Cornish Crime: Fairest Creatures by Karen Taylor

Updated: Dec 10, 2021

This week I found myself transported to the place I grew up – the fair shores of Cornwall. Only this was a little more sinister. Karen Taylor takes the beautiful setting of Penzance and furnishes it with a sinister set of murders by an image-obsessed man.

I don't often read crime fiction, but I absolutely couldn't put this one down. The combination of impressive character creation and a plot that kept me guessing until the end made it truly entertaining. It was also lovely to see snippets of the gorgeous setting alongside the unfolding of the tale.

The striking Cornish coastline is given a sinister edge.

I wanted to find out about the creation of her compelling central character, how she crafted her plot and why Cornwall was an inspiration to her book. Read on to find out more!

There was a real sense of genuine care and compassion in Brandon, your central detective. You also brought in lots of other characters who I felt real empathy for. What was the inspiration for your main character and how did you go about creating him and your other characters?

To me, Brandon represents all the nice, caring, brave and selfless men in the world. He’s a detective and you’d like to think they are good people who work hard to keep us safe. He is also flawed – has a bit of a temper and impulsive tendencies – but he’s basically a good man with emotional intelligence.

I didn’t really go about creating him –he presented himself subconsciously. The other characters were mainly organic creations too. Once again flawed, as we all are, but also with very human characteristics. As far as the captive ‘creature’ is concerned, I wanted to present a strong and clever woman, who would use all the (limited) powers at her disposal to survive. I know women like this – my sister, for example, is a resourceful person and a survivor. I also put myself in the character’s shoes … what would I do in the circumstances?

Karen's book launch in Kingston-Upon Thames