KN, p. 121 “Is that a body behind the bookcase?”


I don’t often get rattled by stuff going on in the house. Sheila and I share the upkeep duties and over the years, we’ve settled into a routine about our likes and dislikes with the household chores. I take care of the cars and painting and she chooses the new furniture and carpeting when something needs replacing.  We take turns on the things that annoy us both – like cleaning the garbage cans. I’d rather just buy a new one when the outside can starts to stink like a dead body, but I know that’s the coward’s way out.


But, this week? I am not happy. My office needs a facelift and I’ve been putting it off for longer than I care to admit. Sheila chose the new carpet and it’s going to look great with the furniture in here. Thing is…I’m the one who does the painting, and I just don’t want to.


The plan always is: paint the walls before laying the carpet. That means I have to empty the space before painting. Take down the travel photos, move the bookcase and other furniture, box up the books and supplies, put away the computer, take apart the electronics, lay down the newspapers. The painting part is fine – it’s the getting-ready-to-paint part I hate. After all, there might be a body behind the bookcase.


Maybe the 8 year old paint really will be okay for another few months.


Maybe the 15 year old rug really isn’t that ratty looking.




Sheila is rolling her eyes.




Sheila just plopped paintbrushes and a paint tray on the desk. She’s not worried about the body.


I rolled the handcart out of the garage and noticed the store label – the one that tells the model number.  It said “Model 185.” Does that mean it can handle a 185 pound body? Hmm… Good to know just in case I need to move something heavy.


*Photos by Patti Phillips

*Thanks to author Rebecca Jeanne Antley for giving me the idea for the title.  I wonder if she’s ever had a body behind one of her bookcases…  🙂




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KN, p. 176 “Is that a body in the fridge?”



A pal of ours recently acquired a new refrigerator. Not just any refrigerator. A back-to-basics 1950s era fridge that is smaller than today’s ‘big-bigger-monstrous’ sized appliances that need special spaces in the kitchen created for them. Today’s models even come with apps that will tell you what’s on the shelves inside while you are standing in the store. (Now I ask you, doesn’t anybody know what lists are for?) But, I digress. Cynthia St-Pierre, a multi-talented mystery writer from Canada, tells me that the fridge needs to be defrosted once a month. Yup. I told you it was a back-to-basics variety. She sent us a photo of it – nice creamy hue that blends effectively with her color scheme and the retro look that she has been working toward in her home.


On the silly side, I started seeing the fridge everywhere. We watch a lot of British mysteries on TV and suddenly, it was in every kitchen in every show that is set in the late 1940s thru the 1950s. The refrigerators have most likely been in the scenes all along, but now there was a background detail that had jumped into the foreground for us.




It got me thinking. Quite a few TV shows featuring characters that need to store a body until they can get rid of it, have freezers in the cellar. More than one show has featured refrigerators or freezers in the storyline – sometimes in room sized freezers – remember Castle & Beckett turning into popsicles before our eyes? They made it out alive, but not all unfortunate souls do. If the show is directed by a horror buff, then the discovery is all the more startling or even gruesome. We may even have show overspill – imagine opening your refrigerator (especially your freezer) after watching one of these masterpieces? I might be tempted to eat only fresh food for a while.


The concept of hiding bodies in cold household places goes all the way back to the “Green Lantern,” in episode #54, and to “Alfred Hitchcock Presents,” in the episode titled, “Lamb to the Slaughter.” I watched that one during a Hitchcock retrospective. Ewwwww!


It is only fair to note that not all retro freezers or refrigerators come with bodies included. Some current shows set in the 50s feature the retro fridge, but so far, no bodies have been found in them. The “Doctor Blake Mysteries” (from Australia) and the “Father Brown Mysteries” (from England) have plenty of bodies to be tripped over, but none have been found refrigerated. So far.


Just in case you don’t think this happens in real life, think again. In December, 2015, the fully clothed body of a woman was found in a refrigerator in a California garage being cleaned out after tenants had moved. The body was left inside the fridge and wheeled off by handcart to the coroner’s office.



Just last month (June, 2016) a woman found a body in a freezer that she had purchased in a yard sale in North Carolina. She was asked not to open it for a while because of a Sunday School project contained in it. The preliminary thinking about the seller is that the deceased was a relative and that she didn’t know what to do when the person died.





Keeping lots of chops and roasts in your cellar freezer? Hmmmm…
Ever notice that it is the size of a coffin?  

Make sure that only a trusted few have access to it. If you happen to observe on a dark and stormy night that all the shelves have been removed and are leaning against the outside, you might need a witness standing next to you when you open the door.


Just to reassure you: no bodies were discovered during the writing of this post. Honestly.


Photo credits

 Kelvinator photo: Cynthia St-Pierre

Freezer and the aqua refrigerator: internet photos






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KN, p. 170 “Death at the Antique Fair”


Ferguson House, Cameron, NC



The cousins love antiques. Sheila’s Mom loved antiques and sold them after she retired from her teaching career. Sheila’s aunt loved antiques and had a thriving business that also included creating beautifully painted accessories for the antique furniture. Get the picture? It’s the unofficial family biz, although not under one umbrella.


We’ve acquired a few older pieces over the years as well; some were gifts, some were inherited, and some were garage sale/antique show finds. This past weekend, the yearly Antique Fair was held in a local community, the weather was gorgeous, and it was a great day to search through the vendor piles and stalls for the perfect bookcase. We have a LOT of books that need shelving and needed a unit that had a solid wooden back to it.


The Fair had everything from old furniture and glassware to handcrafted birdhouses and quilts for sale.












Little did I know that we would also find lots of places in which to hide/find bodies and/or methods with which to dispatch them. Lol


Ever watch a TV show or movie where poison or drugs were added to a drink? We found this ‘poison’ ring for $5. Soooo easy to open and dispense the deadly dose. 😉




Need a quilt to wrap the body in?



Need a place to put the body while waiting for the ‘package pickup’ company to arrive?



As far as we know, there were no murders committed while we were there, but there were quite a few large barrels and chests already packed by late afternoon.

Shovels anyone? 😉



*Photos: taken by Patti Phillips




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