How Cornish Snapper and the Spinning Pilgrims came to be written

by martinhesp



My Classic Walk in the Western Morning News on Saturday features one of the locations for my ebook called Cornish Snapper and the Spinning Pilgrims.

Quite a few people haver asked me what led to the idea of the riddle in the crime story – to which I can’t say much because I’d like more folk to read it. But…

It was about a dozen years ago I was on one of my newspaper walks with my friend, the sculptor Tad Mandjeiz – here’s a cut and paste job from that walk….

“West Bay is situated where the soft sandstone and clay Dorset hills bow down to the shore to allow the River Brit access to the sea.

The shore itself is made up of attractive golden grit – the sort posh people like to have on their drive. It’s also the variety of grit sought by fish fanciers who line their aquarium floors with it. Until the 1980’s it was taken from the beach under licence by the Good family who still operate at West Bay, but who now import similar stuff from as far afield as Alderney so that they can process it and send it off to such aquarium-loving countries as Sweden.”

That export industry is long gone now – but Tad and I were walking along the soft, difficult-to-March-on beach, talking about how people wrote crime stories.

He said the best plan was to start from the end – from the key that would unlock the riddle – and with that he bent down and picked up one of those beautiful little pebbles that used to be shipped away from the South Coast for use in all those million of aquariums around the world.

We talked a while longer – and that was it. I went home and write a crime novel in reverse – which became….