I have been asked multiple times why I chose to set the Brenna Rutherford Mysteries series in Mount Vernon, Ohio. In my initial planning, a few things became obvious. I didn’t want to set the story in a big city. There are so many books, movies, and television shows set in places like LA or New York. I wanted something different; I wanted a place that could, because of its charm, become its own character.
So I opted for a small town and where better to find such a place than the midwest?
To narrow down my options, I searched for towns near small colleges. Kenyon College in Gambier caught my eye as did a town nearby – Mount Vernon. I’ve always been a fan of history, and upon seeing the name, I remembered Mount Vernon was the name of George Washington’s estate in Virginia.
I started investigating the town and almost immediately, its various landmarks and buildings began to inspire scenes. The more I learned, the more I fell in love with the place. It was exactly what I was looking for. I happy to share a few of the things that caught my eye and give you a small taste of what’s in store for Brenna and Van.
Pictured on the right is the Woodward Opera House. It is America’s oldest authentic 19th Century Theater, and records indicate that the first performance took place in December 1851. This historic place will be one of the main settings for Brenna’s fourth mystery as will the Mount Vernon Police Station.
Every day, as Brenna drives to and from school, she takes the roundabout around the central square. A statue in the center of the square is dedicated to the county’s Civil War soldiers. This is something that Brenna sees every day, and knowing her as I do, she fully appreciates its significance
Brenna’s hometown is a charming place. I couldn’t have picked a better spot for my series. As the series progresses, I look forward to sharing more with you about the beloved spot that Brenna calls home.