The Cotswolds are a range of hills, in the middle of Britain, which define a region. They rise from the Thames to an escarpment called the Cotswold Edge, above the Severn valley. As with many things in Britain, they’re characterised by their ill-defined boundaries. Several places on their fringes, or honestly nowhere near, claim, for the purposes of tourism, to be part and parcel. The Cotswolds are the home of crafts, dry stone walling, rolling hills, small market towns, country inns with good restaurants, hideaways for the rich. They’re laid back and gorgeous, like an aging slab of good cheese.
This is the region in which reside myself and my wife. She’s the vicar of a glorious parish church in a glorious Cotswolds market town. The only problem is, we have to solve so many surreal and whimsical murders. (Whenever I say that to Americans, they look anxious for a moment, as if it might be true.) My upcoming novella for Tor.com, Witches of Lychford, uses a very similar Cotswolds town as its setting. It’s an attempt on my part to connect with our new home and the people here, and to communicate some of the flavour of the place to those who’ve never been here. It’s about three women with experience of the other-worldly coming together to fight supernatural evil, said evil being, obviously, in the form of a chain of supermarkets.