A big welcome to Crooked Cat author Val Penny to talk about her favourite city, which just happens to be the setting for her exciting crime novels… (I, too, dreamed of being a ballerina, Val!)
Thank you for inviting me to your blog today, Jane. I am very excited because my second crime novel, ‘Hunter’s Revenge’ is published by Crooked Cats Books and available to pre-order from Amazon.
The story is set in Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland. I think setting is very important to a novel and did consider creating an imaginary town for my story. However, I lived in Edinburgh for many years and know the city well. I definitely saw my main protagonist, Detective Inspector Hunter Wilson, as a city policeman. Also, Edinburgh is a beautiful city and it is lovely to ‘research’ by walking around my favourite places!
Edinburgh has everything a writer could need. It is a diverse city with all different kinds of buildings and people. It is small enough that characters can move around it quickly and large enough for it to be credible that anything I want to happen there, could happen.
Edinburgh is a fabulous city with a castle, a palace and a cathedral, wealthy homes, horrible slums, fine restaurants, fast food outlets and idiosyncratic pubs. It is home to an Olympic size pool, the National Rugby Team and two famous football teams. It is also home to The Edinburgh International Festivals, what more could I or my characters want?
When I chose Edinburgh as the setting for my first novel ‘Hunter’s Chase’, I thought about it carefully. it is a beautiful city of around half a million people. I wanted the place to be big enough to support the series of books to form The Edinburgh Crime Mysteries, and I have no doubt that it fits the bill.
Hunter Wilson is divorced. He lives in a flat in Leith, an area to the north of the City and drinks in his local pub, the Persevere Bar and plays darts there.
The delegated parliament of Scotland is where Hunter’s nemesis, Sir Peter Myerscough served as Justice Secretary. The Scottish Parliament has wide powers over how the people of Scotland are governed and meets in the Scottish Parliament Building, in the Holyrood district of the city.
Sir Peter Myerscough, has a fine home to the south in the Morningside district of Edinburgh. From his large house he has fine views across the Pentland Hills. The Pentland hills are situated just outside of Edinburgh. The reservoirs are picturesque and each hill is slightly different. If you are fit enough, you can visit the top of all of the hills in one day.
Another main character, Detective Constable Tim Myerscough is Sir Peter Myerscough’s son. He jogs through the unique park at The Hermitage of Braid and his favourite pub is the Golf Tavern, off the Bruntsfield Links where, it is claimed, the oldest golf course in the world is situated.
Edinburgh is such a diverse and cultural city home to the National Art Galleries, beautiful parks and all kinds of people. It is the perfect place to situate my new novel, ‘Hunter’s Revenge’ and all the cases DI Hunter Wilson has to solve.
Val Penny is the author of The Edinburgh Crime Mysteries. The first in the series, ‘Hunter’s Chase’, was published by Crooked Cat Books on 02/02/2018 while the sequel, ‘Hunter’s Revenge’, will be published on 09/09/2018. Both books are available to order from Amazon.
Val Penny is an American author living in SW Scotland. She has two adult daughters of whom she is justly proud and lives with her husband and two cats. She has a Law degree from Edinburgh University and her MSc from Napier University. She has had many jobs including hairdresser, waitress, lawyer, banker, azalea farmer and lecturer. However, she has not yet achieved either of her childhood dreams of being a ballerina or owning a candy store. Until those dreams come true, she has turned her hand to writing poetry, short stories and novels. Her crime novels, ‘Hunter’s Chase’ and Hunter’s Revenge are set in Edinburgh, Scotland, published by Crooked Cat Books.
She may be contacted at
Friends of Hunter Wilson &The Edinburgh Crime Mysteries – www.facebook.com/groups/296295777444303
I do like your choice of city and the reasoning, Val. I’ve been to Edinburgh a few times – once during the Festival – so it has some good memories.
Thanks for that, rolandclarke – not long to this year’s Festval in Edinburgh. Will you manage to visit and catch the atmosphere?
It will have to be via internet as I now live in the US