FAQ > The House At Riverton : The Shifting Fog > The House at Riverton is part of a fine tradition of English country house romance and mystery novels – where there specific authors or books that particularly inspired the story?
Absolutely. Daphne du Maurier’s novels and those by the Bronte sisters are great favourites of mine. I also love Atonement by Ian McEwan, The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro, Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh, The Pursuit of Love by Nancy Mitford, and A Fatal Inversion by Barbara Vine, to name but a few. Not all of those are mysteries, but they all take place in wonderful English country houses. I love stories in which the house is more than a setting, becoming a character in its own right.
In writing my own English country house mystery, I was keen to play with the conventions of the genre a little. That’s why I made Marcus a mystery writer, and gave Grace a penchant for mystery novels, in particular those by Agatha Christie: the quintessential English country house mystery novelist! It was a lot of fun to have Agatha Christie come to dinner in my story!
I was inspired also by English country house non-fiction: in particular, I went through a great fascination with the Mitford sisters. Everything I read about the Mitford family seemed brighter than fiction. I was especially interested in the depiction of a great aristocratic family on the verge of decline. Their genteel poverty was a revelation to me and something I was very keen to incorporate into my story, and my depiction of the house at Riverton.
Last updated on December 21, 2009 by Kate Morton