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Beautiful, Remote...and Deadly

The books in my upcoming “A Walk Through England” series all take place on British country trails and pathways. Not nearly as dangerous as the mean streets of the city? Think again! Here are five classic English mysteries set in rural Britain:

1. The impenetrable mists of Dartmoor (not far where my first mystery, “A Deadly Walk in Devon”, takes place) provide the setting for the landmark “Hound of the Baskervilles” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, featuring the inimitable Sherlock Holmes.

2. Further west is Cornwall, where Daphne du Maurier’s unforgettable “Rebecca” is set. The novel features another common element of rural British mysteries—the spooky large country manor, where secrets hide behind every wall.

3. Peter Robinson’s excellent Inspector Banks series is set in the Yorkshire dales of Northern England. “In a Dry Season” concerns a small village, once drowned by the creation of a reservoir, which reveals buried secrets when the reservoir starts to run dry.

4. Norfolk, on the England’s rugged east coast, is the setting for Elly Griffiths’ gripping first Ruth Galloway novel, “The Crossing Places.” Bones discovered on a remote beach draws the archeologist into cooperation with local police.

5. Ann Cleeves has created two renowned mystery series set in rural England. One is her famous Vera Stanhope mysteries, which take place on the northeast England coast, and the others are her Jimmy Perez mysteries, which feature the bleak and beautiful countryside of the Shetland Islands far to the north. “Raven Black” is one of the best in that series.


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