What better setting for a mystery than a remote island?
what I thought while standing on the deck of the ferry traveling through
Washington State's San Juan Islands. The archipelago includes over 400
islands, which provide a lot of possibilities!
The idea for a
story did not immediately present itself until character Megan Evans
appeared, seeking the truth about her beloved daughter's mysterious
death. Aha, I thought, what if the clues lead her to a place where she
might be in grave danger? What about . . . a remote island? And so,
Gemini Island was born. Soon after that, just as I had done so many
[i]stood on the top deck of the ferry, watching Puget
Sound's Orcas Island change from a gray blob into a landmass with
discernable trees and structures. . . . She would debark there. Someone
from Gemini Island, which had no public service, would pick her up and
take her to her final destination.
Later, after a ride in a small boat into the interior of the archipelago, Meg reaches her destination:
[i]Just before stepping onto shore, Meg felt her heart skip a beat.
Once she set foot on land, there'd be no going back. For better or
worse . . . she'd be stuck here on Gemini Island.
itself is full of mystery, from the paths that wind through the pine
forests where sunlight rarely penetrates, to the desolate beaches to the
mountain that has been declared off-limits. Characters add to the
setting, too, and on Gemini Meg encounters the enigmatic and handsome
Eric Richards, a Northwest Indian artifacts expert, who has his own
hidden reasons for coming to Gemini.
The setting is important to
any story, but especially so to a mystery, I believe. And yet, with the
right emphasis, any setting can be made mysterious. Mystery writers,
what settings have you used that have been particularly effective?
Mystery readers, what memorable settings have you encountered in the
mysteries you've read?