Friday, April 29, 2022

What We're Writing--Debs Finds Her Way

DEBORAH CROMBIE: The last time I was up on our What We're Writing week, I said that by the time my next turn rolled around, A KILLING OF INNOCENTS would be finished!


Oh, oops, well, maybe not quite finished... but almost! Only a few days and two chapters to go, the climax and the resolution.

Resolution, now there's a nice word, and for a while I wondered if I would get there. I'd be the first to admit that I wandered and wobbled through the middle of this book, horribly frustrated by not being able to spend time in London doing essential research, much of  which is just walking the city.  A first visit gives me a general feel for a location.  Subsequent trips let me imprint the specifics, moving the characters through their daily lives in the setting. That's when you find all the fun little tidbits; the best coffee shop, the park with the interesting history, the house where a favorite writer lived. It's where the book comes to life.

For this book, I had a couple of weeks in November of 2019. And THAT. WAS.  IT.

But, eventually, I figured things out, and the first thanks in my acknowledgements will go to--Google Street View! I couldn't have done it without you, Google!

Back in the day, before we were smart, I was wedded to my A-Z.


That's pronounced A to Zed, by the way, and it is the definitive London street map book. I even had this mini version that went with me everywhere. Armed with my AZ and my tattered London Bus Route map, I could pretty much conquer London.



But, thankfully for me, technology has moved on, and virtual reality turned out to be my new best friend. I walked my way around Bloomsbury and Soho with cursor and arrows and zoom. Some of the locations were already familiar, of course, but after a while the lines between what was real and what I'd only done or seen virtually started to blur. (Is that madness, or writing fiction?)

Take this little snippet here, where Duncan is following a clue in Soho:

When he reached Old Compton Street, he was glad to see that I Camisa and Son was just as he remembered it. The deli was busy, and as he waited he breathed in the distinctive aroma of the place. Old cheeses. Cured meats. Coffee, fresh bread. And always the undertone of spices, some familiar—basil, fennel, oregano—some elusive. The place had been here a long time, long enough for the scents to seep into the very fabric of it. He wondered if there was even a ‘son’ anymore.

But whoever was in charge, it was an efficient operation, and when his turn came at the counter, his order was filled quickly. With his ham, mortadella, mozzarella, and tomato on focaccia stowed safely in a paper bag and his coffee in a paper cup, he walked back into Old Compton Street. There he hesitated, his face tilted up to the sun. He’d meant to take his lunch back to Holborn, but the day was still fine and he had a better idea.

He rounded the corner into Wardour Street and was soon seated on a bench in St. Anne’s churchyard, watching the pigeons as he ate and trying not to drip roasted tomato on his best suit trousers.

It was only when he’d finished his sandwich and brushed the crumbs from his lap that he checked his messages. He’d missed a text from Gemma. 

I have actually sat on a bench in St. Anne's churchyard. And the deli, I Camisa and Son, is a real place, but I've never been there. It came up on a list of Best Sandwiches in London, it was in exactly the right spot, and Duncan needed lunch. I figured it looked like the wonderful Mr. Christian's deli in Notting Hill, and smelled like Valvona and Crolla, the famous Italian deli just around the corner from where I used to live in Edinburgh.

And now, just reading that, I'm starving. I Camisa and Son is definitely on my list next trip.

Dear REDS, when you are writing, do you sometimes lose track of which things are real and which things you've made up? 

Readers, I'm sure we've all done that with books we love. On my very first visit to London, walking down Piccadilly, I said, "Oh, look, there's Lord Peter's flat!" And I almost expected to hear the notes from the piano drifting from the building. 

What fictional setting has lived up to your expectations in real life?

A KILLING OF INNOCENTS will be released February 7th, 2023.

YAY!

You can preorder from Amazon here.
And from B&N here

Links to Indies will be coming soon!


108 comments:

  1. It’s fascinating how you take a walk and visit a place and turn it into Duncan’s getting lunch and eating in the churchyard! I enjoyed this little snippet and am looking forward to reading the book . . . .

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    1. Duncan always needs to take a walk and have a good think. In fact, he has several walks in this book!

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  2. It's rare that a real places matches what I picture in my head. But I always enjoy seeing what something actually looks like. Whether that impacts me when I read a book set there or not varies on the book/series and how invested I am in the fictional version.

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    1. I love seeing places I've only read about, too. Sometimes the pictures match, and sometimes they don't!

