Research. Does it all come out of my head or is it researched? The ideas come from within, but they all could happen or have happened. All my books are carefully researched. Right from the start of the Richebourg process, I went down to Nuits Saint Georges to look for a spot to put my imaginary wine village. The response from any number of wine makers I talked to was, ‘Why do you want to create another village? Haven’t we got enough of them here already?’ Then a cork got pulled and a glass had a splash poured into it, and we all sniffed a bit, and I was asked what I thought of that. There were times when that all got too much, and the research became more of an atmosphere and less concerned with fine detail. There were other times when I really needed to understand exactly what the Phylloxera mite did to the vine, and why every single one of that sea of vines in front of me had rootstocks that came from the far side of the Atlantic, while the plants above the soil were all French. So I spent time at a vine nursery near Dole, sat and chatted with winemakers in all of the villages, and hopefully they will recognise the villages around them.
In The Charlemagne Connection, there were also forensic issues and issues of French law that were explored. The only bit of Charlemagne that needed to be rewritten was the forensic issue, which turned out to be not as I supposed. Nicholas Marquez-Grant, a forensic anthropologist at Cranfield, corrected my error, and the results of my error was written out. Much of the technical viticulture was edited and corrected by David Clark, an erstwhile winemaker in Morey-Saint-Denis, five miles north of Nuits-Saint-Georges over various cups of tea, and the occasional glass of wine, usually wine he had made himself, and if you can find any Domaine David Clark, buy - you will be well rewarded when you open it.
Did I write the books to be where I wanted to go and do the research? Perhaps the answer to that one is yes, and it’s not a bad excuse. Go where you want to go, and write a book about it!
Title: THE CHARLEMAGNE CONNECTION
Author: Richard Michael Cartmel
Publisher: Crime Scene Books
The Charlemagne Connection, Cartmel’s latest mystery, is an exhilarating tale of villainy in the vineyards featuring the rumpled but shrewd Inspector Charlemagne Truchaud of the Paris police.
About The Charlemagne Connection: Something sinister is afoot in the charming little Burgundy village of Nuits-Saint-Georges. Inspector Truchaud will have an elaborate mystery to unravel when a young German tourist goes missing in Nuits-Saint-Georges. What appears, at first, to be a straightforward case takes a dark turn when a decomposing body is found in the woods….
A captivating tale that transports readers to the vineyards of Burgundy, The Charlemagne Connectioncrackles with suspense. Smart, seamless, and sensational, The Charlemagne Connection blends a to-die for setting, a well-balanced, full-bodied plot, and irresistible characters. Celebrated novelist R.M. Cartmel uncorks a wild, witty, and winning wine mystery in The Charlemagne Connection.
Born into a military family, R.M. Cartmel was educated at Sherborne School in the South West of England and at Oxford. Cartmel served as a practicing doctor for over three and a half decades. As a novelist Cartmel combines two of his lifelong loves—writing and traveling throughout France’s exquisite Burgundy region.
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