The historical note contains lots of information that is relevant to the plot and events of the book, but there are also lots of other things that have been woven into the story that you might find interesting.
As before, a number of the characters are named after cricketers, but there are a few other things thrown in as well.
The dedication is much longer than in previous titles that C.S. Woolley has written. Those named in the dedication are the staff and owners of the Three Crowns in Wymeswold. The pub (@catandwickets) is one of the places that C.S. Woolley goes to write and reportedly loves the food there.
Sarah – Sarah Taylor is a current women’s cricketer for England. She is a wicketkeeper-batsman and is well-known for her free flowing stroke play. She can be seen opening the batting in one day matches and batting in the middle order during Test matches. She plays domestic cricket for Sussex.
Montgomery – Robbie Montgomery was a right-arm fast-medium bowler for Gloucestershire until the end of 2015 season, when he was released.He previously played for the Gloucestershire and Somerset Second XI.
Baird – Sam Baird was born in Perth, Australia,and played for the Derbyshire Second XI.
Watson – Shane “Watto” Watson is now retired, but the Australian all-rounder only retired in 2016 when he was considered the No.1 T20 all-rounder.
Wentworth – Wentworth “Tom” Wills was a Victorian cricketer and one of the founders of Australian rules football. He was seen as the first cricketer of significance to be born in Australia. He sadly committed suicide at the age of 44 after he had become “a complete and dangerous and apparently incurable alcoholic” – David Frith.
George – George Mann CBE, DSO, MC was a cricketer for England, Cambridge University and Middlesex. He captained England during his career. His father, Frank Mann, also captained England, which made them the first father and son to both captain England.
Webb – Jonathon Webb is a right-arm medium bowler who played for Warwickshire until the end of the 2016 cricket season, when he was released.
Cooky – Alistair Cook is the former captain of the England Test side who also plays for
Alex – Alex Hales is one of the Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club players that has played for England in the Test, ODI and T20 formats.
Hunter – Jack Hunter is a New Zealand cricketer that has played for New Zealand Under-19s, New Zealand XI,Otago, Otago A and Otago Under-19s.
Henry – Matt Henry is another New Zealand cricketer who plays for Worcestershire and New Zealand International team.
Cartwright – Hilton Cartwright is an Australian All-Rounder who made his Test debut for the national Australian side in January of this year.He plays for the Perth Scorchers and Western Australia.
Baker – Thomas Baker played for Yorkshire and Northamptonshire between 2001 and 2005.
Evans – Laurie Evans is a cricketer currently contracted to Sussex County Cricket Club who has also played for Warwickshire, MCC and Northamptonshire.
Jack – Jack Russell was an eccentric wicketkeeper who played for England and Gloucestershire.
Hales – Also a reference to Alex Hales.
Mary – Mary Duggan was a rught-handed batsman and an incredible bowler for England and took 7 for 6 against Australia, which remain the best test figures in English women’s test history.
May – Peter May played for Surry, Cambridge University and England as a batsman. He was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame in 2009, 15 years after his death.
Margaret – Margaret Rutherford was a cricketer who played four test matches for England in 1960/61.
Cooper – Britney Cooper is a West Indian cricketer who has played both the ODI and T20 formats at the international level.
Harry – Like all of C.S. Woolley’s books series, there is a character called Harry in the Mysteries of Stickleback Hollow. Most of these Harrys are named after Prince Harry, however the Harry in Stickleback Hollow is named after Harry Gurney. Harry Gurney is a Nottinghamshire bowler who has also played for England.
Taylor – James Taylor is a former England and Nottinghamshire cricketer, who was forced to retire in 2016.
Ruth – Ruth is named not after a cricketer, but after baseball player, Babe Ruth, who reportedly broke a cricket bat the first time he tried his hand at the game in 1935 when he met Don Bradman.
Wessex – Wessex isn’t named for a person but rather for a handmade cricket bat.
Stuart – Stuart Broad is a Nottinghamshire and England bowler who is pretty well known for taking some superb wickets.
Moore – Pete Moores is the head coach of the Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club and his son Tom also plays for the team.
Gregory – Greg Smith is a Nottinghamshire batsman.
Kitts – Ben Kitt plays for Nottinghamshire as a fast bowler and lower order batsman. (You may also notice that C.S. Woolley took the S off Moores and put it on Kitt)
Samuel – Sam Wood was a Nottinghamshire bowler until the end of 2016 season.
Daniel – Dan Christian is the captain of the Nottinghamshire T20 side and hails from Australia.
Jones – Aaron Jones is a Barbadian cricketer.
Jake – Jake Ball is a Nottinghamshire bowler who also plays for England.
Walker – Walker Wainwright was a Yorkshire slow left-arm orthodox bowler who went on to be an umpire.
Annabel – Annabel Sutherland is an upcoming Australian cricketer. She currently plays for Melbourne Renegades Women.
Turner – Ashton Turner is an Australian cricket who made his International T20 debut for Australia against Sri Lanka in February 2017.
Pattinson – James Pattinson is an Australian cricketer who also bowls for Nottinghamshire.
Other than these cricketing names, there are few other reference that have been crammed into the story. The surname de Mandeville comes from Geoffrey & William de Mandeville from the 1100s, Constable Arwyn Evans is named for a Welsh policeman by the name of Arywn Phillips who once served in the Cheshire Police force and now lives in Llandudno.
Richard and Gordon, the sons of Doctor Hales are the first and second name of C.S. Woolley’s father. Countess Szjona is named after the same Szonja included in the dedication and Lord Joshua St. Vincent is named after the Josh in the dedication. Elizabeth is named after C.S. Woolley’s sisters.
Harald the horse is named after Harald that fought against Harold at the battle of Stamford Bridge. Bosworth and Mrs. Bosworth are named after the battle of Bosworth field. Black Guy the horse is named after one of C.S. Woolley’s favourite characters from Raymond E. Feist’s Magician series. Kneelingroach is a reference to the West Wing and the use of John Smith and his pocket watch are both references to Doctor Who.