Sunday, August 29, 2010

Top Ten Picks: Literary Places

This week Jillian at Random Ramblings is asking us to name our top ten favorite settings in literature. Places that intrigue us, move us with their beauty, take us to the edges of our imagination with their creepiness. Places we want to go or places we hope we never have to go. Here's mine (From mysteries, of course):

1. A flat in Picadilly, London circa 1920s-1940s. Home of Lord Peter Wimsey. I want to hear him play the piano. I want to immerse myself in his library. I want to listen to him talk piffle and then turn around and be brilliant in solving a case. I want Bunter to bring me tea.

2. 221B Baker Street, London circa late 1800s/early 1900s. The most famous flat in London. I'd even put up with pipe smoke if I could see the Master at work.

3. Oxford, England. Home of Oxford University. But more importantly the home of many detectives such as Inspector Morse and Oxford don, Gervase Fen. The setting for many a British academic mystery....and the place where Harriet Vane finally comes to her senses and accepts Peter Wimsey's proposal of marriage.

4. The "Haunted Bookshop." (from the book of the same title) I want to meet the owner. He talks about books the way I feel about books. I'd like to take up residence in the shop and just browse to my heart's content. I'd like to be given the book I need and not the one I want (as the proprietor would put it).

5. New York City circa 1940s-1950s. I want the New York of Pam & Jerry North (stars of a series by Frances & Richard Lockridge). I want to go to the Charles for dinner. I want to visit Jerry's publishing business (and maybe convince him to publish that little mystery I've got in the works).6. River Heights. Home of Nancy Drew. I want to live in a town where everybody knows and helps everybody and the bad guys ALWAYS lose.

7. The moors around Dartmoor. Home of the Hound of the Baskervilles. A spooky site that I'd want to visit just to say I have--and to admire it's terrible beauty. But only if I've got a good guide so I don't go under the mire.

8. Cape Cod--home of Phoebe Atwood Taylor's Asey Mayo. I've always wanted to visit the East Coast. And it'd be good to see Asey's stomping grounds.

9. The library in
The Name of the Rose. Who wouldn't want to see all those books lost to time?


But I'd have to find a way to stop the fire. I couldn't bear to see them go up in flame.

10. Scotland Yard. Of course, what would this list be for a British mystery lover without the shrine of British detection? But only if I can venture in when Ngaio Marsh's Inspectory Alleyn is on duty or Elizabeth George's Inspector Lynley or any of Agatha Christie's various inspectors or....


Enbrethiliel said...


Well, who wouldn't want to hang out with Lord Peter Wimsey? He has a lovely library full of rare first editions, too--if I recall correctly.

And I had to smile at your mention of River Heights, the "Sweet Valley" of the Mystery genre. ;-) But it's certainly a great town to be one of the good guys in!

I was just telling someone else who participated in this meme that Mysteries have settings as quirky as their characters--and they already have the quirkiest characters in all literature. I'm not surprised you were able to come up with a list inspired entirely by mysteries. =)

Jillian said...

The Haunted Bookshop sounds very intriguing -- I haven't read that one before!

Enbrethiliel said...


I have to agree about The Haunted Bookshop, Jillian! I looked it up after I read Bev's post. =)

Bev Hankins said...

I think you two would love The Haunted Bookshop!