More murders on the Marsh

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Marilyn Livingstone and Morgen Witzel were in the Rye Bookshop on Saturday, September 3, to promote the first book in their Romney Marsh Mystery series, “The Body on the Doorstep”. The husband and wife writing duo read excerpts from the novel to a packed audience, with standing room only, while Lizzie Lee, who manages the bookshop, handed out glasses of prosecco.

The book introduces the Reverend Hardcastle and his partner in (solving) crime Mrs Chaytor. Set in the Marshes at the end of the 18th century, it has spying and smuggling themes and features a guest appearance by the famous artist JMW Turner.

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Morgen Witzel and Marilyn Livingstone prepare to cut into a gun shaped cake

After the readings, the audience had a chance to ask questions. They were asked about the setting – why Romney Marsh. The authors said it was because of the sense of separateness, the apartness that the Marsh seems to have from the rest of the country. They referred to the famous 1837 quotation from the Reverend Richard Barham: “The world, according to the best geographers, is divided into Europe, Asia, Africa, America and Romney Marsh”.

One of the audience asked if the writers has visited Dungeness, which also has those other-worldly qualities and it transpired that the third book that the couple are writing now does indeed feature that area. Their second book “The Body in the Ice” comes out in April.

After the gathering had concluded, an incredible gun shaped cake was served. The book may be bought from the Rye Bookshop for £7.99.

Photo: Seana Lanigan

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