The Secret and the Badger Detective (Dec 2020)

16 Feb

For Hanukkah/Christmas, my partner, Maria, got me two treasure-related surprises. The first was a copy of The Secret (cover and frontispiece below), a 1982 illustrated puzzle book by Byron Preiss et al. It has the character of a faerie bestiary, and it contains twelve images tied to twelve verses — each is meant to reveal the location of a buried casque containing a ceramic key (to prevent detectorists from finding them without the clews). The finder can redeem the key for jewels by writing to the authors’ representatives. Three of the boxes have been found. The most recent was found in Boston in 2019 and filmed as the season finale of Discovery Channel’s Expedition Unknown. One of the casques is meant to be in Charleston, SC, but a Discovery Channel-funded recovery effort turned up nothing on a recent dig.

Maria also commissioned amazing artist Zelda Devon to create the painting below, drawing on my biography and my passion for treasure hunting and for Meles meles. Needless to say, I love it!

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