My Favourite Holiday: Author Catriona McPherson on rockin’ to Rhode Island

Riverside in Providence, capital of Rhode Island, where Catriona spent summer

BEST-SELLING, award-winning author Catriona McPherson has written more than 20 crime novels.

Scot Catriona now lives in California and her latest book, Go To My Grave, is out now £8.99.

It’s a tale of eight friends who make a vow of silence after a tragedy – but then one breaks the pact.

SUMMER 2018, viewed from last Christmas, was shaping up to be a lonely, exhausting series of airport meets as my bidey-in and I struggled to honour work commitments far from our California home.

He was going to Florida and so was I (but not at the same time). He had to be in Boston. I needed to be in Minneapolis and New York. He wanted to go to Hawaii for a holiday. I wouldn’t have put up a struggle.

Then we checked the dates and got goosepimples – it was meant to be.

An enormous 30-state triangle, taking in Minneapolis en route to Boston en route to Manhattan en route to the Atlantic coast of Florida (him) en route to Florida (me) and two weeks in the middle for a holiday.

We had to give up on Hawaii and “settle for” Rhode Island. But we grew up swimming in the North Sea, so settling for warm water, guaranteed sunshine and lobsters wasn’t tough.

We took music to match the landscape – driving through rural Louisiana counting the Baptist churches and listening to Mary Gauthier singing Burnin’ The Sugar Cane was a highlight.


We took a cool box bigger than our first flat so we’d always have fresh milk for a cuppa when we arrived at that night’s hotel. (We also took a kettle – we’ve lived here eight years and we’ve stopped hoping.)

The first stop was Salt Lake City. The last stop was the Grand Canyon (grander and more canyony than I ever imagined – truly breathtaking).

In between, we fell in love with Minnesota’s lakes, Indiana motorway services, Boston accents, Carolina peaches, Arizona kachina dolls, and every single thing about Savannah, Georgia, but especially the soul food at Mrs Wilkes’ Boarding House.

We made a couple of swerves – dinner in Michigan, lunch in Oklahoma – and racked up 32 states by the end.

I’ll never do it again but I don’t regret it. Except for that cool box. We both hated it with a passion by the end of the third week so used it as a dirty washing basket all the way home.