Inevitably, when researching for a book, one accumulates a lot of fascinating information that just has no place in the book. Here are some pics of places in Worcestershire that I visited while investigating the part of Worcestershire around Daisy's fictional home, Fairacres, for HEIRS OF THE BODY.
The City of Worcester has many historical associations. These pics are from the Commandery, which in medieval times served as an almshouse as well as a place of hospitality for pilgrims and other travellers. During the Civil War (British not American!) it was the headquarters of the forces of Charles I against Cromwell's Puritan army (Cavaliers v. Roundheads).
Above is a view of Worcester from the river, and on the right, the Cathedral gatehouse.
This is a house my friend and I visited on the opposite side of the Severn from Fairacres. Unfortunately it doesn't work as a model for Fairacres, but we enjoyed touring it nonetheless.
The house, believe it or not, was once occupied by a boys' school. What they thought of the presiding ladies' physical endowments is lost to history. Perhaps fortunately...
Much of the interior has beautiful old plaster mouldings. The occupants after the school were a group of Buddhists. They painted the normally white mouldings in vivid colours. Desecration, some might say, but I think they're beautiful.
Below are the old "pepperpot" church tower and a narrowboat on the river at Upton upon Severn, the nearest small town to Fairacres.
Both are mentioned in the book but aren't important to the story.
On the other hand, I also came across unexpected information that changed the course of the story. I learned that the village, though it seems well set up from the river, regularly floods when storms in the hills from which it flows dump heavy rainfall upstream.
As a result, the local doctor can't get to Fairacres, and Daisy can't take to him the body that's sitting beside her in the car...
Heirs of the Body is the 21st in the Daisy Dalrymple mystery series. It will be out in December in the US and UK and elsewhere, as well as in e-book formats.
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