The Origins of L’Abeille Nue

Several people have asked about the setting for many of the Uncovered Policeman stories, L’Abeille Nue. It is entirely fictitious. The location as described in the book “Goodbye Blues.” The stream, the orchard, the buildings and the pool exist only in my imagination now that I have lost the sketch map I made when I started the story. I could take you there I know exactly where it is but you would be disappointed.

The spirit of L’Abeille Nue is based on fact. During the early years of the last decade, Mrs Bun and I managed the Quinta da Horta, a naturist place in the south of Portugal.

The fabric of the resort was on its very last knockings. Held together by the paint we lashed onto every surface. The water pipes burst with alarming regularity. The roofs leaked when it rained and the drains were a total mystery, the man who had dug them had died taking their secrets to the grave.

No matter when the sun shone the place had a beauty and an atmosphere of peace. The wonderful guests and the volunteers that stayed created a buzz about the place. They would paint murals and pictures. Translate jokes from one language to another and laugh at the retelling.

We would all dine together under the night skies several time a week. Then play guitars (and for two weeks the accordion) and sing songs late into the night.

You see now the spirit of L’Abeille Nue, all it needed was decent, solidly constructed buildings. In an arrangement that would work better than the random dotting of old farm buildings, converted to cottages. Oh’ and a good electrical and water supply, drainage and for the twenty-first century proper Wi-Fi coverage.

Rags and Bea were luckier than Mrs Bun and I were, they got the perfect set up! While we now have the small but perfectly form L’Olivette … Where Chas and Di entertained guests in “In and Out of the Blues” and in “When the Music Stops: DC al Fine.” So we are good.