A suitable setting for murder.
Tarot’s Touch is set in and around the city of Bristol in the west of England. I know it well having worked there for a few years, but that wasn’t the only reason for choosing it. Bristol has a past full of crime and brutality and many signs of that past remain today. I thought it would be interesting to share a little of its story.
The rich and eventful history of Bristol stretches back over many centuries. The original town was listed in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle of 1051 as a port trading regularly with Ireland and Bristol played an extremely important role in sea trade for hundreds of years following this. Walking along Bristol’s ancient harbour, it’s easy to imagine the tall ships with their sails whipping in the wind and the shouts and cries of sailors preparing to head out to sea. Bristol’s strong links with the ocean, and its key role in the profitable trade of slavery and tobacco, inevitably lead to the city’s involvement with piracy. Laws at the time stated that piracy was illegal – however the practice of privateering was not. Privateers were meant to have a ‘letter of Marque’ from their government allowing them to attack and steal from merchant ships of certain countries. Bristol’s most famous pirate, Blackbeard, was allegedly born in the city, near the old harbour.
Governor Woodes Rogers, a famous privateer, was born in Bristol in 1679 and is most famous for rescuing Alexander Selkirk from Juan Fernandez Island, where he’d been marooned there for over five years. The story goes that after Alexander Selkirk was rescued by Rogers’ crew and taken back to Bristol, he met the author Daniel Defoe in The Llandoger Trow – a pub on Bristol’s King Street, which still stands today. Selkirk later became inspiration for Defoe’s character Robinson Crusoe and for Benn Gunn in Robert Louis Stevenson’s ‘Treasure Island’. Stevenson is said to have visited the Hole in the Wall pub just off Queen Square in Bristol, which bares striking resemblance to the Spyglass Tavern in Treasure Island.
Queen Square, situated near the harbour, remains much as it was hundreds of years ago, and many of the buildings around the harbour are said to have been funded by maritime crime.
Bristol was also a leading slaving port. Bristol’s port was the second largest in England after London. Countries that Bristol traded with included France, Spain, Ireland, Portugal, and North Africa’s Barbary Coast. Trading with the various colonies in the Caribbean and North America began to flourish during the 1600s. Between 1697 and 1807, 2,108 known ships left Bristol to make the trip to Africa and onwards across the Atlantic with slaves. Approximately 500,000 slaves were brought into slavery by these ships, representing one-fifth of the British slave trade during this time. The city prospered from the misery and persecution of others. It has corruption at the heart of its history and there are still parts of the old city that retain echoes of that past. It seemed an appropriate setting for murder.
This is book three in the Investigating Love series, see the full series listing here
Can truth be found in the cards?
DI Alex Courtney and his lover, DC Conor Trethuan are under enormous pressure as their team investigates an arson case and a murder.
It soon becomes apparent that the two cases are linked and the race is on to find a vicious killer. A tarot card is placed with the first victim and the detectives are left to interpret the clues it provides. When Conor receives a note from the killer making reference to another card, the whole team is shaken. Their worst fears are realized when a second body is discovered, along with another tarot card.
Conor suspects he has been followed then a hit and run leaves him injured. Alex wants nothing more than to wrap his lover up in cotton wool and protect him from the world. But is Conor the killer’s target or just a pawn in a much more sinister game? As the clues come together, it seems that the motive for murder might be revenge.
Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of genital bondage.
About LM Somerton:
Lucinda lives in a small village in the English countryside, surrounded by rolling hills, cows and sheep. She started writing to fill time between jobs and is now firmly and unashamedly addicted.
She loves the English weather, especially the rain, and adores a thunderstorm. She loves good food, warm company and a crackling fire. She’s fascinated by the psychology of relationships, especially between men, and her stories contain some subtle (and some not so subtle) leanings towards BDSM.
Reviews to follow