Disclosure: I received a copy of Lisa Scottoline’s new book to facilitate this post. All opinions expressed within are my own and have not been influenced in any way.
I remember the first time I set foot in West Chester, Pennsylvania. I had heard rumors since childhood of this quaint college town in southeastern Pennsylvania, but I had never been there. After 10 years in Washington DC, I was on the job market, looking for a professorship in reading education.
The job market that year was light – Oklahoma, California, Pittsburgh, Virginia, Florida, and … West Chester, PA. The West Chester job intrigued me. I grew up on the north side of Philly, so eastern Pennsylvania always had a little slice of my heart. I went up to “just see” and fell in love with the town before even interviewing for the job.
West Chester is picturesque. With its brick walkways and old buildings, it looks like a movie set…or the perfect setting for a book. Maybe its her love for West Chester as a local, or maybe its just knowing that West Chester makes a perfect setting for a crime drama, but Lisa Scottoline has done it again with her newest book Most Wanted.
Christine and her husband Marcus desperately want a child. However, they find that Marcus is unable to have children. Faced with hard decisions for how to start their family, they ultimately choose to use a donation bank. After carefully choosing their dream donor, Christine becomes pregnant and life is perfect. Until it is not.
While watching the news, Christine sees a man being arrested for a string of murders and realizes that he looks uncannily like their donor’s photo. She needs to decide how to handle the truth that she may be carrying a serial killer’s child.
In order to do so, she heads to West Chester, Pennsylvania where the trial will be taking place. If you have ever been to West Chester, you know there is the old courthouse, and now there is the largest most modern building in all of West Chester – the new courthouse.
This is where the trial is taking place. Any day Monday through Friday, the streets are full of lawyers walking from their offices to the courthouse. Jeffery’s lawyer, Griff, probably works in one of the brick townhouses lining the majority of the streets in town.
West Chester is a college town. Home of West Chester University (Go Rams!), WCU is a thriving university with a reputation as a Kiplinger’s Best Value in Education.
My kids call this building on campus “the castle” – but interesting fact – there is a gorgeous autograph library in Phillips that is any book lover’s dream.
Across from the courthouse is an amazing, authentic french bakery – La Baguette Magique, where town folk line up for fresh bread and pastries each day.
A couple doors down is Carlino’s – an Italian Market that is any foodie’s dream.
The town is full of interesting architecture – like the First West Chester Fire Company building.
And we are a skater town, so it is no surprise that Fairman’s skate shop is at the center of town.
Here’s a peek through the center of town – Gay Street looking toward Darlington. The characters spend quite a bit of time walking this stretch to the courthouse – and she mentions a barber shop with the old fashion pole, which I can only assume is townie favorite, Cruisin’ Style, featured halfway down the right side of this photo.
Also, look at those gorgeous streets. LOOK AT THOSE STREETS!!
Christine stays at the Hotel Warner in town, a virtually new (and pretty much only) hotel in town. The hotel is to the left of this intersection – and ahead is Lorenzo and Son’s – the new pizza joint in town that serves South Philly style pizza – slices are bigger than my 7 year old’s head.
Between the buildings are these little alleys that come up frequently in Scottoline’s Most Wanted. In the evenings you’ll see folks walking home from dinner, doing the “alley creep” back to their homes. However, at night they can be desolate – a setting for the perfect crime.
One of my favorite walks is down Miner Street in the spring. The trees all bear pick blossoms and the massive homes are waking up from a long winter’s nap.
The back sidewalks are stunning – and add such color to the scenery.
Many of the older buildings in town have Victorian porches or balconies with these gorgeous iron details.
West Chester is a place where everyone waves to each other in greeting, strangers stop for small talk, and the world seems at peace. Do you love the look and feel of my town as much as I do? Experience it with this great giveaway!
Experience Lisa Scottoline’s West Chester as she reveals it in your own copy of Most Wanted, the perfect summer beach read. Hitting shelves today, you have the chance to win your own copy here. Giveaway is open to US residents 18 and older and ends April 26th at 12:00 AM EST. Please see terms and conditions in the rafflecopter below.