North Caxton, New Hampshire is a fictional village that can only be found between the covers of my books. Kearsarge County is fictional, too, but they are both located in the heart of the very real White Mountains.

If you wish to visit a setting similar to North Caxton, then a trip to North Conway and the surrounding towns is recommended. This area is famous not only for its magnificent fall foliage, but also for its skiing, hiking and outlet shopping. It is the inspiration for the home of my detective series.


In the novel, I reference Stark, New Hampshire, which is an actual town in Coos County. It’s home to a beautiful Paddleford truss covered bridge as well as the location of the only POW camp in the state during World War II. At the time, the camp held two-hundred and fifty German prisoners of war, who logged and worked for pulp and paper companies. Allen V. Koop wrote an interesting book on the subject called “Stark Decency: German Prisoners of War in a New Hampshire Village.”

People often ask me where I get my ideas from. The idea for my title Witch Cross Inn came to me years ago after I had a lovely lunch at the Salem Cross Inn in their Hexmark Tavern. Located in West Brookfield, Massachusetts, the restaurant is well worth a visit, but check the times because they have a winter schedule and do close for a vacation.


 Lonesome Lake is the first story in the Jakes and Raines murder mystery series. 

I grew up in England but now make New Hampshire my home. I’ve spent a lot of time in the White Mountains, skiing, camping and hiking. In the fall, there’s leaf peeping and outlet shopping. On a hot summer day, I love to paddle in the cool water of the Pemigewasset River or swim from the beach at Echo Lake in the heart of Franconia Notch. It’s not surprising then that I found this area the perfect setting for my series. 

Although some of the locations in the book are real—like the Kancamagus Highway, Lincoln, and the Lafayette Campgrounds in Franconia Notch—many of the settings are figments of my imagination. Kearsarge County and the towns of Caxton and North Caxton are inspired by Conway and North Conway in Carroll County.

Fortunately, Lonesome Lake is not a fantasy. This beautiful, twelve-acre lake nestled high in the mountains can be reached from hiking trails in the Franconia Notch State Park, or by riding the Cannon Aerial Tramway and hiking down to it like Holly and Raines did in the story. 

Lonesome Lake

© Harry Lichtman

You can view more beautiful landscapes like this one by New Hampshire photographer Harry Lichtman at