Founder’s Day weekend was always a big deal in Mt. Abrams, and not even the discovery of along-buried skeleton in Emma McLaren’s garden was enough to cancel the yearly celebration. But when a newly murdered corpse was found dumped in a rowboat the morning of the Founder’s Day Parade, everything came to a screeching halt
Ellie Rocca was convinced the murders were connected, but how? Detective Sam Kinali had taken the lead on the case, and politely but firmly told Ellie not to get involved. But that was easier said than done, especially since Ellie and her friends know the killer won’t be uncovered until they found out who was buried in Emma's garden
Summer in Mt. Abrams was heaven for kids. The beach up at the lake wasn’t terribly big, so most kids spent the day jumping off the dock and swimming out to the large, wooden floats off shore. What beach there was had happy toddlers running all over it, with a corner carved out for the sun-worshipping teen girls. There was sailing on the other side by the boathouse, and fishing every morning in canoes and rowboats. Lake Abrams wasn’t big — barely one hundred and seventy acres — but it was large enough that the swimmers and the sailors and the fishermen never seemed to crowd each other too much.
Of course, adults liked the lake too. In the summer, the clubhouse was open until eleven, and on it’s wide, screened porches, mahjong and martinis reigned. Behind the clubhouse, on a slight rise, ancient maples provided shade that kept picnic tables and wooden chairs cool and comfortable, even in the humid New Jersey summers. Yes, it was practically perfect.
But that was Mt. Abrams for you. Practically perfect.
Small communities were like that, or at least that’s what the residents all said. Mt. Abrams had all sorts of things going on behind closed doors, the same sort of things that happened in the big cities, but it wasn’t talked about. And without open AA meetings and Child Protective Service folk knocking openly on people’s doors, we could all pretend bad things didn’t happen here.
But sometimes, bad things had a way of raising their ugly heads and waving their broken arms, and no amount of looking away could make it stop. Like what happened in Emma McLaren’s garden.
No matter how hard everyone tried to say otherwise, something bad had happened there. And it wasn’t going away.