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No Man's Fort in the Solent on research for DI Andy Horton DEAD PASSAGE


No Man's Fort, Solent - a great place to feature in a DI Andy Horton novelThe Solent Forts have been featured in my DI Andy Horton crime novels, in particular A KILLING COAST where a body is found floating just off Spitbank Fort and although a familiar landmark I had never been on one of the two that have been converted into luxury hotels namely Spitbank Fort and No Man's Fort. On the 4 November in 2015 I got the chance to change that when Amazing Venues, who own the two Forts, agreed to help me with my research.

It was indeed a case of the boat waiting for no man as it took me out on the Solent on a very wet and windy day to the Victorian No Man's Fort in the aid of research for DI Andy Horton number 14, DEAD PASSAGE, which was published in paperback as an e book and on Amazon Kindle and Kobo in 2018.

A rain soaked day on the Solent heading out of Portsmouth HarbourI checked in at the Solent Forts office and souvenir shop at Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth (re-named Oyster Quays in my DI Andy Horton novels). After which we made our way to the boat waiting to take us out of Portsmouth Harbour into a rain-drenched Solent but no matter it was great for atmosphere. I could just imagine Andy on board Solent Fort's private boat, or perhaps with PCs Elkins and Ripley on the marine police unit's launch. Not with Sergeant Cantelli though, as readers of the Horton novels know that poor Cantelli gets sea sick just looking at the sea. Perhaps though he he has no choice but to go! Could I be that cruel?


The Atrium - No Man's Fort, Solent FortsWe arrived at No Man's Fort in the pouring rain but to a very warm welcome from the fabulous staff and were soon exploring the magnificent interior.

No Man's Fort was completed in 1880 built to protect Portsmouth Harbour from the marauding French but like the other Forts was never used for the purpose for which it was built.



A view from the lighthouse on No Man's Fort, SolentIt was originally equipped with forty nine guns and was the first Fort in England, possibly Europe, to use hydraulic power to raise the ammunition from the sea bunkers (basement) to the firing positions. It was also the first to be lighted throughout by electricity. It certainly didn't look this sumptuous then!




Author on location research for DI Andy Horton novelNo Man’s Fort, completely renovated, opened in 2015. It boasts a wonderful lighthouse giving spectacular views over the Solent, across to the Isle of Wight and to Portsmouth, including right into the harbour entrance.
Here I am making copious notes, even in the rain! Can you see Andy Horton here? I can.




On research in the tunnels and sea bunkers on No Man's FortNo Man's Fort is three times the size of Spitbank Fort and offers twenty-two huge bedroom suites, its own lazer battle, sea golf, a hot house with firepit, a large rooftop firepit, sauna, hot tub, a cabaret bar and restaurant, as well as retaining the unique sea bunker tunnels, a must visit for any history fanatic and especially those keen on military history. The tunnels are extremely atmospheric.



Pauline Rowson making notes in the Ward Room No Man's Fort, SolentAfter the extensive tour, a buffet lunch and the chance to explore the fort for myself I took a break in the Ward Room to check through my notes before the return boat trip to Portsmouth.






My sincere thanks to the Solent Forts team and especially to my guide, Craig, who took us around the fort and gave me so much useful information. I came away with lots of inspiration for DI Andy Horton, not to mention a good place to put a body!


DEAD PASSAGE DI Andy Horton mystery number 14


Dead Passage an Inspector Andy Horton crime novel A mysterious telephone call sends Horton on a complex and twisted investigation into the death of a local politician twelve years ago and uncovers a trail of lies, secrets and revenge with roots deep in the past.

"A detective novel in the tradition of Rankin and Harvey." Mystery People Magazine

"This book has all the juicy ingredients that make a good story: an historic death of a politician, a daughter who urgently wants to speak to the inspector, as she has ‘something to reveal’ about her father’s death, and also a few interesting characters that keep you guessing about who’s telling the truth…and who has something to hide." BH Living Magazine

A Killing Coast - DI Andy Horton mystery number 7


A Killing Coast, DI Andy Horton 7 by Pauline Rowson An investigation into a body found floating in the sea off Portsmouth harbour throws DI Andy Horton's capabilities into question.  Not only does he need to find a brutal killer, but he also has to prove he's still up to the job.


'Multilayered, twisted, and complex...a surprising conclusion and a satisfying read.' Booklist







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Original article published in 2015




POSTED BY: PAULINE ROWSON
OCTOBER 29TH, 2019 @ 6:48:49 UTC
 
 


Comments

RE: No Man's Fort in the Solent on research for DI Andy Horton DEAD PASSAGE


Thoroughly enjoyed your talk at Portchester Library, looking forward to CIS 2016! Have a very Happy Christmas

COMMENT BY KAREN ALLERTON, DECEMBER 15TH, 2015 @ 20:46:53 UTC

RE: No Man's Fort in the Solent on research for DI Andy Horton DEAD PASSAGE


Glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for coming and look forward to seeing you at CSI Portsmouth 2016, Saturday 5 March. Happy Christmas.

COMMENT BY PAULINE ROWSON, DECEMBER 16TH, 2015 @ 7:28:09 UTC

RE: No Man's Fort in the Solent on research for DI Andy Horton DEAD PASSAGE


Glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for coming and look forward to seeing you at CSI Portsmouth 2016, Saturday 5 March. Happy Christmas.

COMMENT BY PAULINE ROWSON, DECEMBER 16TH, 2015 @ 7:28:27 UTC

RE: No Man's Fort in the Solent on research for DI Andy Horton DEAD PASSAGE


Looked to be a great visit and material for DI Horton.

I have moved from Aldwick and miss the CSI events. I hope to come in 2016 and note the new venue.

Happy Christmas

Tony

COMMENT BY TONY SMITH, DECEMBER 18TH, 2015 @ 16:48:58 UTC

RE: No Man's Fort in the Solent on research for DI Andy Horton DEAD PASSAGE


It was fascinating, Tony. Hope to see you in 2016 at CSI. Have a very Happy Christmas.

COMMENT BY PAULINE ROWSON, DECEMBER 18TH, 2015 @ 17:10:40 UTC

RE: No Man's Fort in the Solent on research for DI Andy Horton DEAD PASSAGE


It was fascinating, Tony. Hope to see you in 2016 at CSI. Have a very Happy Christmas.

COMMENT BY PAULINE ROWSON, DECEMBER 18TH, 2015 @ 17:11:07 UTC
 

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