Looking through some of my older blog posts, I found a top five locations in books post. Now it finally looks like travel is a possibility again. So I’ve turned this post into a ‘before and after’ of book travel!
Let’s start with the armchair travel list. These are my original top five settings in books. If you’re not ready to travel yet, I recommend reading these books instead.
Chilled out Barbados
For those of us who get a little bored lounging by a pool, Agatha Christie’s A Caribbean Mystery is perfect. The combination of suspense, mystery, and holiday relaxation, provides both interest and escapism.
Dan Brown’s Angels and Demons brought back wonderful memories of this beautiful city. This book is a murder mystery and art history lesson rolled into one. You may learn more by reading this one, than by actually going to Rome. There’s only so much you can fit into a short break.
Susanna Gregory’s Matthew Bartholomew series is mostly set in the fascinating location of medieval Cambridge. Some of the books feature trips to nearby historic cities including York, and my very own Peterborough! You can still see some of the areas and buildings mentioned now. But if you want to experience the time period, books are great portals.
In Agatha Christie’s Death on the Nile, a murder takes place during a river cruise in Egypt. What a fantastic idea to set a murder in a moving location! The culture, the history, the feeling of being trapped with a killer – what more could you want?
I fell in love with Alexander McCall Smith’s No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series because of the setting. The grasslands, the wildlife, the unending sky, the pace of life. And, of course, the mysteries – which could only happen in Botswana!
So that’s the before. Next is my top five settings from books I’ve discovered during the pandemic. I’m looking forward to visiting some of these soon!
Jasbinder Bilan’s Asha and the Spirit Bird made me feel like I was actually in India for a little while. This destination is a little outside my budget at the moment but hopefully I’ll get there one day.
Dan Brown’s Inferno fuelled my desire to see this historic city. My planned trip to Florence was cancelled at the start of the pandemic. And I still haven’t made it to this interesting destination. But a visit could happen in the not-too-distant future. Once I’m not quite so anxious about being near large crowds of people…
Stunning St. Petersburg
I won’t be going to this location anytime soon. So it’s a good thing I’ve read Katherine Woodfine’s Spies in St. Petersburg. I can at least imagine the wonders of this currently off-limits city, thanks to the evocative descriptions in the book. And who knows what the future will bring?
I love The Venetian Game book series by Philip Gwynne Jones. Venice is where my husband proposed, and these stories always take me back there. Thankfully, there was a lot less murder and mayhem during our visit! This setting was always going to be a winner for me. And one that I intend to visit again some day.
I haven’t read The Olive Grove by Eva Glyn yet but I’m looking forward to it. And that’s really the point of this post. Books have been a wonderful escape for me over the last few years. But I’m now able to imagine myself actually going to a new and different destination. I’m looking forward to travel again. And I’m hoping to make this trip a reality in the near future.
Those are my favourite book settings right now. What are your favourite book settings? Are there any you think you might actually visit soon?
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