Detective Novels Set in Cornwall
November 12th, 2021
With its hidden gems and wild countryside, Cornwall is the perfect backdrop for a mystery. So, it shouldn’t be a surprise that plenty of authors agree.
From private islands to the South-West Coast Path, we inspect some of the fantastic detective novels set in Cornwall that are bound to get your blood pumping.
The Lighthouse by P. D. James
While Combe Island in Cornwall is known to have a dark and sordid history, it has since become a privately owned respite for those of high status and authority in need of both a break and guaranteed security. So, it comes as quite the shock when one of those visitors is murdered.
Adam Dalgliesh and his team, including Detective Inspector Kate Miskin and Sergeant Francis Benton-Smith, are called in to solve the mystery as quickly as possible. But, the team is struggling with issues of their own that could jeopardise the entire investigation.
Especially after they find the second body…
The Cove: A Summer Suspense Mystery by L. J. Ross
After almost being another victim of the ‘Tube Killer’ – a man who takes his victims from the platform of the London Underground – Gabrielle Adams realises it is far harder being a survivor than being a victim. To escape her trauma, Gabrielle retreats to run a small bookshop in quiet and rural Cornwall.
But Gabrielle’s picturesque escape is shattered as she wonders if she’s just swapped one nightmare for another.
Careless in Red by Elizabeth George
Thomas Lynley, still reeling from the murder of his wife, takes to the South-West Coastal Path on a mission to walk its entire length to keep himself distracted. But after witnessing a climber plummet to his death and meeting a young woman from Bristol with no memory before her thirteenth year, Lyndley finds himself thrust into a brand new mystery.
With the help of Barbara Havers from London, the two detectives work to sift through the possible motives to identify the killer.
Peril at End House by Agatha Christie
No list of detective stories could ever be complete without mention of the Queen of Mystery herself, Dame Agatha Christie.
In Peril at End House, Hercule Poirot finds himself offering protection to a young woman called Nick Buckley, who seems to keep dodging tragic deaths by the skin of her teeth. First, the brakes on her car fail as she drives down a Cornish hillside, and again when a falling boulder narrowly misses her on the coastal path.
All the while, Poirot is starting to unravel the mystery of a murder that hasn’t been committed yet…
With so much mystery and intrigue, how can you resist the allure of putting on your deerstalker and grabbing your smoking pipe to go solve some mysteries of your own?
If you’re thinking of seeing the wonderful setting of these books for yourself, take a look at our luxury cottages set in the Cornish countryside and start planning your trip today!
7 Cornish Children’s Books to Read
September 14th, 2020
If you sadly haven’t been able to visit Cornwall this year, or you’ve recently enjoyed a Cornish getaway and want to relive your luxury family holiday in Cornwall, then one of the best ways to do this is through books!
Let your little ones remember their fun summer holiday or get them excited for future travels with tales of Cornwall from the counties very own local authors!
Here we celebrate some of the best Cornwall-related children’s books and the incredible Cornish authors who brought these stories to life.
The Mousehole Cat – Antonia Barber
We’ll start with a classic! The Mousehole Cat is a beloved children’s illustrated book from Antonia Barber that tells the tale of Tom, a fisherman, and his cat Mowser.
The pair brave the rough seas to catch fish to save the starving people in Mousehole village during a hard winter. The story is based on Tom Bawcock, a legendary Cornish figure who is celebrated each year on Tom Bawcock’s Eve (23rd December) in Mousehole.
The book has since been adapted into a film, puppet show and stage production.
Soggy the Bear – Philip Moran
One for the little ones, the Soggy the Bear series of illustrated stories from local author Philip Moran are set in St. Ives. You’ll spot lovely scenic illustrations of the St. Ives area from Michael Foreman throughout the books about Soggy the Bear’s adventures.
If you pay a visit to St. Ives, then you may even spot Soggy himself while walking around!
The Mermaid of Zennor – Charles Causley
Poet Charles Causley retells a classic Cornish folktale in this version of The Mermaid of Zennor.
As the legend goes, a mysterious woman came to the church in Zennor and wowed the churchgoers with her beauty and singing – and it’s believed she was a mermaid!
This is the perfect book to read if you are planning a trip to the church in Zennor – St. Senara’s Church – where you can also find the Zennor Mermaid Chair, a beautiful carved bench depicting the mermaid from the legend.
