Barton Newcomers

Today I thought I would introduce you to three characters new to Veronica Walsh’s world of Barton. The three play important roles in Murder, by George.

Architect Scott Culverson is essential to the plot: he is the murder victim. A good-natured man in his early thirties, Scott works at Barton’s SRB Architects. He has a lot going for him and his fortune rises further in the first chapter when he discovers a million-dollar painting in a vintage box he purchases for ten dollars at a flea market. It’s a remarkable find for a young guy establishing himself in the world. Scott counts himself a lucky man: he has a promising career; a smart, pretty girlfriend; and now enough money to pay off his student loans, start construction on his dream house, and contribute to the community, with some change leftover to add a few expensive bottles of wine to his collection. However, there are several characters who claim ownership of the painting and want to take possession of it before Scott can trade in the canvas for a pile of cash. When Scott is stabbed to death with his own cheese knife, there is a ready-made group of persons-of-interest for the police to interrogate.

One of the characters who stakes a claim to the painting is Regina Quinn. In her late twenties, Regina has just moved to the village to work as a chef at The Barton Hearth and is living temporarily with her great-aunts, Ella and Madeline Griffin. Regina has a short temper, which is set off when she learns the painting was given as a wedding gift to her great-grandmother. She pitches two fits, first at the flea market and later at The Hearth, insisting the painting still belongs to her family. Regina’s fury doesn’t win her any friends, and it puts her on the suspect list when Scott is stabbed to death two days later. It’s not easy being the new girl in town.

Though Regina is a handful for Scott, an even greater adversary is Leona Kendall. Leona, the regal daughter of the painting’s artist, lives in nearby Bear Lake, a swanky neighbor to the quaint Barton. Like Regina, Leona demands that Scott immediately hand over her father’s work, threatening a lawsuit if he doesn’t comply. With an icy glare and wave of a manicured finger, Leona expects everyone to fall in line and do as she says. When that doesn’t work, she has plenty of money to throw around. Does she use it to buy someone? The police? The district attorney? A killer?

Have a great week, everyone!

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