A Fun Weekend at CrimeFest!

Once again, CrimeFest has come and gone.  This dynamic, sometimes chaotic, but always enjoyable literary event is the most important of its kind in the UK, and one of the most important in the world.  Held in the majestic setting of Bristol’s Marriott  Royal Hotel on College Green, CrimeFest is three days of non-stop panels, talks and interviews, with a plethora of authors, agents, and publishers in attendance, which provides a unique opportunity to find out what is going on the crime genre throughout the world.  There is always some offering of particular interest, and the year it was the debut novel of actor Hugh Fraser, who has been familiar to us on stage and TV for many years now, perhaps most notably in the context of crime for his portrayal of Captain Hastings in the TV series based on Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot.  His novel is entitled  ‘Harm’.  I haven’t read it yet, but Chris and I do have our autographed copy.  My contribution this year was as a member of the ‘Swinging Sixties’ panel – a period of great interest to me as the decade in which Ben Schroeder begins his career.  It was fascinating to have a panel and an audience split between those who remember the Sixties and those who don’t, although I felt obliged to remind everyone of the old adage that if you claim to remember the Sixties, you obviously weren’t there (I think the original quote may have referred specifically to Woodstock, but the principle is much the same!).  I do remember the Sixties pretty well, as I was a student then. One thing we all agreed on is that crime novels set back then are more interesting than contemporary settings at least in one way: there was no DNA, there were no e-mails, no texts, no mobile phones to help the police investigate crime, or to help prosecutors convict the guilty.  it was all about old-fashioned police work.  I was delighted that this year, my publishers, No Exit Press, took their turn to host the Saturday evening reception before the Gala dinner.  It was attended by a huge throng, and put us all in an exuberant mood (see exuberant photo below, for which credit goes to fellow No Exit author Leigh Russell).  Barry Forshaw made an excellent speech of welcome for all the No Exit authors, who were there in force.  Looking forward to Next Year!


No Exit Press's Ion Mills proudly displays our books at CrimeFest reception

No Exit Press’s Ion Mills proudly displays our books at CrimeFest reception



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