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Traveling the Mystery World with My Characters – by Ritter Ames

I love being an author—I love sending my own experiences into a spiral and seeing how I can use the bones of the events to challenge my main characters. Especially when it comes to pushing the bounds in my Bodies of Art Mysteries series. The paces I put Laurel and Jack through—all in the name of saving art masterpieces—is a blast to write.

This series is my “running away from home” writing. The first book, COUNTERFEIT CONSPIRACIES, is mostly set in London, my favorite city in the world, and I use personal photos to find tricks and traps for Laurel’s world. See the skyscraper shots below? Notice the egg-shaped building on the far right? In a scene where my characters zip through London streets, trying desperately to escape the bad guys, Laurel mentions that skyline and building.

It’s called the Swiss Re building. Google using the search question “What is the London building that looks like a Faberge egg?” and you’ll find that hundreds (and maybe thousands) of people have googled the same exact question—like I did when we were there several years ago.

Just looking at pictures like these shots, taken from the top of St. Paul’s Cathedral (yes, I climbed all 528 steps for a total of 365 feet—with a heavy day bag and 35mm camera), and the ideas start flowing. Look below, in the left shot of the Thames, and there’s the Millennium Bridge. The London Eye is in the shot to the right. Notice the lovely textural differences between the skyscrapers and the older buildings in all the pictures. London is so visually diverse, which is one of the reasons it makes a truly marvelous setting for a novel. Great locations like the Victoria & Albert Museum and the National Gallery adds to the treasure trove.

And I don’t even have a shot of the curved glass skyscraper that could melt cars across the street (no, I’m not making it up). Nicknamed the Walkie-Talkie Skyscraper, the BBC did a story on it when a Jag was melted. Here’s the link: .

The latest release, MARKED MASTERS, ups the stakes, and my characters travel to Florence, Italy to pursue the baddies. I spent hours watching YouTube videos of the city and Tuscan countryside. It was tough, but someone had to do it. As in COUNTERFEIT CONSPIRACIES, the pace is fast, the twists are surprising, and Laurel & Jack keep everything spinning with their quick wits and witty dialogue. Here are some Florence shots used for inspiration. The buildings are cathedral complex views. The blue moon shot is the Arno River and the Ponte Vecchio.

Book #3 in this series is coming soon. Fast pace, amazing artwork, plot twists at every turn, and sharp main characters who use snark and smart sarcasm to keep the dialogue fast and furious—that’s my Bodies of Art Mysteries. If this sounds interesting, the first book is on sale right now for 99 cents, so both books can be downloaded for less than $5.

I’d like to take a minute here to thank the lovely Tonya Kappes for inviting me to guest post today (I’m as big of a fan of hers as you all are). Thanks so much, Tonya!

I spend way too much time on Pinterest, finding stuff to share about my books. You can wander my boards or follow me at  I love making new friends.
Something new—a group of my fellow authors and I are getting together to have a summer of giveaway fun. 

Check out the Contest Page at my website for more details and how to enter at:   We’ll have dozens of ebook giveaways, as well as a fabulous new Kindle Paperwhite in a Labor Day drawing.

Ritter Ames is the USA TODAY Bestselling author of the Organized Mysteries series and the Bodies of Art Mysteries series. When she's not writing or brainstorming Ritter is usually trying to get her favorite yellow lab to stay out of the pond, or keep her grouchy black cat from trying to give the dog away on Freecycle. For more info check  Amazon Author Page at, Facebook Author Page at or follow on Twitter @RitterAmes


  1. I've never been to London, but I would love to go. It would be really cool to see all the different buildings and structures. Not to mention, just being somewhere with such a rich history would be fascinating. I love when stories are set there. Great blog post!

    1. Heather, thanks so much for stopping by. I think I could stay the summer in London and not see everything. I'm like a little kid who never wants to go to bed when I'm there, because there's always so much I want to do before I have to go home :)

  2. Must check your books out...these shots of London are beautiful..never been..

    1. It's a great place to visit, Mona, and so much fun for an author to use in a book. Thanks so much for stopping by today :)

  3. Looks like a great series! Love the pictures. I would LOVE to go to London one day!

    1. Go once, and you'll want to keep going there again and again, Susan. It really is a fabulous place to visit :)

  4. Your books sound amazing! I love discovering new to me authors and will definitely be checking out this series.

    1. If this series sounds right for you, please grab the first book in the series while it's on sale, Amanda. I love when readers get a bargain! Thanks so much for your kind words :)

  5. Replies
    1. Thanks, Candace. Glad you had a chance to stop by, too.

  6. I will have to check out your books!!

    1. Thanks, Nichole, I really appreciate your interest. Have a great day, and thanks for stopping by.

  7. Would love to travel the world! Your pics are beautiful!

    1. Thanks so much, Delene. This is a small sampling. I go nuts with a camera :)

  8. Both of my cousins lived there when they went to college. I live vicariously through them! Very interesting post, thank you!!

  9. Thanks, Therese. I would have loved to have had your cousins experiences :)

  10. I was fortunate enough to stay with a friend whilst she did a Fulbright Teaching Fellowship in London one year, although I only stayed for two weeks, and it was such a different perspective than when I stayed in a hotel. I had a fabulous time, chatting up the local business owners as we went about London where D followed up on her work-study students. We even took the "Chunnel" to Paris....ahhhhhh, those were the 90's! :>) And now I get to "travel" with Jack and Laurel, vicariously, of course. I absolutely love the humor and snark (!) with these two and am SO looking forward to book 3.

    1. I am so envious of your experience! Taking multiple trips to London that only last about a week do not compare at all! Of course, right now it's better to travel the Continent than the UK, since the euro is down and the Brits kept their pound. But if I had the time and money this summer for trans-Atlantic travel, I would go in a minute. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  11. I love Ritter's and Tonya's books so much! I would love to go to London one day, but fear it would have to be seen in a wheelchair as I can't walk for more than five minutes at a time. I love your photos Ritter!

    1. Yeah, London is really a walking town. And one of the things that really hit me the first time I went was how There Were Stairs Everywhere. But that's what happens when a Tower built in 1066 is still a first choice tourist attraction nearly a thousand years later. But seriously, I was wishing for a few elevators to be installed on the outside of historic buildings before we left that trip. I was mentally prepared the next time, however. Glad you like my books, and I appreciate the kind words so much!

  12. I'd love to travel this summer or anytime. I just love traveling. I'd like it more if I could see Laurel & Jack. I'd read anything you write, Ritter.


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