Book Excerpt from "Concrete Evidence: A Fixer Upper Mystery"
Wade flicked the nearest light switch and the foyer lit up nicely, thanks to the old-fashioned chandelier hanging from the twelve-foot-high ceiling. “Oh, man. This place is awesome. Look at all that mahogany paneling.” “It’s beautiful, isn’t it?” I ran my hand over the rich wood surface of the stairwell. Unlike some Victorian en- tryways that were dark and narrow and barely had room to hold an umbrella stand, this one was a large square, well-lit room. On one side of the foyer was a double door- way leading into a paneled living room, and on the other was an arched doorway that led to a formal dining room. The broad staircase hugged the wall from the second landing down, until it curved and widened to meet the parquet flooring of the foyer. Roomy staircases always made me think of my father, who specialized in them because the old-fashioned, steep, skinny Victorian stairways made him claustrophobic.
The ceilings of all the first-floor rooms were twelve feet tall with ten-inch-wide crown molding, a picture rail below that, and carved plaster medallions in the centers of the ceilings that created a base for hanging chandeliers. In addition, the dining room had twelve-inch-high base- boards and a chair rail. Even though some of the crown molding, the leaf-patterned cornices, and the stone corbels were crumbling with age, the rooms had maintained their elegance. And we could easily replicate and replace the damaged embellishments.
Sean walked over to the living-room fireplace and studied the mantel. “Holy moly,” he muttered, running his hand along the smooth, highly varnished, six-inch- thick piece of wood. “This is fantastic.”