Part two of the highlights from CrimeFest that took place in Bristol this weekend. The panel sessions form the backbone of the event and it is always a struggle to decide which ones to attend. My first panel of Saturday was Fresh Blood: Debut Authors which featured the recently published Alex Blackmore, JC Martin, Fergus McNeill and Tom Vowler. Although the books are written in very different styles, what united the authors is their effective use of the setting to support the narrative. I’m particularly looking forward to reading Tom Vowler’s What Lies Within, an atmospheric thriller set in Dartmoor.
Another great panel was Crime and Crossover which featured authors who span different genres. While writers Yrsa Sigurdardottir and Dana Stabenow write books outside the crime genre, horror and sci-fi respectively, Colin Cotterill and Evonne Wareham are writers whose books are difficult to pigeonhole into a single genre. I’m a fan of Colin Cotterill’s novels although I notice I haven’t reviewed any on this blog. It was interesting to hear that when he first started his books, he wasn’t writing for any particular genre and his novels have been difficult to define since, as they feature elements of crime, comedy, history and the supernatural.
The Sherlock panel had Mark Gatiss, Steven Moffat and Sue Vertue, the team behind the popular TV programme. It was fascinating to hear about the discussions that take place before they decide which Sherlock Holmes stories to use. Their approach is to harvest the best bits from different stories to create a single strong episode. They hope to continue the series as long as possible while the actors are willing to participate.
The day ended with one of my favourites of the genre – spy stories. I was delighted to hear Aly Monroe talk about the inspiration behind her post war series featuring Peter Cotton and it reminded me that I must read her latest book
Saturday evening ended with the gala dinner during which the Petrona Award for the best translated Scandinavian crime novel. It was awarded to Last Will by Liza Marklund and is my opinion a worthy winner. The translation was by Neil Smith. More details on the award can be found here.