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The setting is 1998 so it is recent enough that readers can relate to the time period. The place is Swindon, England as well as London. The very British setting takes some of its inspiration from the Sherlock Holmes stories, Christopher knocks on the doors of various neighbors to try to find out what happened to Wellington. Haddon also believes the book he had most in mind when he was writing The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time was, the very English, Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. In a note about the novel, Haddon explains that Jane Austen was writing about boring people with limited lives and that were she alive today, she would be writing about chartered accountants in Welwyn Garden city. In Pride and Prejudice she writes about their lives with such empathy that they seem interesting, in the kind of book that her characters would read - the romantic novel. In The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time that is what Haddon says he was trying to do: 'to take a life that seemed horribly constrained, to write about it in the kind of book that the hero would read - a murder mystery - and hopefully show that if you viewed this life with sufficient imagination it would seem infinite.'