I found my trip to the Lakes inspiring on more than one level. I’ve spent too long fiddling with the synopsis for the fifth Lake District Mystery, and wandering around the Lakes put me in the right mood to finish the job. The drive from Grasmere to Keswick is very attractive, and I was only sorry that time didn’t permit a short detour to Castlerigg, to see the old stone circle again.
Keswick is home to just 5,000 people, but it has a thriving atmosphere, and seems to have weathered the recession much better than most places. There’s a busy market on Thursdays and Saturdays, with stalls spilling down the main street from the Moot Hall, which is now a tourist information office. There’s a good second hand bookshop (hooray!) and an equally good independent book store, Bookends, as well as loads of places to eat and drink. The Theatre by the Lake is hugely popular, and I’d love to see a production there one day.
I was entertained by the news placard, which suggests that there isn’t too much everyday drama in real-life Keswick at the moment - impossible to resist the temptation to photograph it. Simply by walking around the town, and along the edge of the lake to Friar’s Crag (the first place John Ruskin remembered visiting as a child), I found I was getting ideas for my story. The atmosphere of Keswick is so charming that it seems mean to disturb it with a murder investigation
But a crime writer’s gotta do what a crime writer’s gotta do!