First of all major congratulations to Martin Edwards who has just won an Edgar award for his fantastic history of the Detection Club, The Golden Age of Murder. I know writing The Golden Age of Murder has been a true labour of love for Martin and the resulting book is a comprehensive and fascinating account of the different characters responsible for making crime fiction the popular genre it is today. The award is richly deserved.
In April I was lucky enough to attend the annual Crime Writers’ Association conference in Norwich. I’d never been to Norwich before, an omission I was keen to rectify, and as it’s such a long way from my home we went a day early and stopped off at Stamford in Lincolnshire on the way. Stamford is a beautiful town and I’ve wanted to go there for some time so I was glad the conference gave me the opportunity. Also, before the conference began, my husband was able to fulfil his ambition to sail on the Norfolk Broads. The conference was held in the Maids Head Hotel next to Norwich cathedral. It was great to meet my fellow crime writers there and explore the city (and its gorgeous cathedral). As well as a guided walk around the historic city centre and a visit to the castle (which served as a prison for centuries and was the site of many public executions) we were treated to some fantastic talks by experts in many subjects ranging from forensic science to terrorism.
One talk that particularly fascinated me was author, Lindsay Siviter’s account of the famous Lord Lucan case. The ins and outs of the investigation were certainly intriguing and the ultimate fate of the notorious peer remains uncertain (although it’s possible that he fled to Africa where he later died – his brother even told Lindsay that he knows where he’s buried). There are so many unexplained aspects to the case and what looked like a simple matter of mistaken identity (it appeared the nanny was killed in mistake for Lucan’s estranged wife) might not have been so straightforward after all. One particular treat for me was holding Lord Lucan’s cheque book (something to tell the grandchildren!). It was a perfectly ordinary cheque book (Lloyds Bank as I recall - not the exclusive private bank I would have expected) but it still provided a tantalising link to a case that continues to capture the public imagination.
After the conference it was back to work and I’m about to tackle the final draft of Wesley Peterson’s twenty first case – The Mermaid’s Scream but I won’t say any more about that until nearer the publication date.
One recent treat for me was a visit to Write Blend – a new book shop in Waterloo, Liverpool (my home city) with a lovely cafe attached. In the short time it’s been open Write Blend has become a centre for the arts in the area and I spoke (along with writer Sally-Anne Tapia Bowes) to a lovely and enthusiastic audience at its ‘Blend of Words’ Festival.
I hope to visit Write Blend again soon and, if anybody finds themselves in the Waterloo/Crosby area, I’d certainly recommend a visit...you can even combine it with a trip to see Anthony Gomley’s famous iron men!
Do keep an eye on my events page as I’ll soon be busy celebrating the paperback publication of THE HOUSE OF EYES.