The events that took place in Switzerland and Canada in 1994 and 1945 and again in Canada in 1997 are true. Details of the fire/suicides have been changed to fit the story. The characters at the Saint Casimir house are fictitious as, of course, is that of Benjamin Lambert.
Richard Whitten Barnes was born in Minnesota but grew up on the north side of Chicago. A band scholarship took him to Michigan State University, where he majored in chemistry. He is retired from a long career in international chemical sales and marketing, taking him all over the world. Barnes is a veteran of the U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Division and an avid sailor. He, his wife, Marg and their dog Sparty live in Lake Wylie, S.C., and spend summers at their cottage on St. Joseph Island, Ontario.