Historical Fact and Fiction
The characters and some of the situations in THE LANGUAGE OF THE DEAD, although entirely products of my imagination, are nonetheless in some cases inspired by historical fact. For example, the murder of Will Blackwell is inspired by the actual murder of Charles Walton in rural Warwickshire -- land of Shakespeare's birth -- in 1945. Rumors of witchcraft surrounded Walton's murder; the case never was solved, despite the efforts of Scotland Yard super cop Robert Fabian, whose investigative exploits spawned an early British television series, "Fabian of the Yard," which was sort of an Agatha Christie-meets-Joe Friday kind of thing. The BBC has a nice piece on Walton's murder and its aftermath here: Uncovering Warwickshires Sinister Secret.