A Smuggler’s trail

No Remorse, the third Kent Fisher Mystery, has a cryptic puzzle at its core that has Kent Fisher following in the footsteps of the old smugglers, who made their living in this beautiful part of the South Downs.

Smugglers left their mark on the landscape of East Sussex, landing their contraband on the shingle beach at Cuckmere Haven above. From here, they took boats up the Cuckmere River, past the white horse on the hill near Litlington village.

Cuckmere River

If you look closely, you can make out the river behind Harvey and the chalk horse on the hill beyond. As the inspiration behind Kent Fisher’s dog, Columbo, Harvey’s keen to help me research the settings for the stories, especially if it involves a trip to the local pubs..

In Collins’ time the river was wider, making it easier to move goods by boat past Litlington village, which features in No Remorse, past St Andrews Church to Alfriston.

St Andrews Church

Stanton Collins, who ran the main gang, had his headquarters in Alfriston, a pretty village with many lovely old buildings.

In Waterloo Square at the centre of the village on the opposite side to the building above, stands Ye Olde Smugglers Inne, its weather boarded first floor housing the rooms used by the gangs.

The rich smuggling heritage not only plays a part in the history of this part of the South Downs, but offers some cryptic clues to baffle and test Kent Fisher as he tries to discover why Anthony Trimble was killed.

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