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Five Great Books set in GLASTONBURY

22nd May 2021

Five Great Books set in Glastonbury.

“Glastonbury is the Mega-Node!” (Holy Grail project team leader Professor Paul Fidgeon) .. no idea what that means! But from Glastonbury Online there is a warm welcome to possibly the quirkiest town in England. Steeped in history, myth and the smell of incense. To mark Glastonbury Festival online, a global livestream event at Worthy Farm 22 May 2021, we are helping you get under the skin of the town by choosing five great books set there.

Festival of Death by Laurence Anholt

When Ethan Flynn, charismatic vocalist of supergroup Stigma, is electrocuted by his own guitar in front of 175,000 witnesses on the Pyramid stage at the Glastonbury Festival, suspicion falls on his tyrannical twin, Tyrone.

Leading the murder investigation is Buddhist detective, Vincent Caine, and his partner, DI Shanti Joyce. To Shanti’s consternation the pair have become known as ‘the go-to team for weird stuff in the West Country’ and few crimes come weirder than this. Amidst the pulsating beats of the festival, the unlikely duo struggle to untangle the wildly conflicting statements of minders, lovers, drug-fuelled roadies, and dodgy divas.

Against the mystical backdrop of Glastonbury Tor and the tiny Somerset village of Kilton, the terrifying trail leads Shanti and Caine from clairvoyant Tarot readings to the cryptic lyrics of a lost song, cunningly concealed by the tragic superstar.

Can the unlikely mix of Shanti’s down-to-earth pragmatism and Caine’s intuitive sleuthing skills solve this most singular of murders? Is the future of the world’s greatest festival in peril? And what happens when two consummate professionals are forced to share a tent in the steamy heat of summer?

Five Great Books set in GLASTONBURYTime’s Legacy by Barbara Erskine

Ancient secrets buried deep in Glastonbury’s past.
And one woman’s quest to finally set them free.

Cambridge present day: Following the death of her mother, Abi Rutherford receives a mysterious bequest – a misshapen sphere of crystal known as the Serpent’s Stone which seems to hold echoes of concealed mysteries, long covered up by the church.

Western England 25AD: A stranger has come to the chilly Somerset wetlands, with a story of hope and reconciliation. But he is being followed by powerful forces, determined that he will not undermine Roman rule in Britain.

What connects these ancient events and Abi’s gift? And why do so many people seem desperate to hide the truth?

A strange shadow has fallen across the centuries, and a woman is in fear of her life. But is it danger that awaits her, or the final truth so long whispered across the echoes of time?

Dying To Tell by Robert Goddard

It is autumn in the little Somerset town of Glastonbury. Lance Bradley is just beginning to feel that he is idling away his life there as usual when he receives a call for help from the eccentric sister of his old friend Rupert Alder. Inexplicably, Rupe has stopped sending the money that his dysfunctional siblings depend on. Reluctantly, Lance goes to London to learn what he can, only to find that his friend has vanished. Rupe’s employers, the Eurybia Shipping Company, want him tried for fraud. A Japanese businessman called Hashimoto claims he has stolen a document of huge importance. And a private detective is demanding money for trying to trace on Rupe’s behalf an American called Townley, who was involved in a mysterious death at Wilderness Farm, near Glastonbury, back in 1963, that year of so many momentous events which just happens also to be the year of Lance’s birth. No sooner has Lance decided that whatever Rupe was up to is too risky for him to get involved in than he finds that he already is involved, and the only way out is to get in deeper still. Where is Rupe? What is the document he has stolen? Who is Townley? And what happened at Wilderness Farm in the summer of 1963 that holds the key to a secret more amazing than Lance Bradley could ever have imagined?

Five Great Books set in GLASTONBURYSnowflakes over Bay Tree Terrace by Fay Keenan

Willowbury is a lightly fictionalised Glastonbury

When teacher Florence Ashton receives a surprise inheritance, she decides to make the life-changing decision to up sticks to the charming town of Willowbury in Somerset. With a new house and a new job, she’s too busy putting down roots to think about love.

Air Ambulance pilot Sam Ellis is definitely not looking for romance either, especially not on his doorstep. When Florence, his new neighbour, complains about his noisy housemate, he feels more cross than star-crossed.

But as the nights draw in and both find themselves thrown together in Willowbury’s seasonal drama production, will they overcome their differences and allow a little bit of winter magic to fall along with the snow? And what secrets will be revealed by the box of memories Florence finds in the attic at Bay Tree Terrace?

The Cocktail Bar by Isabella May

Rock star, River Jackson, is back in his hometown of Glastonbury to open a cocktail bar… and the locals aren’t impressed.

Seductive Georgina is proving too hot to handle; band mate, Angelic Alice, is messing with his heart and his head; his mum is a hippie-dippy liability; his school friends have resorted to violence – oh, and his band manager, Lennie, AND the media are on his trail.

But River is armed with a magical Mexican elixir which will change the lives of the Three Chosen Ones. Once the Mexican wave of joy takes a hold of the town, he’s glad he didn’t lose his proverbial bottle.

Pity he hasn’t taken better care of the real one…

BONUS BOOKS:

A Glastonbury Romance by John Cowper Powys

First published in 1932, this is an epic novel of terrific force and lyrical intensity interweaving the ancient with the modern as it probes the mystical and spiritual ethos of Glastonbury and its association with the legend of the Grail. … the only novel produced by an English writer that can fairly be compared with the fiction of Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky…with an immensity to which only Blake could provide any parallel. Go out and acquire it. Almost everything else on your shelf will start looking thin.’ – George Steiner’

The Dark Well of Glastonbury by Phillipa Bowers

In 1903, Louisa, an impoverished young widow, goes to Glastonbury to care for her ailing aunt. One day while sitting beside the ruined abbey church, she experiences a vision from the past of a woman who was guardian of one of the three sacred wells on the Isle of Avalon – the red and white wells situated at the foot of the Tor are known to this day, but the black well, which reveals the future, has lain unrecognized for centuries. Further visions follow revealing the lives of the women whose gift of seership marked them out as keepers of the dark well. Louisa has suffered great tragedy in her life and believes that love and happiness are no longer for her, but as she learns of her deep connection to the women of the dark well and the gift she shares with them, her life takes an unexpected direction

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Enter the 2021TripFiction 'Sense of Place' Creative Writing Competition!

A story in which the location plays as important a role as the rest of your words.

2,500 word maximum, 750 word minimum

Judges include Victoria Hislop and Rosanna Ley

First Prize of £1,000 / US$1,350

Prizes total £1,750 / US$2,362 

Winning entry published on TripFiction site and publicised on Social Media

Entries close 6th November 2021