The difficulty in writing a sequel to Murder at the End of the World was in how I could writing something that was just as interesting and took place in a location that was just a interesting without simply copying what I’d done in the first book. On its surface, Illdara was a very dark and unfriendly place, a view that was only confirmed by digging deeper. So, instead of creating a similar location for the second book, I decided to create a location that looked very bright and cheerful on the exterior, but hid some very dark secrets that were uncovered in the course of the investigation.
The manor of Gregory Williams is a technological wonderland, filled with late-19th century and early-20th century technology around every corner. I’ve taken some liberties in this regard to create a more interesting location, but much of what I use is very similar to the technology of that time period. Automatons, giant clocks, rooms that can be moved by hidden mechanism. Gregory Williams is something like Thomas Edison, but with the eccentricity of Howard Hughes. He had created an isolated world and surrounded himself with the fruits of his own genius mind. But what at first glance appears to be a modern marvel, quickly proves to be something more.
The manor, and the theme park-like town that services it, are false, they’re not real. The town, despite its bright colors and inviting atmosphere is more like an elaborate tourist trap than anything that has ever existed in real life. And, in a way, it’s this false facade, and what it hides, that makes the location every bit as eerie and strange as the isolated port city of Illdara.