I took some pictures in Culross last weekend. Culross is an old town in Fife, just along the coast from Longannet power station and across the Forth from the massive oil refinery at Grangemouth. In that sense it is similar to Pitkirtly. However, I realised when we got home and I looked at the photographs that it is actually far too picturesque a town to be similar to Pitkirtly in any other way. It has old wynds with cobbles underfoot, a 16th century ‘palace’ (not really a palace but a town house built for a merchant) with beautiful gardens, and a manicured park and play area near the river front.
‘My’ Pitkirtly is a more ordinary little Scottish town, with run-down council houses and a supermarket and districts that nobody would go into alone at night. It once had an old village hall, or the remnants of one, and recently it has acquired a brand-new Cultural Centre, built of concrete and glass for functionality and not quaintness. Similarly, in the next novel of the series it has a brand-new police station – built mainly so that the police have a better chance of coping with the outbreak of murder that I have orchestrated in recent years.