What’s So Special About Abingdon?
by Gayle Leeson
I typically set my stories in fictional towns so I can have more control over the types of businesses that are there and the events that I can have occur and be conducive to a good murder. Okay, I know there’s no such thing as a “good murder,” but you know what I mean.
With Abingdon, I’m able to combine the best of both worlds. I have the real town with its rich history to draw on, plus Abingdon is located near my fictional town of Winter Garden. If you’ve read my Down South Café mystery series, then you’ll recognize Winter Garden as the setting. Since there is going to be another Down South Café mystery coming soon, I like than I can use the settings for both series in order to broaden my characters’ worlds.
Abingdon, Virginia is a beautiful town located in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The land that would become the town was surveyed by Dr. Thomas Walker, who would later go on to partner with Thomas Jefferson’s father. When I tell you it’s old, it’s really old. The town was officially established in 1778,
Some of Abingdon’s popular attractions include;
The Martha –a former private residence, the school that was Martha Washington College was in operation from 1860 until 1932. The building was reopened as a hotel in 1935.
The Barter Theatre – the State Theatre of Virginia, this theatre was established in 1933 by Robert Porterfield. The price of admission was forty cents or the equivalent amount of produce. Four out of five patrons bartered their admission with produce, livestock, or dairy products. In honor of the tradition, the theatre hosts at least one performance in which admission is a donation to an area food bank.
The Virginia Creeper Trail – a 34.3-mile rail-to-trail running from Abingdon to Whitetop Station at the Virginia/North Carolina border. In 2014, the Virginia Creeper trail was inducted into the Rail-to-Trail Hall of Fame, an honor bestowed upon only twenty-seven trails. This trail was chosen for its remarkable scenery, railroad history, and trailside amenities.
I hope you’ll join me—and Amanda and Max—in discovering the charms of Abingdon and its surrounding areas…both the real and the not-so-real ones.
Designs On Murder:
A Ghostly Fashionista Mystery
by Gayle Leeson
About the Book
Designs On Murder: A Ghostly Fashionista Mystery
1st in Series
Grace Abraham Publishing (March 26, 2019)
Print Length: 229 pages
What if you discovered your lively new friend wasn’t really…alive?
Amanda Tucker is excited about opening her fashion design studio in Shops On Main, a charming old building in historic Abingdon, Virginia. She didn’t realize a ghost came with the property! But soon Maxine “Max” Englebright, a young woman who died in 1930, isn’t the only dead person at the retail complex. Mark Tinsley, a web designer with a know-it-all attitude who also rented space at Shops On Main, is shot in his office.
Amanda is afraid that one of her new “friends” and fellow small business owners is his killer, and Max is encouraging her to solve Mark’s murder a la Nancy Drew. Easy for Max to want to investigate–the ghostly fashionista can’t end up the killer’s next victim!
About the Author
Gayle Leeson is a pseudonym for Gayle Trent. Gayle has also written as Amanda Lee and Gayle Trent. As Amanda Lee, she wrote the Embroidery Mystery series, and as Gayle Trent, she writes the Daphne Martin Cake Mystery series and the Myrtle Crumb Mystery series. Going forward, Gayle intends to keep her writing until the Gayle Leeson name. She has a series of women’s fiction novellas set in a shopping mall that has been converted to include micro-apartments (the Kinsey Falls series) and has just begun this new cozy series, the Ghostly Fashionista Mystery series. Another Down South Cafe novel is slated for release in August with book two in the Ghostly Fashionista series scheduled for October.
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