Favorite Place to Set a Scene: Do You Have Reservations?

My article is the second stop on the Rolling Mystery Blog Tour. KT Wagner was first on the roll:  http://northernlightsgothic.com/a-setting-i-love-to-write
If you havent already visited her site, please stop by and have a look. Then read what our newest member Maggie Toussaint has to say at http://mudpiesandmagnolias.blogspot.com/favorite-setting-for-my-mysteries.html
Ryder Islington at http://ryderislington.wordpress.com/

Nancy Lauzon at http://chickdickmysteries.com/
If you like what weve written, please leave a comment. 

        It might have been the thrill of reading Stephen King’s The Shining, or the many places my husband and I have stayed during our travels, but whatever the reason, I decided to set my Sydney Lockhart mysteries in historic hotels. In my first novel, Murder at the Arlington, Sydney is a travel writer on assignment at the Arlington Hotel in Hot Springs. I’ve spent so much time at the hotel it feels like my Hot Springs home. Sydney’s stay, however, was not as pleasant. After the smoke cleared, she returned to Austin with her travel article as well as a news story on the murders that took place there during her stay. Instantly, her position at the Austin American Statesmen evolved from a soft-news reporter to a full-blown journalist. Her second assignment put her at the Luther Hotel on the Texas Coast, another familiar place where we have a designated room when we travel to that part of the state. Murder at the Luther takes place on New Year’s Eve. This time Sydney finds herself dancing with a dead man. She is arrested for his murder and spends the next week traipsing over Matagorda Country, trying to find the real killer while attempting to stay one step ahead of a crazy Cajun and an insane woman who want her dead.
     If you’ve ever visited Galveston, Texas, you are aware that a string of motels and hotels line Seawall Boulevard, a ten-mile concrete wall that has for the last 100 years kept the Gulf of Mexico in its place (except for Hurricane Ike in 2008). On 21St Street overlooking the water is another 100-year-old structure, the Galvez Hotel. Sydney is sent to the hotel to report on a new development project proposed for Pelican Island. Of course, that required me staying there several times so I could get the feel for the place. I’m currently working on book four, Murder at the Driskill. The 125-year-old hotel is located in Sydney’s hometown of Austin. Having lived in the state capital myself for twenty-five years, part of that time downtown, my husband and I used to stroll over to the hotel and enjoyed a cocktail in the bar. I have yet to lay my head under the roof of the Romanesque-style building and until I get much further long with the story, I’ll have to do so.
     When folks learn that I set each mystery in a different historic hotel, they often give me a name of a hotel I can use. My list is already a long one: The Menger Hotel in San Antonio, The Crescent Hotel in Eureka Spring, Arkansas, The Peabody in Memphis, The Island Hotel in Cedar Key, Florida, The Adolphus Hotel in Dallas and the Excelsior Hotel in Jefferson, Texas. Once Sydney begins to travel north, the possibilities are endless, and no matter how you look at it, hundreds of strangers sleeping under the same roof can lead to all sorts of trouble. And for a mystery writer, I can’t think of a better place to stage a murder.