Sandra Carey Cody
“WHO LEARNS WILL LOVE AND NOT DESTROY THE CREATURES LIFE THE FLOWERS JOY.” Attributed to Henry Chapman Mercer
He stood at the crest of the hill, already shamed by the act he was about to commit. Could he go through with it? No choice. He studied the workers scurrying around the base of the building. No one seemed to notice him–or the bundle he carried. He moved closer, seeking accessible shelter. Behind the castle-like structure, a three-walled shed hugged the side of the hill. A half dozen steps put him in position to see that the interior was filled with antique carriages and farm wagons. There was no security guard in sight. A sure sign of a safe town. The decision made, he walked away.
He came back in the darkest part of the night, slipped through the opening in the fence, and moved, step by irrevocable step, toward the shed. A wooden sign suspended from a thick rope proclaimed the area off limits. He ducked under the barrier and squeezed past the conveyances.
A twig snapped.
He stooped low and squinted into the shadows. A dog. He tensed when the animal approached, nodded when it ignored him. Yes, safe. Stray dogs don’t fear strangers here.
He set his burden in the corner and stepped back, but remained poised, ready to intercede. He watched the animal sniff, then curve itself harmlessly, even (he told himself) protectively, against the basket’s side. The deed done, he slipped back through the opening in the fence and paused only momentarily to stare into the dark void that was the shed’s opening before he walked away.
He returned when the sun was high to observe from outside the fence. The festival was in full swing, with celebrants swooping over the lawn like flocks of earthbound swallows. Strains of a dulcimer floated in the intervals between blacksmith hammer blows. Voices rose and fell in an easy-going hum.
The dog began to bark in the shed. And didn’t stop.
Someone will check on that.
Again, he walked away and, this time, did not allow himself a backward look.
A baby is found in a basket on the grounds of a small-town museum during their annual Folk Festival. Twenty-two years later, a homeless man is murdered in exactly the same spot. Connection? Or coincidence? Peace Morrow, the foundling, now an adult working at the museum, is haunted by this question and thus begins a quest that explores the nature of family, of loyalty and responsibility. As she tries to reconstruct the victim's history, his story becomes entangled with her own search for family roots, a journey that leads her through the dusty boxes in the museum's basement, to the antique markets in northern Pennsylvania and, ultimately, to the innermost reaches of her own heart.
Sandra Carey Cody grew up in Missouri, surrounded by a family who loved stories, whether from a book or told on the back porch at a family gathering. She's lived in various cities in different parts of the country, but wherever she's gone, books have been the bridge to her new community and new friends. She now lives in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, the setting of her latest mystery, Love and Not Destroy. In addition, she is the author of the Jennie Connors mystery series: Put Out the Light, Consider the Lilly, By Whose Hand, and Left at Oz. These stories explore the challenges facing a single mother as she learns to balance independence with family and career responsibilities.
To learn more, please visit her website: http://www.sandracareycody.com
She blogs at: http://www.birthofanovel.wordpress.com