Cambrian News photographer - The idea for The War Widow came after author Lorna Gray bought an old Cambrian News guidebook in a charity shop in Gloucestershire

WHEN former Aberystwyth University student and author Lorna Gray was browsing guidebooks in an Oxfam Bookshop in Gloucestershire, she didn’t expect to leave with the inspiration for her second novel, Aberystwyth mystery The War Widow.

The Cambrian News reported “The inspiration for her second vintage adventure came from the chance discovery of a 1925 Cambrian News Illustrated Guide to Aberystwyth in the charity shop window.

Lorna, who graduated from Aberystwyth University in 2002 with a degree in fine art, said: “I’m always looking for out-of-print guidebooks.

“They have the most fabulous old photographs – perfect for an author researching life after the Second World War.

“The guidebook united my memory of life in Aberystwyth as an art student with my present life in Cirencester.

“It inspired me to think about how much my heroine might try to reinvent herself after the end of a relationship and how certain elements of the past might quite simply refuse to let her go.”

The Cambrian News guidebook contained maps and vital fragments of information such as the location of the town police station and the historic setting of the Vale of Rheidol train station – essential details for a vivid tale of courage and bravery as heroine Kate Ward battles for both her identity and her life in 1940s Aberystwyth.

The War Widow is a sequel to 1940s mystery In the Shadow of Winter, which reached number two in the Amazon Historical Chart following its release” here.

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