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  • Writer's pictureWendy Percival

Book settings, film locations & potato peelings

Updated: Sep 23, 2021

Recently I went to see The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society which was a delightful film and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Set shortly after WW2, it's a story of secrets, a missing person and traumatic past events, with an author as the central character.

At the end of the film, I'd have been perfectly happy to go back inside the cinema and watch it all over again!

The setting and scenery were beautiful, though I'm slightly biased as much of it was filmed in familiar locations and in some of my favourite places.

One of those places was the coastal village of Clovelly and in late April 2017 the harbour was being prepared for filming, as you can see in the photographs below.

Clovelly appears in several scenes in my own book, the second Esme Quentin mystery, The Indelible Stain. In the story, Esme is keen to talk to local genealogist, Morris Beveridge, who she believes has vital information which will help in her quest to explain the suspicious death of Bella Shaw. A neighbour of Beveridge's tells Esme that he is working as a tour guide in Clovelly so Esme goes in search of him. Here's an extract.

"Crowds were already building on Clovelly’s main street. Esme hurried along the cobbles, darting between women teetering on inappropriate heels on their way down and those flushed and breathless on their way up.

At The New Inn, where the street narrowed, she stopped and peered down the hill. But she could see no tour group huddled together along the main route. Everyone was either coming or going. She turned right and took a side route around the back of the pub and down the narrow path which ran parallel with the main street. She emerged at the tiny chapel and looked around. A small queue of people stood waiting to enter the Fisherman’s Cottage, set up to reflect a typical family home in the village in the 1930s, but no sign of Beveridge and his entourage. She continued along the alleyway past the museum and back on to the main street, turning right down the hill.

At The Look Out she paused and gazed down at the dramatic view of the harbour and the bay beyond. Immediately below where the cobbles circled underneath Temple Bar Cottage, the tail end of a crocodile of people told her she’d found him."

When Esme finally catches up with Beveridge, he gives her information which sends shock waves through her investigation.

Other locations in the film include some fabulous coastal scenes on the North Devon coast which feature in both The Indelible Stain and the third Esme book, The Malice of Angels.

It's a stunning part of the country and a fantastic inspiration for a novelist!


To find out more about the Esme Quentin mysteries, click on the image below

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