Yes, mystery lovers, read on! Our mystery unfolds all during the year in a continuing series posted monthly here on our Home Page…
In February we introduced our mystery. You met our narrator, young Brooklyn-based “Quilt Detective,” Mitzi McDruben, along with her faithful receptionist Ruthie, and able assistant, Raoul.
Mitzi took on her first quilt case: The Mystery of the Missing Quilt. Her mission? To find a missing quilt. Her time frame? Exactly eleven days. Her problem? No one knows what the missing quilt looks like!
Read a new mystery episode each month as Mitzi searches for clues leading to the missing quilt.
Following each episode, take the Secret Passage to receive your instructions for making or finding eleven different quilt blocks in EQ5 or EQ6.
During the final episode, Mitzi solves the mystery, and YOU discover how to put your blocks together in EQ5 or EQ6 to form a secret “Sky Lights” mystery quilt.
Our “Sky Lights” quilt was designed especially for EQ learning fun by Fran Iverson Gonzalez from Edmond, Oklahoma.
Our mystery series was written by Megan McMorris, a Free-lance author who lives in Portland, Oregon.
And now, grab your gumshoes. Tilt back your chair. But keep one eye on the door as you get ready to solve…The Mystery of the Missing Quilt!
Episode Ten: Rubbing Elbows with the Editors
“Hi! Your name?” The young, perky woman from behind the desk asked with an expectant look.
“Maggie from STYLISH magazine,” I replied. Thank heavens for Ruthie’s friend in the magazine industry — she’d put my name (or my alias, rather) on the guest list.
“Oh, hi Maggie! I’m Barrie Berg from Harris, Goutraub & Associates. I’m so glad you could make it!”
Well, that was easy! Here she was — the very Suspect Number 10 I’d come here to meet. But surely she was too enthusiastic to have a malicious thought and steal the Mystery Quilt?
Or had her enthusiasm about the quilt carried her too far, perhaps?
I tried to envision her running down a dark alley with the quilt under her arm.
She searched for my nametag from the row of tags on the desk. “Here it is!” she cried. “Go ahead and make yourself at home — there are drinks to your right, and the presentation will start in about 15 minutes. Once I get relieved from my post here, I’ll come over and talk to you about this exciting new fragrance. You’re just going to love it!”
“Thank you.” I made my way over to the bar for a red wine (usually I’m strictly a beer person, but I thought this occasion called for wine). Even though my mission was to talk to the suspect as much as possible in order to extract the valued clue from her, the woman’s enthusiasm made me nervous. Surely she wasn’t as thrilled about the unveiling of the new fragrance as she let on?
I remembered what Ruthie had told me as I set off for this press event. “Have fun, Mitzi,” she snickered. “I’ve been to a couple of those press things with my friend, and they’re definitely entertainment in themselves. Between the name-dropping, self-important fashion editors and the perky public relations people, you’ll have a lot to eavesdrop on. We usually just hide in the corner and drink free wine.”
I could see why. As I cut through the crowd, wine in hand, I saw much air-kissing going on (a sure sign that I didn’t belong here). I sidled up to two animated 20-somethings for some eavesdropping to occupy myself before Barrie found me.
…”You know, I read in Vanities that brown is the new black for fall. Hello?! That’s sooo last year!”
“Oh, I know! I worked with Deborah Danziger, the fashion editor,
when we were both at Beauty, and she just has no new ideas, you know?
Well, how could she—the woman has no style sense herself!
There was one pair of white heels she would wear all the time—even in the winter!!”
The horror! Wearing white in winter! I thought Raoul might enjoy listening in on these gesturing ladies — in fact, he waslistening in, courtesy of my handy wiring device. I wanted him to accompany me, but we thought he might stick out in the crowd.
“Think of me as you air kiss Anna Wintour,” he laughed as I wired myself up. At least he was listening in and we’d share a good laugh when I got out of here. But we couldn’t share any laughs until I discovered the clue. I looked back at the entrance for Barrie just as she was making her way towards me.
“So, now we can chat,” she enthused, as if this was the most enjoyable thing she could ever imagine. “Are you the fragrance editor at STYLISH, then?”
She looked at my nametag again
My Name [alias -- heh, heh!] is Maggie
as if to mentally go through her rolodex for my name. What a faux pas, she must be thinking. I can’t for the life of me remember inviting her! At least she was tactful about it.
“Not just fragrance, I do a lot of fashion and beauty there,” I answered, hoping that sounded reasonable and that the plain black dress I always wear for “dress-up” passed her scrutiny. Apparently my answer satisfied her.
“Do you think you could send me a recent copy? I’m afraid I haven’t seen it lately.” She passed me her card.
The reason she hadn’t seen the magazine was because it didn’t exist!
“So, who’s your publisher?” she asked. Time for some fun. “Oh, it’s published by a small company called NNT. You probably haven’t heard of it. They publish a lot of small, obscure magazines like UFO and Lose Weight Fast. It’s a strange, strange company, let me tell you.”
