see frequently in reference to the beautifully written and award-winning Louise
Penny series is: “I want to live in Three Pines!” Or words to that effect.
what we authors hope for when we create a fictional world? We hope readers love
our worlds so much they want to take up residence! It’s true with all books
but seems especially true with a series where the community created is revisited with each book.
place is a big part of who the characters are. Just like where we’re all from tells
so much about us. How they feel about where they’re from is important. And whether they’ve always lived there and continue to do so; or
perhaps they couldn’t get away from their roots fast enough.
of series with a sense of place are:
- Stephanie Plum and her
irreverent Jersey burb surroundings,
- Jessica Fletcher and
her cozy Cabot Cove community,
- Tess Monaghan’s rough
and tumble Baltimore,
- And, of course, the aforementioned,
Three Pines with Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du
Québec and the cast of complicated characters who invite us into their village.
setting of our Pampered Pets mystery series for several reasons.
California, they’re from Texas. Those Lone Star roots are a big part of Caro
and Mel even though they both have pretty distinct reasons for leaving the
great state of Texas.
a pet-themed mystery with its pet-friendly merchants and off-the-chart number
of pet owners (more registered dogs than there are kids), it’s also the perfect
place for Caro and Mel.
Orange County located midway between Los Angeles and San Diego. It has
spectacular cliffs, glistening beaches, and breathtaking views of the Pacific,
but it also has a uniquely artsy and almost European feel. The quaint
boutiques, coffee bars, and sidewalk cafes provide a sense of place that
brings together people who care about their community and each other. A
community interested the greater good and setting things right when they go
great restaurants and stores, just like in the real village. However, though we’ve used a real place we’ve populated the tree-lined village area, the Hills
and the fabulous beachfront homes with characters from our imagination.
In our make-believe world you’ll find:
- Judd Malone, no nonsense, stay-out-of-police-business homicide detective,
- Diana Knight, former screen star who still brings to mind the magic and glamour of a bygone era in Hollywood,
- Darby Beckett, wholesome and sometimes naive owner of Paw Prints pet photography,
- Ollie Hembry, former rocker turned pet rescuer,
- Kendall Reese, flamboyant dresser and pet groomer extraordinaire,
- Fan favorite, Betty Foxx, silk pajama-wearing senior with a strange sense of fashion and an eye for the gentleman,
- And, of course, assorted adorable cats and pups.
They all, like us love the unique and close-knit community. We think it’s the perfect place for Caro and Mel. And for a bit of fictional murder…
What specific things do you love about the settings in your favorite mysteries? Do you enjoy returning to those favorite places?
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