no surprise that June soon becomes Maggie's best friend and "partner in crime" as they dig into the mysteries of Sedgwick Manor.

Maggie's daughter is warm and friendly with a big, bright smile. She's always been close to her mother -- even more so since her father died three years ago. But now she has left Maggie in order to study nursing at St. Joseph's College in Maine. Maggie understands that Emily needs space to spread her wings and become the independent, responsible young woman she raised her to be, but she still misses her daughter.

An avid quilter, Ruth is the president of the Somerset Harbor Historical Society. She extends a warm welcome to Maggie and invites her into this small group of friendly women. Maggie takes an immediate liking to her. Ruth offers to help Maggie solve the mysteries of the antique pieces found in Sedgwick Manor. She has lived in Somerset Harbor her entire life and always seems to know the buzz around town. Ruth knew Maggie's aunt Evelyn very well, and Maggie can't help but wonder if Ruth might also know Evelyn's secrets.