I find that the more detailed you are about your lies, the more believable they become. And by “confiding” in her, I stood a better chance of her confiding some juicy details about her life.
Perhaps such details as the clue?
She looked intrigued. “How is the company strange?”
“Oh, it’s owned by a family who are in the middle of a legal battle between themselves. The publisher died, you see, and left the company to his wife and son. Then the son decided he liked one of the editors and they started going out. She was living with someone, but dumped him to move in with the publisher’s son. This was hardly satisfactory with his mother, who proceeded to change the company locks when her son and his new girlfriend went on vacation! So now, he’s suing her. Who knows what will happen to the company? And that’s just the beginning of the strange stories…”
“Wow, I hadn’t realized!” She looked stunned.
Now was my chance to turn to her. “So that’s just a little gossip for you. How’s your job?”
“Oh, working for this new fragrance company has been sooo exciting! It’s so revolutionary, I think you’ll find. We’ve been working hard for the past year with them, and I’m afraid I’ve just fallen in love with the fragrance. I really think the readers of Stylish magazine will want to hear about it, because it’s the latest trend in fragrance. We don’t like to say perfume, really, because that’s very ’90s. With this fragrance, you get just a hint of aroma, it’s not overwhelming at all. And it’s perfect for fall! I can’t reveal the name and logo until the unveiling, but I have the basic logo all over my house. On my wallpaper trim, on my stationery, in my quilt blocks…”
Bingo! “Did you say quilt blocks?”
“Yes, I quilt a little on the side,” said Barrie. “I’m just starting out, and that’s why this particular logo pattern appealed to me because it looked so easy. I started by just quilting a pillow for my couch with the pattern, and then joined a quilting group to learn more about the different techniques. This year, I even joined a quilt board!”
“You don’t say! How fascinating!” I responded, hoping she’d continue on her enthusiastic train of thought. But the unveiling was about to begin.
“Ladies and gentlemen, if you will take your seats we’d like to begin the unveiling proceedings,” boomed a voice just as I was hoping to extract some more quilting tidbits from Ms. Berg.
“Oh, this is so exciting. Find a seat and we’ll talk afterwards about any questions you may have!” Barrie rushed off to the podium.
I have only one question for you, I thought.
I took a seat up front to get a good view. I wasn’t missing this unveiling for the world. Under normal circumstances, I wouldn’t comprehend the importance and excitement surrounding a perfume (oh sorry, fragrance) but today I had a different agenda.
“Hi, my name is Everett Engle, president of Cosmos, Inc,” the slick man behind the podium smiled at the crowd as he leaned into the microphone.
Photographers lined up in front and snapped his picture while the editors scribbled furiously in their notebooks.
“Thanks for joining us this evening. After a year of hard work developing and test-marketing the product, we’re pleased to unveil the revolutionary new fragrance that will redefine the fragrance market this season. So without further adieu, may I present …”
Barrie and another enthusiastic co-worker stood beside a huge board covered with cloth. They looked at each other, nodded, and lifted the cloth, baring the fragrance logo and name. Gasps filled the audience, followed by clapping. The bulbs flashed while Barrie stood, arms lifted, at the masterpiece itself.
I grinned. I had my clue. Standing next to Barrie was the simple pattern of a tree, with “Evergreen” in italics underneath. I slipped out before anyone could see me, or so I thought.
“Don’t forget your goodie bag!” chirped the girl behind the desk as she handed me a bag filled with the fragrance itself, no doubt.
“Thanks!” I stepped out into the cool New York night, feeling a little smug and a lot more stylish.
After all, not only had I gotten a clue, but I’d also snagged some valuable beauty advice.
Raoul stepped up to me from his post on the street bench. I linked my arm in his as we started walking downtown towards our office.
“Hey, did you know that using the word ‘perfume’ is so ’90s? It’s all about fragrance now.”
“Do tell. And while you’re at it, do tell what the clue was. All I heard was cheering and clapping. Were people really that excited about some makeup?”
“Oh, it’s not just makeup, my friend,” I pulled the sample bottle out of my goodie bag. “It’s…
the latest in revolutionary fragrance.”
A smile slowly spread across his face as he recognized the simple tree design. “Revolutionary is just the word I’d use for that! So tell me, was it worth it hobnobbing with the editrixes? Pick up any fashion tips? And by the way, what’s up with that zany story about the publishing company? You really went off the deep end with that one!”
“I only learned that wearing white in the winter is still a no-no, and that everyone who’s anyone knows that brown is the new black and has been for the past year. As for the publishing company story, that’s actually partly a true story courtesy of Ruthie’s friend.”
“Wow, those publishing people are sure a strange lot. I’m glad I work in a normal field!”
“You and me both, bud! Now let’s go tell Ruthie about our luck. We have only one more clue to solve this quilt mystery. Ms. Barrie Berg seemed too wide-eyed to have snagged the quilt herself, but maybe that’s just her guise.”
Yeah, let’s hope our next clue leads us straight to the quilt snatcher…
With our amazing detective skills, there’s no doubt.
But now, some post-case pizza.
To be continued…