I have to say that I am a bit obsessive about fact checking for the manuscripts. This does not mean that I always get it right (unfortunately) but I do try. At the moment I am doing pre -submission editing of A Wedding on the Riviera, which means a lot of quick fact checking - OK, it also means some indulgent browsing too, but a writer has got to have a little bit of fun.
Checking an author's browsing history can be an interesting business and one which might, on occasion, give loved ones and close family a moment's pause. Body bags and spades, anyone? My checking for What Happens at Christmas included the length of time it might take to die of starvation. Not a conventional murder method, but if you've read the book, you'll know the context. (And if you haven't go and get a copy, now!)
Checking for the Riviera series is a lot less gruesome - for this one there was lots about weddings, naturally, including drooley stuff on wedding cakes, especially chocolate ones. Sightseeing around Nice. Hotels in Paris - that was fun, I love hotels and vicarious travel, sadly the only kind available at the moment. I know this, as I was supposed to be travelling to Nice myself, for research purposes, of course, this Saturday! The Internet can be very useful, even when you can't visit in person. I did a tour of the Marais district of Paris from my armchair which was a great help in describing my hero's short visit there.
Other things are more, intricate - fortunately I'd already checked the stops made by the TVG train between Paris and Nice and had written them down, as checking them when few trains are running was difficult. Luckily, after a bit of digging I was able to confirm that I had them right. I've also had to restrain myself from buying vintage dress patterns for 1950s cocktail dresses. No longer having a personal dresssmaker, they really would be an indulgence. This has not stopped me bookmarking them for the occasional drool.
The feel of the book owes a lot to the 1950's type films of crime style capers on the Riviera - things like To Catch A Thief . If you want a quick look, the trailer is HERE It's gorgeous - clothes, scenery, sunshine. I hope my effort will create the same sort of atmosphere.
If we can't visit, we can still read about it.