Rooftop Book Club Crime Event

On Tuesday evening I was delighted to attend the Rooftop Book Club Crime evening hosted by Headline Publishers and Crime Files at Carmelite House where Headline Publishers are based.IMG_3033

This was a very intimate event with wine, nibbles and author book signings while boasting a gorgeous view of London’s Skyline. By the end of the event each attendee left with a fantastic goodie bag with FOUR early proof copies of new upcoming crime novels which I am very excited to read!

 

The event itself consisted of two panels made up of six fabulous British crime authors discussing their new novels and all things crime. The first panel featured Elly Griffiths, Claire McGowan, J.S Law and was chaired by Jake Kerridge. The panel discussed the settings in their novels, different communities reflected in their settings, the borderlands and between places, enclosed settings, the benefits of using made up places and the idea of whether the setting should be seen as a character within itself.IMG_3009.JPGA Q&A followed each panel – after the first panel a member of the audience asked a great question about settings in future novels and what the authors’ best and worst settings would be? This turned into a lively discussion about locked rooms, weird islands, historical settings, the suburbs and the dreaded places that everyone knows very well like Waterloo Station.

The second panel featured Janet Ellis, Sarah Hilary, Antonia Hodgson and was chaired by Antonia Senior. The panel was titled London past and present and discussed the wonderful city of London with its unique smell, anonymity, those weird places on the outskirts, different London boroughs, the rich versus poor and how they researched the different areas of London featured in their novels. Sarah Hilary went on to beguile the audience with tales of Battersea Power station, Janet Ellis discussed Primrose Hill in Georgian England and Antonia Hodgson spoke about how revolting London was during the Georgian period with its vomit, blood, guts and a big sense of desperation which she has described within her two novels.IMG_3031.JPG

This was a lively and fun evening jam packed with crime authors, publishers, bloggers and like-minded crime readers. There will be similar events from the Rooftop Book Club so don’t forget to follow them on twitter @RooftopBookClub to keep up to date with more fantastic evenings.IMG_3001.JPG

And now for the featured authors:

Elly Griffiths, @ellygriffiths, author of the riveting Dr Ruth Galloway series set in windswept Norfolk and the Stephens and Mephisto series set in 1950s Brighton.

Claire McGowan,@inkstainsclaire, author of the captivating Paula Maguire series, standalone novel The Fall and writer of Women’s general fiction under the pen name Eva Woods.

J. S Law, @JSLawBooks, debut author of Tenacity, a novel set in a Submarine. This will be part of a series featuring Lieutenant Danielle Lewis.

Janet Ellis, @missjanetellis, debut author of The Butcher’s Hook set in the summer of 1763 which has been shortlisted for the Desmond Elliot Prize 2016.

Sarah Hilary, @sarah_hilary,author of the amazing DI Marnie Rome series.

Antonia Hodgson, @AntoniaHodgson,author of the Devil in the Marshalsea and the Last Confession of Thomas Hawkins novels.

First Monday Crime Event

This week I went to the First Monday Crime Event, hosted by Goldsboro Books which was held at City University. This is a new crime/thriller evening which will be held in Central London on the first Monday of every month and which will feature a range of amazing best-selling authors.

The event was an instant hit and featured an awesome panel of authors; Leye Adenle, Elly Griffiths, Mary Paulson-Ellis, Amanda Jennings and chaired by Barry Forshaw. The authors discussed their recent novels, their debuts, their experience at submitting the first draft, book themes, the dreaded second novel syndrome, plotting and the notion of a tidy desk.

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They all gave some great recommendations of crime authors they love including; Wilkie Collins, Edgar Allen Poe, anything by Charles Dickens, Lizzie Thompson, Isabelle Grey and Pace Setter Novels from MacMillian Publishers.

IMG_2962This lively and fun evening featured cupcakes, wine and some fantastic goody bags from Orenda Books. After the panel discussion there was even a chance to buy the books and to get these signed by the authors – which is something I always look forward to at events! The evening ended with a lot of socialising down the local pub.

If you get the chance I would recommend anyone who loves crime/thriller novels to go. There is a small £5 charge to attend but with a friendly, fun and lively atmosphere I think it is definitely worth it.

 

To find out more about the next event or to book tickets visit the Goldsboro books events page here or follow @1stMondayCrime.

The Featured Books:

Brit Noir by Barry Forshaw: The Pocket Essential Guide to British Crime Fiction, Film and TV.

Easy Motion Tourist by Leye Adenle

Blurb: Guy Collins, a British hack, is hunting for an election story in Lagos. A decision to check out a local bar in Victoria Island ends up badly – a mutilated female body is discarded close by and Collins is picked up as a suspect. In the murk of a hot, groaning and bloody police station cell, Collins fears the worst. But then Amaka, a sassy guardian angel of Lagos working girls, talks the police station chief around. She assumes Collins is a BBC journo who can broadcast the city’s witchcraft and body parts trade that she’s on a one-woman mission to stop.

