Author’s Blog, 29 June 2014

As I talk to more and more people who have read A Murder in Malta, I am amazed at the different take they have on my characters. When I first was in the process of developing Elspeth Duff and Richard Munro, a fellow author advised me to find photographs of a real person whom I thought the characters looked like. I spent several months doing this.

Richard was easy. In the book he resembled Earl Mountbatten of Burma, and I only had to find a picture of the distinguished earl that fit my image of Richard. I scanned it to put in a picture frame on my desk by my computer.

Elspeth was harder. I had a vision in my mind. One day a colleague had a magazine lying on her desk, and, bingo, there was Elspeth staring out at me. I added a scanned, but slightly altered, version of the woman on the cover to the frame with Richard. They look out at me everyday and give me inspiration.

Recently I showed the pictures to some friends, and they all declared that Richard and Elspeth looked nothing at all like the scanned photos, although I thought the resemblances were striking! I wonder what images they had in mind.