romance · romantic suspense · Uncategorized

Edinburgh, Scotland – the perfect setting for mystery and romance

My romantic suspense In the Mouth of the Wolf is partly set in Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, and a city I love. If you’ve ever visited Edinburgh, you’ll know how easy it is to dream up romance and mystery in this unique and beautiful city.

Setting is important to me in all my stories, and in In the Mouth of the Wolf I really felt the setting almost became a character in its own right, from the very opening scenes.

I thought I’d post some photos here today, interspersed with some extracts from the story so you can get a taster of my mysterious and romantic tale.

 Edinburgh skyline (Image courtesy of Pixabay)


I had a premonition, even before the plane landed in Edinburgh, that things between us were about to take a turn for the worse. The weather was not on our side. On a clear day, there would be glorious views over Scotland as the plane descended; the sea lapping the coast, the arches of the Forth Bridge rising and falling over the river, and the Highlands just visible in the north, all greens and soft greys. But summer was over, and with the approach of autumn a low, sullen mist clung to the ground, swallowing up the aircraft as we made our descent, and creeping up to our windows as we juddered down the runway.

scottish romance, helena fairfax, the scottish diamond
The Forth Bridge (Image courtesy of Pixabay)
scottish romance, helena fairfax, the scottish diamond
            Calton Hill, Edinburgh


He took my hand, and as we began to stroll around the top of the hill, stopping several times to gaze at the sights below us, I gradually forgot all about the events of the afternoon. There was the high, rugged mound of Arthur’s Seat beside us, the sun glittering on the river Forth, the Palace of Holyrood, the bustling length of Princes Street with the Castle at the far end of it, and in the rare sun, my beautiful home city sparkled at its very best. All in all it was a wonderful contrast to the drab day of our arrival. And it was such a delight to show the sights off to Léon, who seemed to share so much of my joy in them, that I gradually dismissed my encounter with the men from Montverrier along with my actor’s superstitions.

scottish romance, helena fairfax
Holyrood Palace (Image courtesy of Pixabay)
Scottish romance, helena fairfax
              Arthur’s Seat, Edinburgh
scottish romance, helena fairfax
        View from Calton Hill, Edinburgh


Edinburgh Castle is more than eight centuries old. It looms over the city on top of a dark volcanic crag, and people say it was built on the site of a shrine to the witch Morgan le Fay. For hundreds of years its dark battlements have dominated the Edinburgh skyline, a symbol of royal power. This is no fairy tale castle, but one of military might. Whenever I pass through the imposing stonework of Portcullis Gate, I think of all the footsteps that have trodden this path before me down the ages – of the bloody battles, the royal ceremonies, of King James VI’s birth here, the deaths of queens, of Oliver Cromwell’s army, and of the doomed Jacobite uprising. The walls enclosing the castle bear witness to great turning-points in history. It’s a place to inspire awe.

Edinburgh Castle
          Edinburgh Castle
Cannon, Edinburgh Castle (Image courtesy of Pixabay)
Cannon, Edinburgh Castle (Image courtesy of Pixabay)


helena fairfax, in the mouth of the wolf, freelance editor

Léon and I slowed our footsteps as we crossed beneath the stone gate and onto the cobbled interior. The sun was lowering in the western sky, and dark shadows spread from the battlements. A few tourists were still strolling around the Argyle Battery, the row of cannon that continues to point menacingly over the city. Of the two Montverrians there was no sign.

* * *

I hope you enjoyed my extracts and photos, and the taster of Edinburgh – and In the Mouth of the Wolf.

Do you find the setting to a novel as important as I do? Would you ever choose a novel just for the setting alone? And have you ever visited Edinburgh, and if so, did you love it as much as I do? If you have any comments at all, I’d love to hear from you!

12 thoughts on “Edinburgh, Scotland – the perfect setting for mystery and romance

    1. What a great place to be a student, Jo. There’s so much to do in the city, and the beautiful coast and the Highlands are not far away, either. How lovely to meet there – a romantic story after my own heart!
      Thanks so much for dropping in, and for your lovely comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Helen, these extracts catapulted me back in time to my student days when we would go to Edinburgh nearly every weekend (I was at St. Andrews). I love the city and saw something new with each visit. Just the names alone are so evocative I find.


    1. I remember the first time I visited Edinburgh, and coming out of Waverley Station. I loved it immediately. Like you, I find something new each time – and I love the names, too. Arthur’s Seat, Holyrood Palace – even the names of some of the streets are romantic,
      I’m so glad it brought back happy memories. It must have been wonderful to be a student near Edinburgh. Thanks very much for dropping in!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. A lovely post and photos, Helena – I always enjoy going through to Edinburgh. I’d already ordered your new novella and I’m looking forward to reading it! Although I’d never choose a book for the setting alone, I do enjoy reading or writing about one with which I’m familiar.


    1. Hi Rosemary, thanks so much for ordering The Scottish Diamond. I do hope you enjoy it!
      I also love to read books – or watch TV programmes – where I’m familiar with the setting. If I’m going on holiday, I sometimes buy a book that’s set in that location. It’s a different way to get to know a place.
      Thanks very much for dropping in, and for your comment!


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