An urn with human ashes

The progress for writing “Royal killing” is little. Last week’s tropical temperatures were not good for writing. I do not have airco in my study room. And even with both windows wide open, about 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit) is too much after a cold and rainy summer.

Do not worry, I will restart writing again. I plan to finish my book in 2023. And I have already written about 80% so it is just fine.

At such moments inspiration comes from the unexpected. I happened to find Elizabeth Kostova’s 2017 novel “The Shadow Land”. She became world famous with her 2003 bestseller “The historian”.

The historian plays in most Balkan countries, “The Shadow Land” plays in Bulgaria. I love the novel and I do think it is way much better than “The historian”.

It is about a young American woman Aleksandra Boyd who comes to Bulgaria to teach English. The taxi brings her to the wrong Sofia hotel where there are many people who shout and talk very loud. When she is on the way to the right hotel, she happens to see a strange item amongst her bags. It is an urn with human ashes.

She is convinced this is some stupid misunderstanding and wants to return it.  But that is unexpectedly difficult. It leads to a road trip through Bulgaria with many lively and wonderful descriptions of the country and its people.

It was an enormous pleasure to read “The Shadow Land” and I felt the love for Bulgaria and the Bulgarians. Aleksandra Boyd must be Elizabeth Kostova’s alter ego.

The novel does have a pitch dark side and the mysterious title is very well chosen. The end does have a surprisingly thriller suspence.

But, you know, so does “Royal killing”.

So, thank you, Elizabeth Kostova for “The Shadow Land” that inspires me to finish “Royal killing”.