You’ve completed the difficult task of finding the perfect crime novel for you. Excellent! But now it’s onto the next task – finding the perfect location to read it. There's nothing like an aesthetic backdrop to really immerse yourself into a novel, or, if you’re anything like me, pretend you're part of it! That's why I’ve compiled a list of northern nooks and crannies sure to make the setting of your book feel like it’s all around you.
Most of us are more than partial to an Agatha Christie classic but I wonder how many of us have been daring enough to read Murder on the Orient Express on a steam train? I can’t confess that I've done so myself, but I do know that the Settle-Carlisle Line would be the ideal railway to find a glorious burgundy steam train that travels 73 miles across the scenic north-west. This railway is famous for its long tunnels, Victorian architecture, and great viaducts such as Ribblehead. You would struggle to find a more authentic railway that not only transports you across the north but transports your mind into a consciousness of classic crime.
If you’re a fan of The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and you can’t make it down to Devon, then Yorkshire’s Tan Hill Inn is the next best thing. This pub is famous for being Britain’s highest public house at 528 m (1732 ft) above sea level. Its remote, isolated, and high up location on top of the Yorkshire Dales, means it’s sure to remind you of Baskerville Hall on top of Dartmoor. Although the pub itself doesn't look like Baskerville Hall, you may find yourself thinking that Sherlock Holmes is going to walk in at any time if you sit and read there long enough!
North West Cumbria’s very own Morecambe Bay is the home of Ruth Sutton’s novel Cruel Tide. So, if you want to visit the actual location of a northern crime novel, I can’t think of anywhere better. As one of the north west’s largest estuaries, Morecambe Bay offers an array of atmospheres, depending on when you visit, from soft sand dunes and mountainous horizons to brooding skies and a churning sea. All that’s left to do is wait for the next crime mystery to unveil itself, just as one does to Sutton’s protagonist Judith Pharaoh.
I hope my three suggestions have sparked your desire to find a new reading spot for your favourite crime novel. There’s only so many times you can read it cosied up in bed or on the sofa, after all. With so many idyllic settings to make chilling, you can see why so many crime novels should be read in the north!
Isobel, Publishing Intern