by Karen Rose Smith
When I write a cozy mystery, I try to make each book special with an element that will give the novel an extra sparkle. In MURDER WITH LEMON TEA CAKES, coins were involved in solving the mystery. In MURDER WITH CINNAMON SCONES, Amish quilts and an art gallery added a Lancaster touch. In MURDER WITH CUCUMBER SANDWICHES, (June 2018 release) food critics abound. I'm working on Daisy mystery #4 now, MURDER WITH CHERRY TARTS. Besides creating a scrumptious cherry tart recipe, I wanted to give the book another Pennsylvania local connection. I chose Gettysburg.
Recently, I went on a research trip there. The Battlefield always drew us as bike riders when our son was young. We'd ride the paved route and hop off bikes to study the monuments. Devil's Den was always a popular destination. It is located on a hill covered by large boulders on the south end of Houck's Ridge. It played a prominent role on the second day of the 1863 Battle of Gettysburg during the American Civil War.
My favorite and most meaningful landmark however has always been The Peace Light.
If you've ever been to the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C. and felt the church-like atmosphere of standing there, you can begin to understand the hushed atmosphere at The Peace Light. There are no picnic tables or interactive stations. There is simply the monument and what it stands for...the words engraved in the granite. The monument symbolizes the blue and grey uniting under one flag. The gas-lit flame was the inspiration for the eternal flame on President John F. Kennedy's grave at Arlington.
The photo below was snapped at the base of the peace light. It shows the monuments, distinctive fencing and open fields that are so prevalent on the battlefield.
I hope you enjoy all of the Daisy Tea Garden releases and look forward to cucumber sandwiches and cherry tarts!