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I live in a quiet, historic town where the only exciting things to happen occur in books. Most days, you can find me with a cup of tea in one hand, hunched over my laptop as I write, read, or research.

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Visiting the Scene of An Invitation to Murder: The Manor

As you know, last month I visited the UK on a research trip that spanned several cities and numerous historical sites. Along with visiting the city in which Leighann and I are setting our second Lady Katherine Regency Mystery (yes, it’s a secret for now, but I’ll give a hint or two soon!), I took tours of places that reminded me strongly of the setting of the first book in the series, An Invitation to Murder. Last week I toured the gardens with you; today we’ll take a look at what the Earl of Northbrook’s manor might have looked like.

Once again, the enormity in my mind (although it came closer this time) didn’t quite match the splendor of the manor itself. These images are taken from Dyrham Park, a house that belonged to someone without a title. I can only imagine how much more lavish an earl’s ancestral estate might be in comparison.

The exterior of the manor in itself is a sight to behold. These buildings encompass the manor, servants’ quarters, stables, and orangery.

Then, walking through the house, I was struck by the intricacy of many of the fixtures. From the ceilings to the wallpaper, these little nuances add a distinguished air to the house.

Even the chairs are ornate!

The servants’ area, as expected, was much narrower and plainer than the rest of the house.

That “women’s” switch is used to summon an off-duty female servant from the servants’ quarters directly above, when one is needed.

Although they aren’t shown in An Invitation to Murder, I was a bit overwhelmed by the size of the larder and dairy.

The bedroom had some subtle differences from my vision, but was at its essence what I tried to bring to life in the book.

If you’re wondering what the sitting room might have looked like, this is a possible layout.

I hope you enjoyed this peek into An Invitation to Murder! Perhaps it’ll give you a unique way to visualize the house and grounds on your next read through of the book, which came out this week. Happy reading!

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