In my short story “Journey into the Dark“, published in the anthology Passport to Murder for Bouchercon  2017, color plays an important role in reflecting the various actions and moods of my characters. The most obvious is the play of light and darkness. The crates, the windowless van, the black hole are examples of the evil that engulfs Amira. In the same way, yellow and gold warm Amira and signal hope. For example, the sun’s warmth brings Adnan to Amira and the dark takes him away.

The golden glow of the manse stone deceives, but also attracts Laura and Jack to the manor.

Cotswold Stone Color

In fact, I chose the Gloucestershire setting because of the creamy yellow of its Cotswold stone. I remember the first time I saw  the glow of Gloucester Cathedral. It was pure magic.

Gloucester Cathedral

Gloucester Cathedral

Many buildings within the city, nearby Cheltenham, and  surrounding villages also feature this beautiful stone.

Often historic manors in England are a combination of medieval, Tudor and later architecture.  So I added the odd Tudor house with its half-timbered and ochre-painted facade. The play of black timbering and yellow created an almost fairytale effect. While the black is a reminder that the dovecote turret is only a temporary respite.

Evil lurks in all fairytales and in this story, as well.


Cheltenham Spa streetscape

Cotswold stone in Cheltenham Spa streetscape

Tudor building

Tudor Building adjoining the gatehouse to Gloucester Cathedral

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