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How a Small Town in New York Inspired a Murder Mystery Novel

I had the opportunity to interview Ronnie Levine, artist and author of the Ice Cream Shop Detective, a story inspired by a quaint town north of the city.


There are various subgenres of murder mysteries that have been told but none like this one. Uncover the truth behind the murder and art forgery into the world of Ronnie Levine’s novel the Ice Cream Shop Detective. This book showcases the art world like you’ve never experienced it before, and it all starts with the setting. I got the opportunity to speak with Ronnie and find out how she created this story from the inspiration of a small town like Tarrytown.

The setting is the most important part of any story. This one is set in a small river town called Tarrytown located in Westchester county. If you’ve never taken the metro north past the Bronx, Tarrytown is a small town along the Hudson River just fifty-four minutes outside of New York City. I asked Ronnie about the inspiration for the story and what made her choose Tarrytown.

“I knew no one in town when I set up on the street to paint a group of buildings I found beautiful, including the one with the ice cream shop, and he and his family came out repeatedly to look (which I always love.)”

Levine shared more details about how this rivertown was a part of the process that would become this page-turning mystery novel and how her writing was inspired by the places she’d pass by every single day,

“Good writing can make anyplace a good setting for a page-turning mystery. The warmth of the reception I got when I started painting in Tarrytown made it special to me and that's something else I wanted to get down on paper.” <