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  3. I love that snippet, Debs, and I want that sandwich now. I so enjoy when someone eating in a book is an experience, more than just wolfing down the food. It's so lovely to think of Duncan sitting on that bench eating his sandwich. I do wonder what that text from Gemma says.

    I have an interesting connection to Lucy's Key West series about expectations of setting. Rather than reading her books and then visiting Key West, I visted Key West several times and then read her books. It is wonderful walking down the streets in my memory when reading about Hayley doing so, too. Lucy captures the sights and sounds and flavor of Key West beautifully.

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    1. thanks so much Kathy! I'll share the sandwich with you:)

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    2. Yes, she does! And she describes the food so well. I loved getting to experience things like Cuban sandwiches and Coffee Queen and the wonderful donuts, after having read about them!

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    3. Lucy, I look forward to that! And, Debs, I can't wait to actually go to London, as I've always said your books have opened up areas and places I could never have gotten the ambience from by using a guide book. And, talk about food and it being an experience, A Bitter Feast is a treasure trove of that.

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  4. I love it, Debs - but I kept expecting Duncan to need to question someone at the deli and then he'd miss his delicious lunch! Glad Google worked for you, at least to a degree.

    I'm finishing one of my books set on Cape Cod, and I'm heading down there in three weeks for my semi-annual - or is it bi-annual if I go twice a year? - solo writing retreats. I keep thinking I'll drop by Tim's bakery in Westham or the Lobstah Shack or Salty Taffy's or the Rusty Anchor pub - and then I remember I made them up!

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    1. Edith, I hope you're feeling better by now. Thinking of you.

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    2. Me, too, Edith. Hope you feel better every day.

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    3. I echo Karen and Judy with hopes that you're feeling better, Edith.
      Semi-annual, and how lovely to visit Cape Cod twice a year. I spent a wonderful summer there, many years ago, volunteering at a children's theatre. Great fun.

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    4. Sometimes I think I'll stop in Otto's, and then I remember I made it up.

      Yes, Edith, I hope you're feeling better. We are all sending you good wishes.

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    5. I am on the mend, yes - thanks, friends!

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    6. Edith, add me to the well wishers that you're feeling better.

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  5. I had to laugh at your comment about something you've written becoming real to you. My recent mystery set in Braga, Portugal, features an antiquarian bookstore owned by the grandfather and run by his adult granddaughter. As I was pondering something to put in his background, I thought, "well I'll ask the granddaughter; she'll know." And then it was forehead-slapping time: "I can't ask her. She doesn't exist! I made them both up!"

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    1. Too funny, Elizabeth. But of course I talk to my characters all the time, too.

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  6. My Zoe Chambers series is set in a fictionalized version of where I live, so getting it "right" is easy, although I have completely rearranged the interior of the local police station. In my lone Dr. Jessie Cameron Mystery, Death By Equine, I have Jessie and Daniel going out to dinner at a fabulous (but fictional) restaurant on the very real Mt. Washington. One reader told me she searched and searched for "Lorenzo's" because she wanted her husband to take her there. Oops. Sorry.

    I have a new series coming up that's set in Erie, PA, my first real setting for a novel. I've been there dozens and dozens of times but when you're trying to grasp the subtle nuances to add authenticity to a story, you can't just go as a "tourist." I'm planning a trip there soon just to wander around, smell the aromas, take note of the breeze off the lake, and pay closer attention to the feel of the sand under my bare feet at the Presque Isle beaches. I love Google Street View and use it a lot, but it only gets me so far.

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    1. Annette, I love it that your restaurant sounds so real that a reader tried to get a reservation there. That is really cool. I am eager to see your new series set in Erie, PA. Lucy's Key West series even has some real Key West personalities populating her stories. Will you do that?

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    2. Annette, I loved that restaurant in your book. I had no idea it wasn't real! And you are so right about not being a tourist. It's one of the reasons I like to stay in a flat when I'm in London, because then you are a part of everyday life.

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    3. Judy, I haven't yet, but it's always a possibility!

      Deb, I'm glad you enjoyed Lorenzo's! And nope, not real, although I did get inspiration from a ritzy eatery in one of those old Entertainment coupon books.

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  7. DEBS: Yes, I wish I could go to that deli and eat that yummy sandwich while setting outside like Duncan did.

    For me, the strongest fictional settings are also in England. The first time I wandered around the Oxford colleges, I felt like I was in the land of Inspector Morse and Lord Peter Wimsey/Harriet Vane. But the real joy for me was visiting Castle Howard in Yorkshire. I read Brideshead Revisited in the 1980s. Being able to tour the rooms and gardens made the ancestral home of Sebastian so real.