Smoke and Mirrors by Elly Griffiths

Blurb: Brighton, winter 1951.

Pantomime season is in full swing on the pier with Max Mephisto starring in Aladdin, but Max’s headlines have been stolen by the disappearance ­­of two local children. When they are found dead in the snow, surrounded by sweets, it’s not long before the press nickname them ‘Hansel and Gretel’.

DI Edgar Stephens has plenty of leads to investigate. The girl, Annie, used to write gruesome plays based on the Grimms’ fairy tales. Does the clue lie in Annie’s unfinished – and rather disturbing – last script? Or might it lie with the eccentric theatricals who have assembled for the pantomime?

In Her Wake by Amanda Jennings

Blurb: A tragic family event reveals devastating news that rips apart Bella’s comfortable existence. Embarking on a personal journey to uncover the truth, she faces a series of traumatic discoveries that take her to the ruggedly beautiful Cornish coast, where hidden truths, past betrayals and a 25-year-old mystery threaten not just her identity, but her life.

The Other Mrs Walker by Mary Paulson-Ellis 

Blurb: Somehow she’d always known that she would end like this. In a small square room, in a small square flat. In a small square box, perhaps. Cardboard, with a sticker on the outside. And a name . . 

In a freezing, desolate Edinburgh flat an old woman takes her last breath surrounded by the few objects she has accrued over a lifetime: an emerald dress, a brazil nut engraved with the ten commandments – and six orange pips sucked dry.

Meanwhile, guided by the flip of a coin, Margaret Penny arrives back at her old family home, escaping a life in London recently turned to ash. Faced with relying on a resentful mother she has never really known, Margaret soon finds herself employed by the Office for Lost People, tasked with finding the families of the dead: the neglected, the abandoned, the lost. Her instructions are to uncover paperwork, yet the only thing Mrs Walker, the old woman in her current case, left behind is a series of peculiar objects.

But in the end it is these objects that will unravel Mrs Walker’s real story: a story rooted in the London grime and moving from the 1930s to the present day, a story of children abandoned and lost, of beguiling sisters and misplaced mothers, of deception and thievery, family secrets and the very deepest of betrayals; in which the extraordinary circular nature of life will glitter from the page. For in uncovering the astonishing tale of an old woman who died alone, Margaret will finally discover her own story too . . .

 

 

Deal Noir 2016

Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending Deal Noir, a convention for crime writers, aspiring writers, bloggers and for those beloved fans of crime fiction.

There’s a time and a place for everything: The event kicked of with a lively debate with Craig Sisterson, Guy Fraser-Sampson, Linda Regan, Daniel Pembrey and William Shaw, focusing on the importance of setting in crime fiction, why each author picked the location for their own novels and what it said about the characters.

Panel one

Craig Sisterson, Guy Fraser-Sampson, Linda Regan, Daniel Pembrey and William Shaw

The next panel New Blood featured the debut authors; Simon Booker, Sarah Ward, SJI Holliday and Alison Baillie which featured a number of great tips on how each author became published, what influenced their writing and their own writing journeys’.

After a quick break, a funny and engaging session Around the World in 80 Slays kicked off featuring Edward Wilson, William Ryan, Piergiorgio Pulixi, Quentin Bates and Yrsa Sigurdardottir, bringing an international flavour to the conference. The session discussed characters in crime writing, how to approach research and discussed their own personal experiences visiting or living in different countries which feature in the author’s stories including; Greenland, Iceland, Ireland, Russia, Italy, Auschwitz and Baltimore.

Panel three

Edward Wilson, William Ryan, Piergiorgio Pulixi, Quentin Bates and Yrsa Sigurdardottir

May the Force Be With You was a interesting session with a range of current or ex-military and police officers, David Videcette, Lisa Cutts, Michael Fowler and Matt Johnson. This panel discussed the transition from being in the police force to writing and becoming a published author. It also featured some information about the British police force and how this influenced their own writing.

After lunch the conference restarted with The Life and Crimes of Agatha Christie with Dr John Curran and David Brawn. This was an insight into the well-loved novels of Agatha Christie and how Harper Collins Publishers have changed the way they market their novels to target a new generation. I was delighted with the cheeky reveal of the cover for Closed Casket, the new Hercule Poirot novel penned by Sophie Hannah which will be released later this year.

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Watching the Detectives was a engaging panel  moderated by Ayo Onatade, featuring the authors, Andrew Taylor, Susan Moody, Simon Brett and John Harvey, discussed what it is like to write a crime series, the pros and cons of writing about an amateur detective and the type of crime series they like to read themselves.

The highlight of the event for me was the Leading Ladies panel with Alison Joseph, Elly Griffiths, Alex Marwood, Sarah Hilary and Elizabeth Haynes. This was a lively discussion about the gender question in crime fiction, the crime victims, the psychopaths, dodgy subsidiary characters, how they plot a novel and each author’s central characters.

