Castles feature rather more in children’s mystery stories than in adult crime novels, I think – The Castle of Adventure, by Enid Blyton, is a book I loved in the early years before I was introduced to Agatha Christie.
Visiting Lindisfarne Castle on Holy Island reminded me of what intriguing and eerie places castles can be. In recent weeks, I’ve wandered round Flint Castle, on the North Wales seafront, and Richmond Castle, in Yorkshire, which is certainly impressive. But for setting as well as style, Lindisfarne Castle is very hard to beat.
It was never a castle that saw serious combat, and Edward Lutyens transformed the interior for the pleasure of a rich Edwardian owner. The equally renowned Gertrude Jekyll created a lovely walled garden a short walk from the rocky outcrop on which the castle stands. Nowadays, the castle is in the very safe hands of the National Trust, and in the sunshine, it all looked gorgeous. Though it crossed my mind that the upturned boat sheds and the disused lime kilns (both pictured) would be excellent places to stash an inconvenient corpse or two.
Such reflections left me wondering just how many crime novels have been set in castles. None instantly spring to mind, but I’m sure I must have overlooked quite a few.