Crime Cymru Abroad #4: Catalonia with Chris Lloyd

Crime Cymru Abroad #4: Catalonia with Chris Lloyd

Chris Lloyd discovers how location can be the inspiration with his police procedural series set in Catalonia. If you stand at the foot of the cathedral steps in Girona, some hundred kilometres northeast of Barcelona, what you’re really standing on is the Via Augusta, one of the roads that led to Rome. You can feel the centuries of history tugging at your sleeve. Towering above you is the Gothic cathedral, its stones carrying fossilised sea creatures, an evolutionary contradiction for a cathedral wall. To your right is a carriage-width chasm of a street, where the windows along one side are up to five hundred years younger than the buildings they’re in. It marked the edge of the medieval Jewish ghetto, its residents banned from looking out over the city, the windows put in after the Jews were expelled in 1492. Turn again and you see a café that had been home to seditious talk of democracy and freedom under the Franco...
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Crime Cymru Abroad #3: Spain with Phil Rowlands

Phil Rowlands, whose last book Siena was set partly in Italy, moves to Spain as a location for a new novel. I wanted to set my next book in Spain. I’ve spent the last 10 years of summer holidays there, in our family apartment situated in a working class barrio of Alicante within walking distance of the old town and the beach. I love the buzz and bustle that is the heartbeat of this part of town. Whilst here last year I read a wonderful book about the Spanish civil war and started to develop an idea for a story, the Mouse of Bernarda Alba, that begins during the conflict but would live in the contemporary world and still remain rooted in the past. It begins in Alicante in 1937 with the theft of a precious stone set into a large brooch by a well known jewellery designer, its disappearance, the flight of the perceived thief, and his brutal murder in 1950s London....
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Crime Cymru Abroad #2: Venice with Philip Gwynne Jones

Philip Gwynne Jones invites us to Venice (but definitely not by cruise ship), and it's not all sunshine and Canaletto. I'm an accidental novelist. In fact, when a water taxi deposited Caroline and myself in a chilly Campo San Barnaba in March 2012, burdened with ten suitcases but nothing so conventional as a fixed abode or place of work, I wasn't any sort of writer at all. I was a computer programmer. Or, to be more precise, I was an unsuccessful computer programmer, recently made redundant by one of those banks that had developed the annoying habit of nearly sliding out of business. Having failed at sensible jobs we decided, in middle-age, to do something not very sensible at all. We sold our flat, cashed in whatever savings we had and moved to Venice to teach English. I certainly had no intention of writing a novel. But Venice generates stories. There is something about the city that just makes you want to...
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