When I describe settings in the novels, I mainly use a mixture of places I’ve visited and photographed. The photos help me to describe the scenery and buildings with more accuracy.
No Bodies starts with a funeral at Friston Church, which sits at the top of the hill overlooking East Dean. I’ve walked here many times and love this small flint church with its magnificent views to the coast.
If you walk through the graveyard, you exit onto the South Downs with views down to the Belle Tout lighthouse on the cliffs above the coast. As day fades into the dusk, the atmosphere becomes more sinister.
When it comes to homes and businesses, I often search online. I can look at hundreds of photos, trying to match the property to the character I have in my head.
When it came to Colonel Witherington, his house in Friston had to be impressive, but not too ostentatious. Something like this.
There were three key areas I wanted to show.
The main reception area with a first floor gallery. I loved the dresser on the left.
The conservatory had to be sturdy and robust, built from oak like the one below.
Daphne Witherington’s bedroom had to be softer and more feminine. The Colonel’s wife had been missing for over a year. Everyone believed she’d run off with a lover – except Kent Fisher. He didn’t believe she’d leave her paints and easel behind.