Creating Snowflake

The Soup Lover’s Mystery series is set in the imaginary village of Snowflake, Vermont. When Lucky Jamieson learns her parents have been killed in a car crash on an icy road, she returns home. Her grandfather Jack has been running her parents’ business, the By the Spoonful Soup Shop, until Lucky decides if she will stay on and take over.  That’s where the mysteries begin.

Snowflake_Vermont_0003The village had to be a very special place. Not just any town, anywhere, but a quintessential New England town. I decided, a population of 953 would be just perfect for a place where everyone pretty much knows everyone else, even if they’re not close friends (or enemies).

It needed to be nestled in a valley in north central Vermont, somewhere near Camel’s Hump, maybe between Bristol and Starkboro. Snowflake is a few miles from a highway that leads to larger towns, but charming enough that tourists will visit, yet not so connected to a larger city that it might be overwhelmed with traffic.

Town.3The Spoonful Soup Shop on Broadway is the place where everyone congregates. It’s the center of news and gossip. Snowflake’s main street also boasts Bettie’s Bakery, Flagg’s Pharmacy, a small ladies’ clothing store, a pub for locals, and a food market.

Around the corner is the Snowflake Clinic where the handsome Dr. Elias Scott works, and next door is the small apartment building where Lucky Jamieson lives.

Town.2 I had to include a village green with a white-steepled Church. No Vermont town is without one. Plus a small police station and a jail that could accommodate at least one suspect. As in many towns, the streets are named for trees.
Lucky lives on Maple. Her grandfather Jack at 24 Birch Street. And as for the rest – there are Elm, Chestnut, Ash and Spruce Streets.

Snowflake is surrounded by woods. Woods are very handy because lots of things can happen there– murders, thieves in the night, mysterious sightings, disappearances and the howling of wolves. I needed roads that led up to the mountain or into the woods, so I invented the Mohawk Trail, Bear Path Lane, Ridgeline, Pilgrim’s Trail and the Old Colonial Road.

shops2The first in the series, A Spoonful of Murder, takes place in the dead of winter. A serious blizzard was a must. After the blizzard, a winter tourist is found frozen to death behind the restaurant.
What better time of year than winter to hunker down with a good mystery and a hearty bowl of soup cooked by Sage, the Spoonful’s chef?

If you’d like to get to know Snowflake better, you can come on down to the Village Green or the Spoonful and hang out with some of the residents. Or just open the pages of any of the books in the series for a longer visit. Just go to Connie Archer Mysteries to learn more about Snowflake, Vermont.

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