Murphys: The picturesque Sierra location that inspired Doyle.
Wits' End centers around the owner of a UFO-themed B&B in "Doyle," California. There actually is a Doyle, California -- a teeny town near the Nevada border. But that's not the Doyle of Wits' End.
Doyle is based on Murphys, California, a Gold Rush-era town in the Sierra foothills, between Angels Camp and Bear Valley. I grew up in California and spent many summers at Bear Valley, making sure to stop along the way in Doyle for wine tasting, shopping, and relaxing. It's one of those in-between places -- not quite Alpine, not quite not Alpine -- and with its small town charm and magical scenery, it seemed like the perfect place for my Wits' End (and Doyle Witch) series.
Also, flying saucer shaped UFOs really do frequently come floating over those mountains. And at night, the stars are spectacular, especially viewed over nearby Lake Alpine, another spot where Susan and Arsen. The lake is set in a spectacular granite bowl just east of Bear Valley, and is dotted with mysterious rock islands that just beg to be explored. (And Arsen has thoroughly explored them all.)