Thursday, 31 May 2012

CrimeFest - Final Day and Round Up!

Okay, this is my final post about CrimeFest. 

So what did I wear at the gala dinner?  When packing for Bristol I was not sure what I was going to wear so I bought along with me an alternative top to go with the black trousers that I was going to wear.  In the end, I went with a pair of black trousers, a green bustier and a brown silk jacket.  I know that Ali Karim took some pictures so as soon as I manage to get him to let me have copies I will post them.  

Prior to the dinner a reception took place which was hosted by Million for a Morgue.  This was a fundraiser to raise funds for a state of the art morgue  at the University of  Dundee.  Professor Sue Black whom I have heard speak before was extremely passionate in explaining why the facility was needed.

In order to raise funds 1o crime writers have put themselves forward in support of the venture and the crime writer that garners the most votes will have the morgue named after them.  The ten crime writers are Val McDermid, Lee Child, Jeffrey Deaver, Tess Gerritsen, Kathy Reichs, Jeff Lindsay, Stuart McBride, Mark Billingham, Peter James and Harlan Coben.  Luckily for us three of them (Lee Child, Jeffrey Deaver and Peter James) were in attendance at the reception and used the opportunity to “pitch” to all of us their different reasons why we should vote for them.  I must admit that I did like one of Jeffery Deaver’s reasons which was that he looked the most like a mortician!  More information about the Million For A Morgue campaign can be found here.

Dinner itself was really good fun.  I had on my table the lovely Sophie Calder from Titan Books whom I had met earlier in the evening. Titan Books publish Hard Case Crime, which have some of the loveliest pulp covers for their books.  Rather sadly, I have had to stop reading them on the train to work.  The number of glares and funny looks that I have received whilst reading them is unbelievable. Literary agent Oli Munson (Blake Friedmann) who made good the promise that he had made to me on Twitter and bought me a gin & tonic during the festival, Michael Ridpath former Vice Chair of the Crime Writers' Association, Tom Harper former Chair of the Crime Writer’s Association and fellow Shots contributor Kirstie Long.  There were also three  other ladies on the table whom I rather sadly did not get a chance to talk to.

Some awards were also given out during the evening.  These awards were -

The Audible Sounds of Crime Awards are for the best abridged and unabridged crime audiobooks first published in the UK in 2011 in both printed and audio formats, and available for download from, Britain’s largest provider of downloadable audiobooks. Courtesy of sponsor Audible UK, the winning authors and audiobook readers share the £1,000 prize equally and each receives a commemorative award provided by Bristol Blue Glass.

Best-Abridged Crime Audiobook:
Lee Child for The Affair, read by Kerry Shale (Random House Audiobooks)

Best Unabridged Crime Audiobook:
S. J. Watson for Before I Go To Sleep, read by Susannah Harker (Random House Audio with AudioGO)

The Last Laugh Award is for the best humorous crime novel first published in the British Isles in 2011. The £500 prize is sponsored by Goldsboro Books, the book collector’s bookseller. The winner also receives a commemorative award courtesy of Bristol Blue Glass.
Declan Burke for Absolute Zero Cool (Liberties Press)

The eDunnit Award is for the best crime fiction eBook first published in both hardcopy and in electronic format in the British Isles in 2011. The winning author receives £500, an eReader, as well as a commemorative award courtesy of Bristol Blue Glass.
Denise Mina for The End of the Wasp Season (Orion)

I have to admit that I was really pleased that Declan Burke won the Goldsboro Last Laugh Award.  Absolute Zero Cool was one of my top five favourite books last year and it is without a doubt a zinger of a book.  Dark, witty and incredibly funny I would urge people to read it. 

So did I stay up late after the dinner?  Yes I did. I found myself having a really interesting conversation with Damien Seaman about Noir novels and our favourite ones.  I also caught up with Ali Karim’s really lovely daughter Sophia who attends University in Bristol.  By the time I managed to drag myself off to bed it was 3:00am in the morning.  I even surprised myself by going to bed without a hangover! How good was that!

Getting to bed was not as easy as I had hoped.  Kirstie  (whom I was sharing a room with) had sent me a message to say that her key card for the room was not working properly.  Mine did not work when I wandered up to my room.  The hotel in their infinite wisdom had replaced the cards but had slipped them under the door.  This of course did not help me as I was still down in the bar when this happened. In the end, I managed to track down one of the night staff and got them to open the door.   Unfortunately, the replacement, replacement keys did not work so every time we left the room we had to track down a member of staff to let us in.  You can imagine how happy we were about that.

Sunday morning came too early for my liking but I still managed to get up and head down for breakfast before Kirstie managed to stir. I had a lovely breakfast with Meg Gardiner again.  Such excellent company! I the proceeded to chat with various people before the start of what is in my opinion always one of the best events CrimeFest – Criminal MastermindCriminal Mastermind is based on the original Mastermind programme. The difference is that the specialist topic is always on crime fiction and the general knowledge round also.  Maxim Jakubowski acts a quizmaster.  This year (and unlike I have done for the last couple of years where I have acted as timekeeper and scorer) I acted as timekeeper whilst Liz Hatherell acted as scorer.

The crime fiction aficionados that consented to brave the chair were crime writer Peter Guttridge whose specialist topic was the Richard Stark’s Parker novels, crime fiction blogger Peter Rozovsky who chose Dashiell Hammett as his specialist topic; Jake Kerridge, crime fiction reviewer for the Telegraph whose topic was the Albert Campion novels of Margery Allingham and Rhian Davies a crime fiction blogger whose topic was UK debut crime novels since 2010.

The first round was a close race between  the two Peter’s – Guttridge and Rozovsky.  Peter Guttridge had 11 correct answers plus one pass whilst Peter Rozovsky had 10 correct answers and two passes.  Jake Kerridge had 7½ correct answers and two passes. Rhian Davies had in the first round 8 correct answers and 1 passes.  The second round was once again a close race between the two leaders.  Peter Guttridge managed a score of 4 correct answers and 5 passes and whereas Peter Rozovsky had 5 correct answers and 5 passes as well.  Jake Kerridge and Rhian Davies did not do as well and managed to score 1 correct answer and 2 passes and 2 correct answers and 1 pass respectively.  The winner was Peter Guttridge who managed to have 1 less pass than Peter Rozovsky.  Criminal Mastermind is always exciting and a perfect way to end the festival.  Congratulations need to go to all of those that took part.   The questions were tough.  Peter Guttridge’s questions were devised Richard Stark’s (Donald Westlake) son Tod. The questions on Dashiell Hammett were done by his French translator and the questions on Margery Allingham’s Albert Campion novels were done by crime fiction critic Sarah Weinman.

So CrimeFest is over for 2012.  The dates for 2013 have already been announced.  Next year CrimeFest will take place between 30th May and 2nd June. One must say a huge thank you to the organisers for organising such a wonderful festival. It was the best so far. Brilliant panels most of them standing room only! Good company and lost of fun. I am looking forward to 2013 already!


Peter Rozovsky said...

The day of the quiz was also Dashiell Hammett's birthday. How could that not be a question? And it was also Peter Guttridge's birthday, O, cruel irony!
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"

Peter Rozovsky said...

The day of the quiz was also Dashiell Hammett's birthday. How could that not be a question? And it was also Peter Guttridge's birthday, O, cruel irony!
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"