Magic and murder set on resort’s Golden Mile

Elly Griffiths - author of Dying Fall
Elly Griffiths - author of Dying Fall
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Best selling author Elly Griffiths, one of the big name turns at literary festival Wordpool, knows there’s a dark side to Blackpool.

Which is why she wants to set a book here, ideally on the Golden Mile, within sight of the Tower and sound of the screams from The Big One in which she so cheerfully joined in on a recent visit.

“Blackpool’s great,” enthuses the author who will be holding forth to fans at Moor Park Library tomorrow at 7.30pm for the seventh festival of words.

Elly’s latest book Dying Fall, a murder mystery, is set not only in Blackpool, home town of her fictional hero, an old school copper, but in Pendle too. Elly’s drawn on Pendle witch lore for a carefully crafted conundrum of killings with an archaeological theme – along with eery echoes of the find of Richard III beneath a car park in Leicester.

Elly’s got one better than the infamous Plantagenet for the monarch she unearths in Lancashire, but to say more would spoil the read for fans still playing catch up with her forensic archaeologist heroine Ruth Galloway, with help from a dashing Blackpool cop.

“It really was a case of life imitating art,” Elly admits of the Richard III discovery. “It helps that my husband is an archaeologist too.”

Elly’s brother in law is also from Blackpool which helped her root the book in the resort.

It includes a tribute to football legend Jimmy Armfield - “my brother in law’s a Blackpool FC fan” - and some action set at the Pleasure Beach.

“I even braved The Big One, with my eyes shut throughout,” Elly admits.

“My characters do all sorts of daring things but I’m a wuss. Even my children wouldn’t ride it. But I’d love to set a book in Blackpool. I live near Brighton and there are lots of parallels between both resorts - along with the fact that they both have a darker side which appeals to me as a writer.”

Elly’s grandfather Dennis Lawes used to play North Pier as a musical hall comedian. “I think my theatrical streak responds to Blackpool and the surreality there!”