Friday, July 26, 2013

Top 5 Places to Visit in a Cozy Town by Lizzie Turner (from Ashton Corners Book Club Mysteries by Erika Chase)

Welcome to Ashton Corners

I’m Lizzie Turner, your tour guide of my hometown, Ashton Corners, AL. I was born and raised here, went away to college and after a short work stint, came back home. I wanted to be close to my mama who lives in an assisted living facility, and to my friends. The town’s just the right size – too big for everyone to know what’s happening in your life yet small enough that you always meet someone you know when scooting about town. Here are some of my favorite places:

THE BOOK BIN, the local independent bookstore is on Main Street and just calls out to me each time I pass by. It’s cozy and invites you to linger in one of the comfy chairs, enjoying a freshly brewed coffee while reading back covers of new arrivals. Or, you can watch a DVD of a PBS series, if you have the time. It’s also the main source for my book club, the Ashton Corners Mystery Readers and Cheese Straws Society.

THE ASHTON CORNERS POLICE STATION, further along the street, because I seem to spend a lot of time there, being inadvertently involved in solving murders every now and then. But mainly because my guy, Mark Dreyfus, is the police chief. I had a crush on him in my senior year at high school and now, we’ve been together for almost a year and wow…having an adult crush is so much better!

MOLLY MATHEWS’S HOUSE, although that’s not doing it justice. It’s an antebellum mansion and it’s been a second home to me all my life. Molly’s elegant home serves as the site for our book club’s monthly meetings, and as a site for the literacy program, where I teach one night a week. As well, she opens her doors each year to several home tours, as part of her philanthropic endeavors.

ST.JOHN’S EVANGELICAL CHURCH, where my choir, Musica Nobilis holds it’s weekly rehearsals. It’s an elegant although austere church built in the late 1860’s and at times when we perform our annual concert as a thanks for the use of the space, I can imagine the parishioners of old, covered heads bowed, sitting in comfort on the pews if they brought their own cushions, drawing inspiration and strength from the music.

THE JOSIAH PITT TOWN SQUARE, named after one of our founding fathers, and the center of attraction. Like many small town squares, there’s an ornate bandstand painted white, large enough to hold the traveling section of the AC High School Band. I’ve enjoyed many summer nights listening to the wide variety of musicians, local and visiting, who grace the stage. And at Christmas, it’s a massive display of lights, with the enormous town Christmas tree towering a few feet away.

Erika Chase is the author of the Ashton Corners Book Club Mysteries, published by Berkley Prime Crime. She has been short-listed for an Arthur Ellis Award, Best Short Story, from Crime Writers of Canada. Cover Story, the third book in the Ashton Corners Book Club Mysteries, will be released on August 6 and can be pre-ordered at Amazon and other online bookstores.

Follow Erika Chase on the web: Facebook, Website and Twitter


  1. I've been to Ashton Corners and it's a beautiful town. I can't wait to read Erika's next book to visit again!

    1. I want to visit the real Ashton Corners one day! You're so lucky to have gone :)



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