Forget 2020, Guilford Poets Guild member and community volunteer Juliana Harris is starting out 2021 with a bang! In February, she won the grand prize in a national writing contest; in March, she was selected as Person of the Week by the Guilford Courier; and now, she’s announced the publication of her new book Murder at the Tavern: A Guilford Mystery. Set against the backdrop of Guilford’s historic Medad Stone Tavern, Murder at the Tavern takes the reader along for an exciting sleuthing adventure.
“The book was inspired by an unexpected encounter I had many years ago with a well-known gentleman from Guilford,” says Harris. “It got me to thinking of a plot for a mystery: what if a person like him was framed for murder? This thought rattled around in my brain for about 35 years until it finally made its way to my word processor!”
The result, as the back cover alludes: The body of a young woman is found brutally beaten in the woods behind the Tavern, and the murder weapon turns out to be the walking stick of 73-year-old Ashley Hamilton Reynolds. Squire, as he is fondly known around his hometown, is the scion of one of Guilford’s oldest and most reputable families. He claims his walking stick had gone missing a few days before the murder. But how can this be proved? And, if he is innocent, who is the real killer?
Harris says she remembers writing her first poem when she was a freshman in high school for a school assignment. The poem went on to win a prize in a statewide contest and she has been writing poems and essays ever since. Her work has appeared in publications across the country and her two novels are available online: The Fork in the Road and Pacific Heights. An award-winning professional actress, she is also a singer/songwriter. She joined forces with guitarist Stephen Roane to form The Harris/Roane Duo in 2008. The Duo has performed concerts across the state and are recording their third CD. Harris receives constant artistic stimulation from her participation in the Guilford Poets Guild, the results of which can be found in the chapbook Portraits, about her family with the help and support of Guild members.
To read Harris’ winning essay “The Great K-10 Race,” and to purchase copies of her books, visit http://www.guilfordpoetsguild.org.