Sunday, April 6, 2014

Fear in the Sunlight

On an episode of Flog It earlier this year, Paul Martin visited Portmeirion a village built on the Welsh north coat by architect, Sir Clough Williams-Ellis, between 1925 and 1975. The main setting for most of this Nicola Upson novel is Portmeirion in the year 1936. Although the village was incomplete guests stayed at the hotel during the summer and during the day tourists also paid to visit the village, making it a busy place in the warmer months of the year.

As usual, the author includes real people in her work of fiction. Josephine Tey and her friends arrange to spend a few days at Portmeirion to celebrate her 40th birthday. Also staying at the resort was Alfred Hitchcock and his wife, Alma, plus a party of their guests from the world of film. When the bodies of two of the guests are found murdered along with a probable suicide Josephine's friend, Chief Inspector Archie Penrose, carries out the initial investigation until the local police arrive. The complicated relationships between many of the guests and their connections with the local area are revealed as the investigation proceeds. A crime story with many twists and turns, involving the world of show business set in an exotic location and told by a gifted writer make this novel well worth reading.

For those interested in Portmeirion there are a number of films on YouTube including one by Jools Holland.

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