Sadly, this is my last post about Crimefest! I did manage to go to my room just after 3:00am this morning (Sunday 17 May) and finally got to bed at 4:00am. Even Ali left before me and he was then followed by Mike sometime afterwards.
My day of course started once again with me joining Zoe Sharp and Andy for breakfast. Breakfast with the two of them is always such good fun and I hope that I get the opportunity to do so again.
I wasn't surprised that I didn't manage to get to some of the panels on Sunday morning, it wasn't that I was suffering for a hangover it was more that I was too lethargic to do anything quickly. I did however help out very briefly on the registration desk again. Being at the desk is a strategic post and enables one to see and speak to a vast number of people as they are bustling around the corridors as they leave one panel and then go to another or as they stop at the "mini" bookshop.
There was one panel that I was determined to see and from the amount of attendees who were still there it was one that held vast anticipation. For the first time at Crimefest there was a Crimefest Mastermind. Crossfire: Criminal Mastermind was the very last panel of the Convention. The participants were Simon Brett, David Stuart Davis, Martin Edwards and Meg Gardiner. Their chosen subjects were Dorothy L Sayers, Agatha Christie, The Detection Club and American Crime Fiction post 1945. For anyone that is used to watching Mastermind on television then I am sure that you can imagine the scenario. The organisers went to great lengths to re-create the Mastermind set that one normally sees on television down to even having a spotlight that was focused on each of the Mastermind contestants. Even the lights were turned off to give the room that atmospheric feel to it. All the attendees were given the opportunity to suggest who would win and by how many points. The quiz master was Maxim Jakubowski and they could not have chosen a better person to put the contestants through their paces. Simon Brett was the first of the contestants to go under the spotlight and his chosen subject was Dorothy L Sayers. Simon was followed by David Stuart Davis who is acknowledge as an expert on Sherlock Holmes. However he was not allowed to chose Sherlock Holmes and instead chose Agatha Christie. Martin Edwards the third contestant chose The Detection Club whilst Meg Gardiner the Toastmistress for the convention chose American Crime Fiction post 1945. After the first round the results were as follows:-
Simon Brett - 6 points
David Stuart Davis - 7 points
Martin Edwards - 6 points and
Meg Gardiner - 6 points.
Rather sadly neither Mike Stotter nor I could stay until the end as we had to make tracks back to London. I do however know what the results were courtesy of course of Ali Karim. The winner was Martin Edwards, (whilst I had predicted Martin Edwards to win, I believe that I was way out on how many points that he scored) followed by David Stuart Davis, Simon Brett and then Meg Gardiner. The person who managed to accurately predict the winner and points were being given as a prize a full pass to next year's conference. Mike Stotter came second. He predicted that Martin Edwards would win but was two points out when it came to the correct score. I hope that Martin Edwards is going to be back to defend his title.
Sunday had for me a slight tinge of sadness. It was the last day of the conference and it was clear from listening to conversations and talking to people that this was a brilliantly run conference. Like many others I am intending to be back in Bristol next year. The dates for next year are 20-23 May 2010 and Authors already confirmed include - M C Beaton, Natasha Cooper, Colin Dexter, Ariana Franklin and Gyles Brandreth as toastmaster. Also present will be John Curran, author of Agatha Christe and the Mystery of the Secret Notebooks which will be published in September and which will include two previously unpublished Poirot short stories.
Thanks to Adrian and Myles for organising such a wonderful conference. Crimefest may be over for this year but next year's convention can't come soon enough!