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    1. Oh, Oxford, Grace! The first time I visited I was in the land of Tolkien and C.S. Lewis and the Inklings. I ate at the Eagle and Child (which they called the Bird and Baby) where the Inklings had their meetings. And of course I visited Balliol, and the other colleges. This would have been in '76, so it was pre-Morse. Then later on, Morse's Oxford was layered on top.

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    2. DEBS: I was in Oxford in 1986 and 1988, so I had read several of the Morse books by then.

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  8. Debs, we are so excited to read this book! I get mixed up all the time about what's real and what I've made up...

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    1. That is so funny, Lucy. I guess it's like having a very real dream and then later wondering if it actually happened of if you dreamed it.

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    2. Lucy, I'm glad I'm not the only one! And, Judy, it is like wondering if you've dreamed something.

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  9. Debs, you always make it feel as though we are actually visiting a place, walking around Nantwich or London, smelling the spicy aromas as we drop into Otto's, covering our noses while walking into the morgue...okay, so it isn't always roses. But how incredible that you were able to do your necessary walks virtually for this book.

    I love that snippet. Somehow, I expected to keep reading and it took a second for me to realize that we aren't going to see Gemma's text until next year. (Sigh.) I, however, will see it because I have pre-ordered my book already. Yep. Barnes and Noble made me an offer I could not refuse.

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    1. Oh, thank you, Judy. The publisher loves those pre-orders. As do I!

      It's getting very hard to find snippets to share that aren't spoilers, so I was happy to think of this little bit because it doesn't tell you what Duncan is doing in Soho--or what Gemma needs to tell him!

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  10. I cannot wait for this book to appear in my Nook. I’ve been to the UK only once and that was with a group and for a very short time. When I read your books I immediately feel that I’m there and it’s quite disappointing that I can’t go walk out the door and check out the places on my own. Right now I really want that sandwich. Thank you for sharing your experience.

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    1. That must have been frustrating for you, Ann. I really like exploring on my own, and setting my own schedule. I really want that sandwich, too!

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  11. Debs, loved the excerpt. When I've traveled it is often those small moments - the sandwich, the churchyard, the impromptu picnic - that I remember as much as the big attractions.

    When I first went to London (after years of British mystery books and TV) I just had to walk past Scotland Yard and the Old Bailey.

    Small world - I am reading one of Val McDermid's Karen Pirie books. The detectives get their coffee and treats from Valvona and Crolla.

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    1. Scotland Yard has moved, which has taken some getting used to. Gemma and Melody are working out of the new location on Victoria Embankment in this book, so I've had fun putting in little snippets about that--although I haven't actually been there!

      Which book of Val's are you reading? I have to read that one, just for Valvona and Crolla. I'm homesick for Edinburgh.

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    2. Broken Ground is the Val McDermid book. It is fifth in the series, but I dove in and I don't feel confused about who's who. I will go back to read the others though.

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    3. Ha, I just discovered I'd bought the book on Kindle but hadn't got to it. So now I will read it! And it's on sale if anyone else is interested.

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  12. It will be really interesting to see if the deli lives up to its fictional version! I hope so. Looking forward to the book. I have used Google Street view to wander through my dad's old neighborhood in Leeds. It's such a useful tool.

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    1. It is quite amazing, isn't it? It's too bad it's not in real time--but that would be kind of scary!

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  13. More snippets, please! And I know what you mean about actually BEING in your setting. You need to experience again the smells and the sounds, the little intangibles that fly away from memory but make a place real.

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    1. It's been so frustrating. And I didn't get to use some of the places in Soho that I've actually been! Pizza Express Dean Street Jazz Club (although I did use Pizza Express from the outside,) Ronnie Scott's (another famous jazz club), The French House, The Groucho Club. Oh well, maybe in another book!

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  14. Love the sandwich shop description! I remember roaming around Notting Hill, envisioning Gemma and Duncan and the kids in Portobello Market. We passed Adam Dalgleish's flat at Queenhithe, along the Thames Path. And I found Cheyne Walk, where Elizabeth George's Deborah and Simon live in Chelsea. Of course, I couldn't pronounce "Cheyne", but a kind dog walker set me straight.

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    1. You should have popped into Mr. Christian's in Elgin Crescent!

