Okay, okay. I do like lighthouses, but never lobster.

We Maine Crime Writers are frequently asked about setting. Maine, famously, is a mystery and crime writing hot spot, though actual murders in the state average between 20-25 a year. So the topic of Maine as setting for our books is broached at probably every event where some of us are on a panel.

I’ve frequently said that my Bernie O’Dea mystery series, which takes place in northern Franklin County, does not feature the lobster and lighthouses that many from away associate with Maine. Franklin County stretches from a little north of Augusta west and north to the Quebec border, so unless those are Sandy River lobsters and the lighthouse is on Flagstaff Lake, they’re not happening.

Some have taken that to mean I don’t like lighthouses and lobster. While I will never understand the lure of lobster — a lot of work for something that looks like a giant bug, has to be boiled alive to taste good and basically takes like good haddock once you can get to the meat — I do like lighthouses and Maine’s beautiful coast.

I’ve temporarily moved to South Portland and through the miracle of the iPhone almost daily see something coastal I need to snap a photo of.

We often say here at Maine Crime Writers we are lucky as hell to live and write in the great state of Maine. So here’s some proof. Almost all of these were taken within walking distance of my home. The ones that weren’t are scenes I see almost daily.



Portland Head Light at Fort Williams in Cape Elizabeth. Known as the most photographed lighthouse in the world. Even if it’s not true, it’s easy to believe.


The view from the Hannaford supermarket parking lot in South Portland. Looks different every day. Shopping carts optional.


Yarmouth on the Royal River, where I have a co-working space for my writing habit.


This is the scene in Yarmouth from behind Think Tank Coworking, where I write.


Portland Head Light from the cliff trail at Fort Williams in Cape Elizabeth.


Portland Head Light from Simonton Cove, right down the street from where I live. Gee, I guess it’s my most photographed lighthouse even if it’s not the most photographed one in the world. Which it is.


Spring Point Lighthose from the kite-flying place near where I live. That field was part of a massive Navy shipyard during World War II.

The Royal River in Yarmouth as seen from Route 88. Yeah, and more of my cemetery obsession. I take the scene route home from the co-working space if I leave when it's light out, just so I can see this view.

The Royal River in Yarmouth as seen from Route 88. Yeah, and more of my cemetery obsession. I take the scene route home from the co-working space if I leave when it’s light out, just so I can see this view.


Munjoy Hill in Portland as seen from South Portland.


Simonton Cove from the walking trail near Southern Maine Community College in South Portland.


Bug Light as seen from Simonton Cove.


Spring Point lighthouse, with Fort Gorges in the background.


Moody Beach in Wells off in the distance, as seen from Route 1 in Wells. I also have a cemetery obsession. More on that another time.

EVENT: Saturday, December 3, Maureen Milliken and Jen Blood will be signing and selling books at the Belgrade Holiday Fair, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Route 27, Belgrade Lakes. The first book in Jen’s new Flint K-9 series, The Darkest Thread, was released in October and the second in Maureen’s Bernie O’Dea mystery series, No News is Bad News, came out this summer.

Maureen Milliken is the author of the Bernie O’Dea mystery series. Follow her on Twitter at@mmilliken47 and like her Facebook page at Maureen Milliken mysteries. Sign up for email updates at maureenmilliken.com.




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6 Responses to Okay, okay. I do like lighthouses, but never lobster.

  1. Gram says:

    I love lobster and think it has a more delicate flavor than haddock, but to each his/her own. I do not remember the last time I had any lobster though.

  2. Great photos. My great grandfather was a lighthouse keeper in Maine and then Connecticut. He led an interesting life.

  3. Nice photos, Maureen! A sweet way to start the day.

  4. Dave Carew says:

    Fantastic photos, Maureen! Thank you so much for sharing them with us!

  5. Amber Foxx says:

    I look forward to reading about the cemetery obsession. I like them, too. So full of stories and history–and names. You can see what names were used in certain regions and time periods. I’ve been to some intriguing Maine cemeteries (and to Bug Light) and went to a fascinating cemetery in the ghost town of Chloride, New Mexico this summer. (No ghosts, by the way.) Great pictures.

  6. Anne Marie Ferguson says:

    Love the photos, Maureen! I especially like the iconic lighthouse pics! I confess I love lobster …..have since I grew teeth! My love for Maine knows no bounds…so please keep sharing these beautiful photographs with us❤️.

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