The event came to close with Criminal Cabaret with Simon Brett, reading out some of his own humorous works of fiction and a wine reception giving us a chance to talk to the authors and to get those newly purchased books signed. This was my first time attending this event which had such a lovely and friendly atmosphere – I’m very much looking forward to going again next year!

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Night of Crime Book Event

Last Thursday I headed over to Waterstones Piccadilly to attend a book launch event for A.K.Benedict’s Jonathan Dark or the Evidence of Ghosts, Sarah Pinsborough’s 13 Minutes and Steve Cavanagh’s The Defence, where all the authors were interviewed by W!zard Radio.

Being the book geek that I am, I managed to nab a seat right at the front giving me a great view of the event which turned out to be a funny, and engaging interview in which all of the authors poked fun and bounced off each other, giving the audience an insight into the joys of being a published author.

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During the interview there was a lot of discussion about the themes in the author’s novels, how they came up with the idea and some background about themselves.

A.K. Benedict’s theme in her novel is about the filters we put up in front of us and how these alter the perceptions we have of the world. What if we put a different filter up? What would happen to our perceptions then? She then went on to talk about the supernatural elements to her novel and how she still wanted plausibility for the reader which then led to discussing her neurological condition – Synaesthesia. This is the stimulation of one sense for example smell, which leads to an automatic, involuntary experience in a second sense for example sound. This is one of the reasons why she was able to connect and write one of her main character’s, Maria who chooses not to see by wearing a blindfold.

Sarah’s books are about the face we present to the world, in particular teenagers who have to present a mirror image of themselves in order to fit in socially. Her novel raises questions about how can we trust? and who can we trust? This is the backdrop to her 20th novel – 13 minutes. She went on to explain that she used to be a teacher and drew on this experience teaching teenagers in a ‘rough school’ to write her novel. Sarah also went on to say that even though she is classed as a ‘YA author’ she writes the same as if it was for teenagers and adults and her novel can easily be read by both age groups.

Steve’s book is a legal thriller about a con man turned lawyer who must defend the head of the Russian Mafia and ensure he walks free in order to save his ten-year old daughter. Will he manage to pull it off? When asked about where he got the idea for the story Steve said he is a lawyer himself and spent most of his career ‘conning them [the victims/perpetrators] into telling the truth in court. I got the idea from that.’ He also said The Defence is the first book in a series – so there’s more to come from the fast-moving Eddie Flynn.

They all gave some great recommendations of crime books they love including; Joe Hill’s The Fireman which is out later this year, any and all of John Grisham’s novels, Only Ever Yours by Louise O’Neill and Rawblood by Catriona Ward.

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The Books:  The Defence, 13 Minutes and Jonathan Dark or the Evidence of Ghosts

All of these fab books are out now and available to purchase. I have added the links below with each blurb.

What the blurb says on each book:

Jonathan Dark or the Evidence of Ghosts by A.K.Benedict: 

Maria King knows a secret London. Born blind, she knows the city by sound and touch and smell. But surgery has restored her sight – only for her to find she doesn’t want it.

Jonathan Dark sees the shadowy side of the city. A DI with the Metropolitan Police, he is haunted by his failure to save a woman from the hands of a stalker. Now it seems the killer has set his sights on Maria, and is leaving her messages in the most gruesome of ways.

Tracing the source of these messages leads Maria and Jonathan to a London they never knew. Finding the truth will mean seeing a side to the city where life and death is a game played by the powerful, where everyone is lost but nothing is missing, and where all the answers are hiding, if only they listen to the whispers on the streets.

Waterstones book link

13 Minutes by Sarah Pinsborough: 

I was dead for 13 minutes.

I don’t remember how I ended up in the icy water but I do know this – it wasn’t an accident and I wasn’t suicidal.

They say you should keep your friends close and your enemies closer, but when you’re a teenage girl, it’s hard to tell them apart. My friends love me, I’m sure of it. But that doesn’t mean they didn’t try to kill me. Does it?

Waterstones book link

The Defence by Steve Cavanagh:

Eddie Flynn used to be a con artist. Then he became a lawyer. Turned out the two weren’t that different.
It’s been over a year since Eddie vowed never to set foot in a courtroom again. But now he doesn’t have a choice. Olek Volchek, the infamous head of the Russian mafia in New York, has strapped a bomb to Eddie’s back and kidnapped his ten-year-old daughter, Amy. Eddie only has forty-eight hours to defend Volchek in an impossible murder trial – and win – if he wants to save his daughter.

Under the scrutiny of the media and the FBI, Eddie must use his raz
It’s been over a year since Eddie vowed never to set foot in a courtroom again. But now he doesn’t have a choice. Olek Volchek, the infamous head of the Russian mafia in New York, has strapped a bomb to Eddie’s back and kidnapped his ten-year-old daughter, Amy. Eddie only has forty-eight hours to defend Volchek in an impossible murder trial – and win – if he wants to save his daughter.or-sharp wit and every con-artist trick in the book to defend his ‘client’ and ensure Amy’s safety. With the timer on his back ticking away, can Eddie convince the jury of the impossible?

Waterstones book link