Crimefest 2009 has started (well it started yesterday) and it is shaping up to be an excellent festival. Unfortunately due to the vagaries of my travel arrangements I could not attend the first two panels. However, for information about what happened Peter Rozovsky's site Detectives Beyond Borders has a good rundown on the first two panels.
I did manage to get to the third panel which was The Lost Weekend: Eric Ambler and Who? -- Forgotten Authors. It was infact a very good panel and it was interesting to hear what authors the panelists would bring back if they had the opportunity. The panelists were Barry Forshaw the editor of British Crime Writing: An Encyclopedia whose choices were Francis Clifford, Eric Ambler, Alan Williams and to my joy Modesty Blaise creator Peter O'Donnell. Mary Clarke whose chose Ethel Lina White, Declan Hughes who chose husband and wife team Ross MacDonald and Margaret Millar, Sarah Rayne who chose Francis Iles and Christianna Brand. Martin Edwards the participating moderator chose Michael Gilbert and Julian Symons who wrote amongst other things the excellent reference book Bloody Murder. All the panel members mentioned the fact that humour and very good prose were essential. The questions that were asked afterwards were also very insightful and one question in particular sparked off a lively debate on nostalgia. This panel was one that all of us in attendance could have talked about for a very long time. However, the next thing that was the order of the day was the pub quiz. I initially did not have any intention of participating in the quiz but got persuaded by Thalia Proctor to do so. Whilst the questions were at times rather esoteric it was a fun quiz. The team that I was on included recent Edgar Award winner Meg Gardiner, Simon Brett, Zoe Sharp and her husband Andy along with Thalia. We managed to come a credible joint fourth.
Of course attend such events as Crimefest means that I can catch up with various people that I hadn't seen in ages. Aside from Ali Karim and my erstwhile editor Mike Stotter, it was also nice to see Lizzie Hayes of Mystery Women, Adrian Magson, Paul Johnston, Ruth Dudley Edwards, Donna Moore, Steve Mosby and L C Tyler amongst ever.
Since Friday was the first night I did not stay up late and was tucked in bed by 11:30pm. However today is Saturday and there is still lots to do!