Title image: Westminster Abbey (1245) in the foreground, Big Ben (1859) and Houses of Parliament (1870) in the middle ground, the London Eye (1998) to the left background and the Gherkin (2001) in the extreme background and just to the right of Big Ben.
I love making my settings a character in my stories. London is a city I’ve visited many times in person and many more through library research. I’ve used it more than 10 times as a setting in six different time periods. Here’s are the stories that include my representations of London over a 900-year period.
Simon’s Lady is set in 1153, with Simon the Beast and Gwendolyn the Beauty. Most of the action takes place in the Tower of London but there are some scenes in Simon’s house in town. I loved creating the sense of Norman pageantry.
The 17th Century
And Heaven Too is set in 1639 with Charles and Judith on what looks to be a wild good chase against the background of the upcoming closing of the theaters by the Puritans. I had lots of fun setting several scenes in the Globe Theater (1599).
Between the medieval era and the 17th century, London was pretty much crowded into one square mile.
The 18th Century
London begins to spread, significantly to the west but also to the north and east, as well as on the south bank of the Thames. The Tower is now more in the center of town rather than the eastern edge.
Suspicious Hearts is set in 1714. It’s a murder mystery where every development in the love relationship between Richard and Caroline is related to a development in solving the crime. I created a world of dark emotions and even darker motives.
John Carter’s Conundrum (forthcoming January 2018) is set in 1785. John is one the first professional detectives, known as Bow Street runners, who were to develop in the 19th century in to the police. John’s most intriguing mystery is Diana who comes into his life in a most unexpected way.
Tangled Dreams is set in 1791. Here I was interested, in part, by the coffee house culture through which arose the modern stock market. The backdrop is the French Revolution and the fate of Louis XVI who still sits atop an admittedly shaky throne. Anthony and Marianna enter a marriage of convenience, whose union is directly affected both the stock market and the Revolution.
The famous parks come into view, with Hyde Park to the west. To the right of Hyde Park is Green Park and to it’s right is St. James’s Park. Missing from this map is Regent’s Park which begins to be planned in 1811 and is located about where the direction cross on the map hovers to the north and west.
Almost nothing beats a good Regency with its glittering society, strict rules, witty dialogue and with the specter of Napoleon lurking the background.
Post-World War II London
Here’s a view of bomb damage in Central London looking south and east. The London Bridge, in the upper left-hand corner, still stands.
Drawn to Love is set in 1950. Harrison is an architect under constant pressure to help rebuild the city. Gwendolyn is the unusual woman who helps him.
London today covers 600 square miles. ‘Nuff said.
The Emerald Hour is Book III in my time-slip series, which has three settings: London, Rio and Wilmington, North Carolina. Theodor and Jordan are set on a world-wide adventure to figure out what went wrong in their past lives one hundred years earlier. I visited the glorious Kew Gardens several times while writing this story.
The Alpha’s Edge is the opener for my Buy Me Love shapeshifter series. Egon is the Alpha of a powerful pack who is stunned to discover his mate is Saoirse, a slightly overweight, self-educated, redheaded human.
Buy Me Love is a British police procedural crossed with a werewolf story that came out this year. Follow Detective Chief Inspector Moses as he teams up and solves a complex crime with help of Zelda … who has to come to believe is a werewolf. I made a 5-day walking tour of London in August 2015, identifying where the dead bodies would be found and where my characters lived.
This post was written by Julie Tetel Andresen