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  15. I love London and am so excited to read this book! Then I read it's coming out in Feb 2023! Waaaa! I thought waiting for Lucy's book coming out in August was a long wait. But it'll be like Christmas in August and again in Feb. Something to look forward to.

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    1. February 23 will be here before we know it. I'm just hoping I can actually get to London between now and then!

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  16. Love this excerpt! Looking forward to this book--it will be a real treat for the February blahs when you think winter has lasted way too long. I enjoy reading books set in places I've been, so I can visualize the settings. I don't tend to fuss about the details--the real and the writer's version sort of blur together in my mind.

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    1. Hank and I have the same pub date! Won't that be fun?

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    2. Lots to help me deal with the February doldrums!

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  17. Debs, I love the snippet! I hear the British pronunciation of the herbs- BAA SIL, OR E GAN O—and can visualize the streets from having poured over my huge A to Z book also. And Valvona and Corolla takes me into Andrew McCall Smith’s world. Pre-order is done and February 7, 2023 can’t come soon enough; I’ll be sitting in Key West reading it!!

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    1. Aw, thanks, Emily! And how fun for London and Key West to collide! I haven't read the Edinburgh McCall Smith books. If he mentions Valvona and Crolla I'll have to get to them! I do miss Edinburgh, and wish I could come up with an excuse to send Duncan and Gemma there. But I'd be too nervous about stepping on Ian Rankin's territory!

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  18. Such an lovely, evocative snippet. You'd never guess you'd never been to the deli, and it definitely makes me want to go there. I find it a little sad that the days of A to Zed are over. I would love to visit Herriot's Yorkshire someday!

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    1. MaryC, my first book, A Share in Death, is set in Herriot's Yorkshire, in Thirsk, where he actually practiced, as Darrowby was fictional. I had been to area several times and loved it so much that it gave me an idea for writing a novel!

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    2. I didn't remember that, Debs, but it's been awhile since I read that one. Must be time for a reread!

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  19. While it is not as soon as I had hoped I am happy to realize that I can have your book in my hands in less than a year! It has been so long that I have gone anywhere so I have to do my traveling in books such as yours. I know the wait will be worth it and meanwhile you have set a picture in my mind of Duncan on that bench in the park. I'll see if I can find it on Street Scene. The park is real, right?

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    1. Yes, St. Anne's Church is at the junction of Shaftsbury Avenue and Wardour Street in Soho. If you put in St. Anne's Soho that will probably pull it up, too. I wish I'd known about the deli and had that sandwich when I was there!

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  20. Only two more chapters! So close, how can you stand it, Debs? Does the momentum carry you forward?

    So much armchair traveling via fiction in my life. I really never traveled out of the US until 2001 (March, and then a few months later, everything changed). The one place that absolutely stunned me, and was nothing like I'd imagined from fictional descriptions, was Venice. The water is such an unusual color, and clear, not at all lagoony or murky, as I'd expected from reading. A very pleasant difference from my expectation.

    Google Earth, etc. has changed everything, of course. Before I go someplace new I often check out how the building looks first, so I have a recognizable landmark visual reference in addition to turn-by-turn GPS directions. So often "you have arrived at your destination" is up for broad interpretation.

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    1. At this point, I wish I could just sit down and write straight through to the end without stopping, I'm so caught up in the story. But in a way I'm sad, because I've lived in this book for so long that it will be hard to let it go. The trick, I'm sure, is to plunge right into the next one:-)

      Depending on Google Maps on my phone in London has been great, but has also gotten me in trouble a few times when the signal dropped off!

      And Venice, yes, so amazing, and I think Rhys in her The Venice Sketchbook does a wonderful of job of bringing it to life.

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    2. I agree about The Venice Sketchbook. Wish I'd been able to read that first before I went there.

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  21. I love the new cover, Debs. Very you.

    I needed a place for my characters in the Laurel Highlands series to go for a sandwich in Confluence, PA so I made up the Lazy Dog Cafe. Then I visited the town. Turns out it's a real place. LOL

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    1. How funny, Liz. And was it anything like your fictional cafe?

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    2. Yes, quite a bit.

      That reminds me, I'd also made up a drugstore on the corner of two streets in my Homefront series. A woman in my dad's church said there really was a drugstore on that corner back in the 40s and her father worked there!

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  22. Great snippet, Debs. I can't wait to read the whole book.

    I love the maps you include in your books, and I flip back and forth to follow the story's progress on them.

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  23. Thanks, Amanda! I think we'll be sending the manuscript to Laura Maestro shortly. That's always such a fun process. It will be interesting to see what we do with some of the places I've made up--like an entire hospital!

