A gift of orchids

A little whimsy (no pun intended) for your Purim enjoyment: At the Jewish Women’s Archive, we regularly find ourselves working to solve mysteries, sifting through archives to piece together stories, but this one takes the cake. On Monday, a mysterious package arrived at the JWA offices, wrapped in brown paper and addressed by hand. Inside, we found three old books of classical music with the name “Rose Gruening” stamped in gold on their covers, along with a note asking us to return the books to Ms. Gruening, founder of the Grand Street Settlement (who died in 1934).

The only other clue? A gold-colored business card for Archie Goodwin, assistant to the fictional detective Nero Wolfe, with an outdated address and phone number.

We are delighted and baffled by this bounty, and working to discover the identity and aims of our elusive benefactor.


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