CrimeFest: Friday’s Panels

Reviews

It’s May and the sun is shining in Bristol so it must be time for CrimeFest. Traffic conspired against me on Thursday which meant I wasn’t able to attend any the panels that day. However, they have been ably written up by Ayo from Shots blog here.

IMG_0125Friday, however, was more successful and I attended the first panel of the day: Debut Authors – An Infusion of Fresh Blood featuring MJ Arlidge, Jake Woodhouse, Colette McBeth, Kate Griffin and Mason Cross. The panel introduced their protagonists and spoke about writers who had influenced their work. What was interesting was the extent to which their disparate backgrounds and influences are producing books which bring something new to the genre. I’m particularly looking forward to reading Kate Griffin’s Kitty Peck and the Music Hall Murders which features a seventeen year old trapeze artist as its heroine.

The second panel of the day was Murder Know No Boundaries which focused on both domestic and international crime fiction. Moderated by Anne Zouroudi, the international element was represented by Jeffrey Siger whose books are set on the Greek Island of Mykonos and Thomas Mogford whose Gibraltar based book, Hollow Mountain, I recently reviewed on this blog. On the home front, Mari Hannah and Steven Dunne write novels set in the North East of England and the East Midlands. Panellists brought in artefacts that had influenced their writing and discussed the implications of both writing as an outsider looking in at a different culture and of the tensions about writing about your own community.

crimefest_logo1The Modern Thriller panel featured Belinda Bauer, Chris Ewan, Helen Fitzgerald and Simon Kernick and was moderated by Doug Johnstone. I’m a huge fan of these writers and was fascinated by the debate on what differentiates a thriller from a crime novel. Immediacy and pace in the genre were discussed and it became clear that there is a lot of flexibility as to what constitutes a modern day thriller beyond the traditional whodunit.

My final panel of the day was an ‘In the Spotlight’ session featuring French crime writer Dominique Manotti and her translator, Ros Schwartz. They talked about the translation process and in particular the impact of film on readers’ expectations. Manotti writes in the present tense and she made a convincing case for why this tense works so well in French literature. Manotti is a wonderful example of how the personality of a writer can make you want to read their books. I’m catching with Manotti as soon as possible.

Tonight we’re announcing the winner of the 2014 Petrona Award. More about this on the blog tomorrow.

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The Best of April’s Reading

Reviews

April was a quiet reading month but May promises to be much busier with Crimefest taking place in two weeks time. It’s always a IMG_1012great opportunity to catch up with writers, reviewers, bloggers and readers and there will be plenty of updates on this blog.

My book of the month for April is a surprise. I was looking forward to reading Fred Vargas’s Dog Will Have His Day but, while I found it an enjoyable read, it wasn’t one of her best. Instead, a book by an’new to me’ writer, Massimo Carlotto, was by far my favourite read this month. At the End of a Dull Day has sly humour and dark violence in equal measure and it was good to be taken out of my comfort zone.

The four books I read for Crimepieces were:

The Outcast Dead by Elly Griffiths

At the End of a Dull Day by Massimo Carlotto

The Ghost Runner by Parker Bilal

Dog Will Have His Day by Fred Vargas

 

Kerrie over at Mysteries in Paradise is bringing together other bloggers’ recommendations from their April reading. Do head over there to see what everyone else has been reading.