CrimeFest 2013 – Part 2

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 018Sigurdardottir 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 bes032t 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.

17 thoughts on “CrimeFest 2013 – Part 2

  1. kathy d.

    Crime Fest again sounds interesting. It also is noteworthy that we crime fiction readers have different taste, some overlapping.

    I am so glad that Last Will won the Petrona Award. Maxine Clarke’s rave reviews of Liza Marklund’s books steered me in Annika Bengtzon’s direction and I’m sure did the same for many readers.


    1. I agree Kathy. It was interesting to see how much our tastes differed at the event. However, I was pleased to see Last Will win – and I’ve read some crackers in advance of the 2014 award.


  2. kathy d.

    Great! Hope to see your reviews in coming months. That’s the fun of this; we are able to read critical reviews and decide if we want to read the books, or to purchase them if needed.


  3. Margot Kinberg

    Sarah – So glad that you had such a very good time at CrimeFest. Those panels sound absolutely fascinating. I’m so very glad there was one about crime and crossovers as I think there are a lot of excellent books that it’s difficult to categorise. I’ll be looking forward to reading you review of the Vowler.


  4. Keishon

    I didn’t know you enjoyed Colin Cotterill. Good to know. I love his novels too and no wonder they haven’t really taken off because they are probably hard to market. I hate any supernatural but in his books, they work for me. I appreciate the write-ups Sarah and thanks.


    1. Thanks Keishon. I do actually like anything supernatural in crime fiction and am looking forward to reading James Oswald’s books as he told me at CrimeFest that his have this in them.


  5. Nice overview of the panels. Most of them sound very interesting. I am very interested in crossover mysteries; am currently reading Rivers of London which is fantasy/mystery. I have not read Colin Cotteril but have one of the Siri Paiboun series to try. I am definitely going to read Aly Monroe, a period I love to read about and espionage too. But I have not acquired any of her books yet. I love the Sherlock TV show; I would not have expected to like it put in modern day (even though I have read no Sherlock Holmes books, just seen old movies… and new movies).


  6. Pingback: Dispatches from Bristol: CrimeFest 2013 | Mrs. Peabody Investigates

  7. I’ll be reviewing Colin Cotterill’s KILED AT THE WHIM OF A HAT soon, the first in his Jimm Juree series set in the south of Thailand. Jimm Juree is a female protagonist, former crime writer and part of a very kooky family. A fun read so far … I, too, am a fan …


  8. Pingback: (A Belated) Best of the CrimeFest 2013 « Raven Crime Reads

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