Dying in Discord is set in two of the Midlands' most important sites, both of which I was shown round by experts. That strange Gothic pile, the Birmingham and Midlands Institute, is cared for by Philip Fisher, who is proud of every inch of it; he and his colleague Andrew Peet spent the best part of a day showing me parts the public never see. The novel includes an episode I sincerely hope the public never see!
Another day was spent in the company of the distinguished archaeologist, George Demidowicz - UK TV viewers may have seen him on Channel Four's 'Time Team' in Matthew Boulton's Soho Foundry. When this opens as a World Heritage site, as one day it must, this will surely become a place of pilgrimage. The architecture is wonderful, the sense of the past overwhelming - and I've been privileged to set a murder there.
To my amazement, George Demidowicz was happy to make an appearance as himself: it was meant to be just a cameo, then he did something quite heroic.
Thank you, Philip, Andrew and George!
7 May 2002
Undoubtedly the crème de la crème.