Percy Pengelly and The Wibble-Wobble – Jenny Steele Scolding and Andy McPherson
This charmingly illustrated children’s book depicts the stunning Cornish landscape and uses Cornish dialect throughout this tale of Percy Pengelly, a tightrope walker who looks for a job in Cornwall!
This fun story has also been turned into a live-action production performance!
The White Horse of Zennor and Other Stories – Michael Morpurgo
Although Michael Morpurgo is not a Cornish author, the former children’s Laureate definitely deserves a special mention for his books set in Cornwall.
Perfect for slightly older children, who are more confident at reading alone, The White Horse of Zennor and Other Stories is a selection of five short stories set in the village of Zennor.
Another honourable mention goes to his book Why the Whales Came, which is set on the island of Bryher in the Isles of Scilly off the coast of Cornwall.
Deep Water – Lu Hersey
Deep Water is a novel set in Cornwall using elements of local myths to craft a paranormal mystery. Aimed at readers 12 and over, this novel can be enjoyed by kids and adults alike. Discover the family secrets of main character Danni in this dark and mysterious story.
Captured! The Incredible True Story of Thomas Pellow – Craig Green
A retelling of the incredible tale of Thomas Pellow aimed at older children. The true story of Thomas Pellow follows the Cornish boy as he was kidnapped by pirates and managed to escape 23 years later to make his way back home to Cornwall!
This version by Craig Green and Oliver Hurst has stunning illustrations that bring the story to life.
There are so many incredible children’s books set in Cornwall – both stunning illustrated picture books and novels for older readers – these are just a small selection of the stories available!
If there is a children’s book set in Cornwall that your little one loves, that we haven’t mentioned, then please leave us a comment over on our Facebook page!
Novels Set in Cornwall
January 14th, 2019
With miles and miles of gorgeous countryside, striking moorland and stunning seascapes it comes as no surprise that Cornwall has inspired many authors to set their novels in this magical county. Immerse yourself in nature while exploring Cornwall when staying at our luxury Cornish cottages and enjoy a great read with one of these books set in Cornwall!
The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
Inspired by the Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall, as well as Morton’s own family history, The Forgotten Garden tells of a journey from Australia to Tregenna in search of answers. Following the story of Nell, who was adopted as a child and grew up in Australia, as she returns to Cornwall as an old woman to discover the truth about her past.
Jamaica Inn by Daphne Du Maurier
Set at the infamous Jamaica Inn on Bodmin Moor, which was renowned for smuggling, the book follows Mary Yellan as she moves into the Inn run by her aunt and terrifying uncle. Packed full of plot twists and intrigue, the story involves a group of wreckers who cause ships to crash, allowing them to kill the sailors and loot the cargo. The novel was inspired by the real Jamaica Inn, which is now a pub that you can still visit today, although it isn’t quite as scary as it is in the book! Proving quite a hit amongst readers, the novel was eventually turned into a film of the same name by Alfred Hitchcock.
Poldark Series by Winston Graham
Another well-known tale set in Cornwall is the Poldark series, which was first published by Winston Graham in 1945, but is now perhaps best known as the BBC adaptation version which has proved a hit! Set during the 18th and 19th century along the Cornish coast, the tales of Ross Poldark are primarily those of romance and treachery, yet themes including mining and smuggling cement the stories in their setting.
The Mousehole Cat by Antonia Barber
A children’s novel inspired by the Cornish legend of Tom Bawcock and the stargazy pie, the book involves a cat accompanying Tom, a fisherman, on a fishing trip through stormy seas. Mowzer, the cat, helps to quell the storm by purring a song, allowing Tom time to catch enough fish to feed the village of Mousehole. The award-winning book has also been adapted into a film, a stage musical and a puppet show!
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Graham
While staying in a Cornish hotel that overlooks the Fal Estuary, Graham became inspired by the beauty of the views and began writing short stories in letters he sent to his son. A year later, Graham had taken these letters and turned them into his famous novel. As well as the Fal Estuary, the town of Fowey also proved to be a source of inspiration to Graham for this book.
Have you read any of these novels? If so, which was your favourite, and if not, which will you be reading first when you visit Cornwall! Let us know in the comments below.