Paul Toolan is the creator of the Detective Inspector Zig Batten crime series, set in the real cider-apple landscape of South Somerset and the semi-fictional town of Parminster.
Though an urban Northerner, Paul now cheerfully admits to being a southern softie enjoying rural life in the West of England. Indeed ideas for his books tend to crop up while walking through its orchards, by its rivers and, if he’s feeling energetic, up its limited number of hills.
It’s no coincidence that D.I. Zig Batten is also a Northerner uprooted to Somerset, and a keen walker – when crime allows.
A Killing Tree
A January Killing
The sequel explores the consequences of a murder at a Wassail in a freezing-cold apple-orchard. In the third, ‘An Easter Killing’ [available later in 2016], the bank holiday traditions of a Somerset village become the backdrop to a shocking crime.
Reviewers have commended the rural descriptions and deep-set community feel of the books and described them variously as beautifully-written, peppered with grit and wit – and “Bergerac with cider”.
Paul just enjoys writing them.