Bookworms can discover a mystery from the 17th century inspired by a Dorset village.

Bridport author Georgia Piggott is making her fiction debut with historical novel Just Causes.

Set in the fictional village of Hillbury in mid Dorset between Dorchester and Sherborne, the story is roughly located at Cerne Abbas.

Georgia is a former business systems analyst in retail, airlines and telecommunications. Her specialism is tailoring IT systems for non-technical users. It is this passion for translation and language that has inspired her to explore 17th century England.

Georgia said Cerne Abbas - or Hillbury – was perfect for the origins of her heroine Alice as a down-to-earth yeoman’s daughter.

“I even borrowed the Royal Oak pub for my landlord’s inn," she said.

"Under pressure to marry, Georgia is impatient, impulsive, and to start with at least, a know-it-all. Society expects her to be quiet, submissive, deferential to authority, and she is none of these things.”

In 1625, Charles the 1st has just claimed the throne and Civil War is still a distant prospect on the horizon. The area also witnessed tragedy on an extraordinary scale with wave after wave of plague outbreaks, and some equally deadly herbal remedies.

Georgia said: “The ingredients for their remedy for plague would have included herbs like rue to reduce fever; sage and wormwood to help digestion.

"There were also some really dangerous ingredients and I was advised by a specialist to be careful not to give out details by which someone might accidentally poison themselves! It was at least the perfect setting for a murder mystery.”

Georgia has signed a two book deal with publisher Crumps Barn Studio, with further titles in the pipeline.

She said: “Each novel is a revelation to me as I write; characters appear that I never planned, Alice’s life takes turns I never envisaged. One of the great pleasures of writing is when the story takes on a life of its own.

"In Just Causes, the shadow of an old murder is haunting Alice’s steps and she must find out why.”

Just Causes by Georgia Piggott is out now in paperback and ebook.

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