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Death in Dorset, Isle of Wight and Estepona – The Books of M H Eccleston

  • Submitted: 19th April 2023

The Books of M H Eccleston

How do you fancy an island hopping series of novels starting in Dorset, England, then over to the Isle of Wight followed by a sunny jaunt over to Spain?

Visit locations in The Trust

Death in Dorset, Isle of Wight and Estepona - The Books of M H Eccleston

If you haven’t discovered the cosy crime series by M H Eccleston then you can change that right now. The main character is Astrid Kisner who is an art restorer from London whose marriage has just imploded and who has just discovered she’s inherited a property in Dorset. Not a seaside cottage but a leaky old boat on the estuary!

Visit locations in The Trust

The Trust M H Eccleston

This is Wareham, where  “Curlew’s Rest” could be moored:

Hanbury, Dorset (fictional)

The main village setting might not be real, but the Dorset charm and landscape comes across loud and clear! Could this be Wareham in real life?

What a perfect start to a series of three great settings. Dorset comes across wonderfully as does the nature of the National Trust and the work they do.

Visit locations in The Trust

National Trust

Dorset National Trust property Kingston Lacy could well be the inspiration for fictional Sherborne Hall.

Astrid gets a job at the local NT stately home. Cue descriptions of wonderful gardens, posh rooms and a regal entrance hall. This version of the NT is very funny – there’s descension in the ranks and gossip behind the scenes. Lots of dubious goings on it would seem…..

‘It’s like the mafia, but with scones.”

And then they find a dead man in the grounds….

The story also takes Astrid to a number of familiar settings in coastal Dorset, including RSPB Arne, Brownsea Island (a real life National Trust property) and elsewhere in the vicinity of real life Wareham and Poole Harbour. A lovely way to explore this part of the world and imagine all kinds of murderous goings on in the Dorset countryside.

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Death on the Isle M.H. Eccleston

Visit locations in Death on the Isle

Death on the Isle

A bit more energetic in the second in the series as we head to the Isle of Wight. Not only that, we go at th time when the Cowes regatta is in full swing.

It’s a maritime theme this time with astrid working on a maritime art collection of someone who has just died. She’s only been on the island five minutes when she finds abody at the pier of Yarmouth harbour.  Cue a covert investigation. Then another dead body. The investigation ramps up…..

Visit locations in Death on the Isle

Good to see Astrid’s boat take a starring role in this novel. Its been restored and so Curlew’s Rest is looking mighty fine!

The setting here is rather wonderful. If you are familiar with Cowes Week or not, this is a lovely atmosphere here. Boats, sailing, the clang of masts and the whipping of sails in the wind: all adding to create a very immersive experience!

Death Comes to the Costa del Sol M.H. Eccleston

Death Comes to the Costa del Sol

Visit locations in Death Comes to the Costa del Sol

After the rain and wind of book two, it’s a delightful hop over the water to sunny Spain. A nice little coastal town awaits – Estopena is a very real and very pretty town and welcomes  Astrid via its friendly locals, expats and sense of community.

Visit locations in Death Comes to the Costa del Sol

Plenty of Spanish flavour in the descriptions of food and landscape.

There’s lots to enjoy here and the book describes expat life to the full. When someone starts to troll them online, Astrid steps in. She is hoping to get to know her father as they are estranged from each other. Not going to be an easy holiday then is it? One of the first things her father does is ask her to investigate the online trolling.

It’s the setting here that shines. Small town Spanish life and the sense of both community and isolation in the expat and local communities. There’s the sunny side of life here but also the hardship and the every day reality.  Fun to visit a golf course and a English shop abroad ( the only thing I ever miss is marmite). Sadly, there is the ever present British pub abroad here too.

Visit locations in Death Comes to the Costa del Sol

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Three fun locations for  a package holiday with a difference!

 

BookTrail Boarding Pass: M H Eccleston

Twitter: @MarkEccleston1

 

 

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