It’s believed that Harriet Stratemeyer Adams, writing under the Carolyn Keene pen name, visited Charlottesville in the 1950s during Virginia’s Historic Garden Week and decided to have the intrepid Nancy Drew solve a mystery there. She did just that in The Hidden Window Mystery, #34 of the classic series, first published in 1956.
The girl detective sees an ad placed by an Englishman who is offering a reward to the finder of a stained glass window that went missing after being brought to the US many years before. Naturally Nancy is intrigued and decides to hunt for the window. Following a lead to Charlottesville, Virginia, where her cousin conveniently lives, she arranges a visit and invites her friends Bess and George (or chums as they referred to themselves) to accompany her.
Nancy, Bess, and George arrive in Charlottesville in time for Historic Garden Week and they tour the beautiful homes open for Virginia’s annual event. They also take in Monticello, marveling at Thomas Jefferson’s alcove bed, open on both sides, that joins his study with his dressing room.
But Nancy never strays far from her primary purpose: finding that stained glass window.
And does she find it?
What do you think?
I enjoy many happy connections with Historic Garden Week. This annual event is headquartered in Richmond’s historic Kent Valentine House where I once served as administrator. And I used the Kent Valentine House as the setting for “A Not So Genteel Murder,” my contribution to Virginia is for Mysteries. As I consider Nancy Drew one of my earliest influences, I’m delighted to be able to tie in my love for her with my first published short story. Kind of a strange spin on the six degrees of separation theory.
Historic Garden Week 2015 starts on April 18 and runs through April 25. Find more information on this lovely event here.
Enjoy these links:
Kent Valentine House: http://kentvalentinehouse.com/
Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello: http://www.monticello.org/
Nancy Drew: http://nancydrew.com/
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