Monday, July 14, 2008

Beautiful Settings

by Julia Buckley

I am still immersed in my summer rhetoric course--lots of reading, lots of writing. But I am occasionally reading a good mystery and trying to write one, too. As I read I marvel at the beautiful places one can transport to in a good novel. As Emily Dickinson said, "There is no frigate like a book/to take us lands away."

So my question for the day is, "What's your favorite mystery setting?" and to get you started, I'll share my personal photographs of some of the prettiest settings we've visited in the last couple of years.

The picture above was taken at an animal refuge and park near us; the two below were taken in Michigan during our spring vacation. It was cold, but lovely.

This field of wildflowers drew me out of our car on a tiny side road in Springfield, Illinois--the state capital. Below is a vineyard at the foot of the Andes Mountains in Chile (taken by my husband).

This lovely view was taken in Allegan, Michigan--and the autumnal tree photo was captured in my own front yard.

A old-fashioned water mill near our home was the setting where I found this brilliant tiger lily; and the delightful polar bear doesn't fear extinction in his enclosure at our local zoo.

This pattern of leaves was painted by nature on the cement of our alley; the flowers grew up next to my neighbor's garage.

These last two shots are local, too--a sunset over the expressway near my house, and a shot of Chicago's Printer's Row Book Fair.

Hopefully this was a fun visual display--but don't forget to share your favorite settings--or tell us which photo you liked best.


Elizabeth Zelvin said...

Julia, I opened PDD this morning thinking, "I wonder what photos Julia has for us today," and got even more of a treat than I expected. For me, the blue dock takes the blue ribbon. As for mystery settings, hmmm: Donna Leon's Venice; Lawrence Block's New York; the European settings in your favorite Mary Stewart, especially the South of France (uncrowded with tourists as it would never be today).

Julia Buckley said...

Do you know I've never read Lawrence Block? I need to put him on my list (Donna Leon is already there). And I agree about Mary Stewart, although my favorite is her description of Greek islands.

I like the blue dock, too, and it reminds me of the cover of Martha Grimes' book THE END OF THE PIER.

Sandra Parshall said...

I always enjoy reading a book set in a place where I've actually been -- but if I find inaccuracies, I'm very annoyed! I like Laura Lippman's Baltimore because I've lived there, and I like books set in the south because I grew up there. I have to confess that in general I prefer the familiar over the exotic.

Julia Buckley said...

I am also reading a book set in Baltimore--Tim Cockey's THE HEARSE YOU CAME IN ON. He is great with setting and I'm enjoying it a lot--of course I've never been to Baltimore, so I wouldn't know if there were errors!