Now this is a great setting for one of my DI Horton marine mystery crime novels and a fantastic place for a book launch - Spitbank Fort

Spitbank Fort is featured in my DI Andy Horton marine mystery crime novels, and is mentioned in the new DI Horton, A Killing Coast, due for publication in early 2012. I've been keeping an eye on developments at the Fort and am thrilled to see that plans to convert the Grade II Spitbank Fort into an upmarket venue are well under way - in time for a book launch?  Of course, and what a splendid and unique venue it would make.

Spitbank Fort was bought by millionaire founder of bed retailer Dreams, Mike Clare ( he'll get an invite to my book launch).  He bought the fort in 2009 for £1 million and his company, Amazing Retreats, has spent £2.5 million and two years working on it.

Amazing Retreats specialises in providing spectacular venues, such as castles and mansions, for conferences and occasions and is converting Spitbank, working with specialist architects and English Heritage. You can see photographs of the work on Amazing Retreats web site.

Spitbank was one of the line of forts built in the mid-19th century by Lord Palmerston to fend off the French.The forts never fired a shot in anger then but did have anti-aircraft guns mounted on them in the Second World War.

Spitbank will have nine luxury bedrooms and a function room that can accommodate 50 people - perfect for me!

And the timing for completion is also perfect, in October this year. Amazing Retreats sales and operations director Greg Ward said: "It promises to prove an incredible experience with a difference for our guests."•

Now all I have to do is persuade my publisher to cough up some money.... unless Amazing Retreats would like to sponsor my book launch in return for some great publicity. Think I'll get my publicist on to this right away!

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