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  24. I love that Duncan eats lunch in the churchyard. I actually misinterpreted churchyard for church graveyard, which actually made it even more interesting. that Duncan would feel comfortable enough to spend time just sitting in a graveyard.

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    1. I think there are headstones at St. Anne's. It's an old church, like most in London. But English churchyards tend to be very comfortable places.

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  25. Just clicked to preorder and Amazon told me I already had. Not too eager, am I :) Whenever I travel to location I loved in fiction, I travel the area at least once re-visiting favorite places - even if they don't exist. There is always something to key on that brings the site home.

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  26. I took a photo of the Holborn police station and shared it with two friends who are also avid readers of your books. They both responded that you nailed the description of that ugly bunker of a place!

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    1. Ha! I love this!! I hope you had a wander down Lamb's Conduit Street, which is very charming, unlike the hideous police station. The Met has sold off all the pretty ones, by the way, including the stations in Chelsea and Notting Hill.

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    2. I did! So sad to read that Persephone Books has moved to Bath. That was such an enjoyable few blocks.

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    3. Oh, me, too! I would always go in Persephone for a browse. Such gorgeous books! Now I wish I'd brought more home with me.

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  27. “What fictional setting has lived up to your expectations in real life?”

    I’ve done this often but the ones that stand out are:
    St. Mary’s Mead —aka Nether Wallop in Wiltshire —. I’m sure I saw Miss Marple cycling past me

    Edward Rutherford’s SARUM — aka Salisbury Cathedral and Old Sarum.

    Perigord, home of Inspector Bruno in the Dordogne. In the books by Martin Walker.

    The Castel Sant’Angelo in Rome. I’m pretty sure I saw Tosca fling herself over the ramparts

    Nantwich: We went there on Debs’ recommendation and lived for an afternoon in front of Hugh and Charlotte’s bookstore, straight out of the book I’ve read twice and can’t remember the name of right now! Fill in the blank please Debs

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  28. Before I go to somewhere new, I do as much reading and research about it as I can. Often, I recognize buildings or neighborhoods as I approach them, and that’s exciting! I can’t remember offhand which places they were, but it’s always a real treat when it happens.

    I want Duncan’s sandwich, but not as much as I want to read that book!

    DebRo

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    1. Well, I see I forgot to choose how to identify myself in the above comment but at least I used my nickname given to me by another JRW reader(Linda Rodriguez, also one of my favorite writers) a few years ago!

      DebRo

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    2. We think of you as DebRo, Deb! But I didn't realize that Linda Rodriguez had given you the nickname!

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  29. I think one of my most magical travel experiences was when in grad school, I was in Moscow and we went to places in the book The Master and Margarita, by Mixail Bulgakov. We would read passages a loud to one another ( the flat on Sadovaya st., Patriarch’s Ponds…). —Mari

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    1. Isn't that wonderful? If you spent time in Moscow, you might enjoy Ellen Crosby's Moscow Nights. Such great atmosphere and descriptions.

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  30. I am so looking forward to this, Debs. And a vicarious visit to London. Food and aromas are things I love about your books

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  31. I am looking forward to this book. I have always liked that your characters stop to eat and enjoy their food.

    I was astonished when the Palace of Westminster viewed at night from Greenwich and a rural New England church steeple glaringly white amid autumn leaves were remarkably as advertised. I had never really believed that either were quite real until I saw them. Iona Wishaw's descriptions of the area around Nelson, British Columbia came to life when we visited last autumn. I could easily envision slipping those icy roads and struggling with boats in the fog despite the glorious October sun that had found us that day. Without her atmospheric renderings of Nelson, we could have been hoodwinked!

    I found a '70s vintage London Underground pocket map in some stuff the other day. It is cool, but definitely doesn't bring me joy so if anyone wants it, let me know!

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    1. I'd love the map, C D, but wouldn't burden you with postage from Canada.

      I have the new Iona Wishaw waiting, top of my to-read pile. I'm happy to know that her descriptions of Nelson are spot on!

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  32. I love exploring in books, as I don't have to actually get lost (but I don't get to actually enjoy the diners). Once, wandering afoot because the Tube was not going for some reason, I spotted a man with a map and asked directions. He confessed that he was new also, but together we worked out where I should go . . . but it was the wrong way, which I soon realized. When I turned back and found my group, they had an apology to pass along from my helpful friend, who had realized the error and spotted them waiting. Such courtesy! . . . and of course that meant they weren't worried, knowing I'd backtrack.

