What a treat, yesterday morning on the bridge of the Wightlink ferry St Clare crossing to the Isle of Wight, fantastic research for my DI Horton crime novels

As readers of my crime novels and this blog know I am a regular visitor to the Isle of Wight where some of my marine mystery crime novels are partly based.  DI Andy Horton's patch is Portsmouth CID but the serious crimes which take place in the area, including the Isle of Wight, are covered by the Major Crime Team which is based in Portsmouth.  In my marine mystery crime novels the MCT is headed by alpha male Detective Superintendent Steve Uckfield and of course Horton and Sergeant Cantelli are pulled in to help with the investigations.

Yesterday my husband and I decided to cross to the Isle of Wight from Portsmouth for a walk.  I needed to get away from the computer for a while, stretch my legs and enjoy the mild and sunny November day.  Often we travel on foot by Hovercraft, but yesterday we went by the Wightlink car ferry from the Portsmouth terminal to Fishbourne as foot passengers and I was delighted to find on board Captain John Monk, who was Captain when I did one of my two marathon book signing sessions on board the Wightlink ferry a few years ago, in 2007 I think it was, when I was launching my thriller novel In For The Kill.

Pauline Rowson signing for Captain John Monk on board the Wightlink ferry St Clare
Captain Monk invited me and my husband onto the bridge of the St Clare where we stayed for the whole of the thirty-five minute crossing of the Solent.  Fantastic!  The view of the Solent on a calm clear day was spectacular.  I even got to see the Police launch coming in to the harbour and was sure I saw Sergeant Dai Elkins and PC Ripley on board! I only wish I'd had my camera with me.

A Royal Naval vessel was sailing out of the harbour along with the Brittany Ferry, there was a tug boat, fishing boat, the Fastcat, Hovercraft, and leisure craft in the Solent and as we chatted several ideas for future Horton crime novels or a thriller sprang to mind. Thank you so much Wightlink and Captain Monk a real treat.

Pauline Rowson with Captain Monk on board the St Clare in 2007
 Then it was a walk to Quarr Abbey which some of you will know is featured in the Horton novel Blood on the Sand, through to Ryde and a trip home on the Hovercraft.  All in all a great day and good to come back refreshed.

Quarr Abbey, Isle of Wight


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