Doing research

I’m writing this from Oxford, England, where I’m back in my room after a day of walking around the city taking pictures. I love seeing all the truly old college and church buildings here, and the Bodleian Library is amazing. The only problem is, it’s hot! I never dreamed it would be so warm here! I wish I’d brought shorts…

But one of my primary purposes in coming here was to do a little research. Not research in the library, but research on the city of Oxford itself as a setting. In the Jamie Brodie mystery series, Jamie has a doctorate in history that he earned from Merton College at Oxford. I’d been here once before, just for a few hours, but hadn’t ventured beyond the entrance to the Bodleian. Today, I walked around taking pictures of the places Jamie would have gone.

I was too early for a tour of Merton College, but I took pictures of the outside, and of the field beyond. I wasn’t allowed to take pictures inside the Bodleian, but now I know what it looks like. I took pictures of a couple of pubs where he surely would have gone. And now I have some idea of what he would have seen when he was walking around here as a student.

Part of the fourth book in the series is going to take place in Oxford, when Jamie comes for a week of vacation and research. Now I can make the setting a little more authentic. Google Maps is awesome, but it’s no substitute for being here.

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