Old Bones and Fresh Bodies

Lillian Stewart Carl has written multiple novels and multiple short stories in multiple combinations of mystery, romance, and paranormal. Her latest book is The Charm Stone, book four of the Jean Fairbairn/Alasdair Cameron series: Scotland’s finest and America’s exile on the trail of all-too-living legends.

Visit Lillian at her website, http://www.lillianstewartcarl.com/.

In my early teens (more than a few years ago), I attended a lecture by archaeologist Ivor Noel Hume about his work at Colonial Williamsburg (aka CW).

Since then I’ve read several of his books—he’s a superb writer. Martin’s Hundred recounts his excavation of a seventeenth-century settlement next to the James River that is now on the grounds of an eighteenth-century mansion named Carter’s Grove.

I asked myself what the people living at Carter’s Grove would have thought, had they known about the bodies buried in their front yard. My answer is a paranormal romance, titled Shadows in Scarlet, which begins with the discovery of a skeleton in the garden of “Melrose Hall” near Williamsburg.

Several years ago, my husband and I toured the CW archaeology labs. I was tickled to see boxes of artifacts from Martin’s Hundred still labeled with Dr. Noel Hume’s name, even though he had retired some years earlier. I was even more tickled when we happened upon a group of archaeologists, and our guide interrupted their meeting so I could ask:

“What do you do when you find human bones?”

“Well,” one of them replied after a moment’s silence, “we try to find the relatives of the body.”

Just what I wanted to hear, since that’s exactly what happens in the plot of Shadows in Scarlet.

But I can’t blame only that book on Ivor Noel Hume.

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