Happy release day to Cragside: A 1930s murder mystery

Today, I’m releasing the ebook, paperback and audiobook of Cragside into the wild. I loved writing this book, and I want to say that my narrator, Gill Mills, has done an amazing job of bringing the character of Lady Ella Merryweather to life. Thank you.

But, why Cragside?

Cragside is a National Trust property in North Northumberland. During Lockdown, it was one of the places that was allowed to remain open (the grounds were) for locals. What started as a single visit because it was just amazing to go somewhere that wasn’t home, or the walk down the road, became a regular weekly haunt. Every week, just about without fail, and no matter the weather, we walked around the estate, exploring places I’d never seen before. And what an absolute joy it was. Cragside, the house, is majestic, but it’s the estate and all of its wonderful nature that really called to me. It’s not unusual to see a deer on the vast estate, or to watch birds, ducks and even some fish, in their natural environment. And some of the ducks like to have a proper little scrap, which really echoes.

Autumnal view of the estate looking out towards Rothbury
The Basin Tank, Cragside
One of the many, many paths through the Estate and leading to the house

And the more I walked around the estate, the more I started to see possibilities for a new story. The basin tank, dark and brooding, seemed like a perfect place to find a body, and that was just the first of the thoughts I had about a potential new story. And, of course, I also made the decision to set the story in Autumn, because while the spring and summer are beautiful, I’m a huge fan of Autumn colours, and it’s not just because the estate tends to be quieter over the cooler months:)

My main character, Lady Ella Merryweather, developed along with my walks and I enjoyed crafting the story of a woman already suspected of murder trying to prove her innocence in the 1930s.

I hope you’ll enjoy my 1930s murder mystery inspired by my love of Cragside and Agatha Christie novels.

Cragside is available now.

Author: M J Porter, author

I'm a writer of historical fiction (Early England/Viking and the British Isles as a whole before 1066, as well as two 20th century mysteries).

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