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    1. I've discovered some of my favorite London places by getting lost! Or by riding a bus all the way to the end of a route.

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  33. Debs, I love this excerpt, and now I'm starving for a thick, fresh deli sandwich! I have to make a post office run - maybe I'll stop at the Hanneford store deli counter.

    I'm constantly seeing places that I've first been introduced to in fiction. One of the best examples is in Vermont - after reading Archer Mayor's Joe Gunther series for all these years, there's scarcely a place I can't drive in the Green Mountain State that I haven't "seen" before.

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    1. If I ever get to upstate New York, Julia, I'm going to need a Clare and Russ tour!

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  34. Love the excerpt. I could feel Duncan’s need for a respite, an alone moment to enjoy the place and the lunch.
    I like to walk in the places I’ve read about and I also like to read about the places I’ve seen.
    Unfortunately, I’ve started reading your books after visiting London.
    Preordering for my daughter’s birthday on February 7th. Of course, she doesn’t read in English but who said I couldn’t get a gift for myself on her birthday ?
    Danielle-momo

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    1. That sounds like a perfect excuse to me, Danielle!

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  35. Counting the days until the book is in hand. Getting closer / and now looking for some foccacia. I do love this week on JRW's

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  36. Not a writer , but I’ve written so much of what you all have written in and around London…if I’m reading another author and something happens in Notting Hill, for example, I might think: oh, I wonder if Duncan and Gemma know about this ?

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  37. Should say “I’ve read…”

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  38. Deb, I wish Google was as exhaustive in rural Burgundy! Alas, the little one-lane farm roads and tiny crossroads towns are covered in sketchy form, and that makes sense. Other than local farmers and lost tourists looking in vain for wineries, there's not a lot of traffic. While I wait along with so many others for the next Gemma and Duncan novel, I'm re-reading some of the early ones again and enjoying them. Write on!

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    1. Um, that was me but I have the worst time trying to comment on this great blog....

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    2. Hi, Susan! The good thing about scanty Google is that you have more room to make things up! It worries me when I have to plonk something fictional down where there is a real place, but sometimes cheating a bit is a necessity. And I am eagerly waiting for your new book!

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  39. I remember reading A Share In Death and hoping there were more as it had the makings of a fabulous series, and all my hopes were realized, so thank you! Are the smells illusive or elusive? Persnickety minds want to know.

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  40. Sorry I am late today! As a reader, I love discovering places that are mentioned in novels like Peter Pan statue in ? Hyde ? Green ? Park, London, England. I remember asking an author where Ebury Place was and she admitted that it was made up. However, I recall staying at a B and B on Ebury street in London.
    On another note, I preordered your new novel.
    Diana

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    1. Thank you, Diana! The first flat I ever rented in London was in Ebury Street. In fact, I put Doug Cullen's former girlfriend in Ebury Street in a previous novel.

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  41. I preordered your book on January 3! (Just double-checked.) I also have to confess that even though I live in Bern and have not been restricted at all from walking around the city during Covid times, sometimes when I'm writing a Polizei Bern book, I need to figure out the route Renzo should use to drive to a suspect's apartment house on the far west side of the city. Then I, too, am deeply grateful for Google Street View! Thanks for that excerpt. It's a delicious taste of the feast to come!

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    1. Thank you, Kim! We have no excuse now to confuse one way streets:-)

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    2. Susan Nelson-HolmdahlApril 30, 2022 at 4:40 AM

      I just finished your book Pesticide. I really enjoyed it! Is it the first in a planned series?

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  42. I went to St Anne's on one of my trips to the UK, because Dorothy L Sayers ashes are buried under the tower. And I think she may have been a churchwarden there, even when there was no church

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  43. Do you ever go to any of the Ottolenghi restaurants? OMG. I would park myself on the curb and just eat. :D

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  44. Looking forward to this one - of all the US authors writing English books, you're definitely the best. When I first read A Share in Death (and a subsequent books) I had no idea you weren't British! As an ex-Londoner I love the references to places I've lived and worked. Recently re=read the whole series, and it made me homesick for London. As a fellow crime writer, I've made up most of my locations in case I get things wrong. Thanks for the books.

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  45. Ana Braga-HenebryMay 3, 2022 at 7:27 PM

    I’m a new fan! Love Duncan, love Gemma, love their parenting despite everything… the piano, the Saturday market… can’t wait for them to have their own baby!!

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