Wednesday 30 June 2021

The Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival Programme


The Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival full programme has been announced.



Shortlisted this year are: Chris Whitaker who hopes to claim the trophy on his first ever nomination with We Begin at The End, Sunday Times bestselling author Rosamund Lupton with her thrilling Three Hours, Elly Griffiths with her latest Ruth Galloway whodunnit The Lantern Men, Scottish-Bengali author Abir Mukherjee with his latest Wyndham & Banerjee novel Death in the East, Northern Irish author Brian McGilloway with his political thriller The Last Crossing, and New Blood alumni Trevor Wood with his acclaimed novel The Man on the Street.




Join A.A. Dhand, Holly Watt, Simon Kernick, Steph Broadribb and Charles Cumming as they discuss the rise and fall (and rise) of the gung-ho action man hero (and heroine). What is next for this well-worn and much beloved crime character?


Abir Mukherjee, Antonia Hodgson, Laura Shepherd-Robinson, S.G. MacLean and S.J. Parris join forces to discuss the future of historical crime fiction, taking Philip Kerr’s (alternative) history novels as a starting point. Together, they’ll ask and answer questions like – why does historical crime fiction make for such excellent storylines and gripping characters? Do readers always need real historical characters to underpin the stories? And what are the new trends in the genre?


Readers are often incredulous when certain crime writers say they do hardly any planning, preferring to see where a story and its characters takes them. Other authors absolutely need to know every twist and turn before starting to write. There are no hard and fast rules of course and this playful panel of Erin Kelly, Helen FitzGerald, Mark Edwards, Sarah Pinborough and Luca Veste will explore the merits and pitfalls of both routes.


It’s been said that some readers are turning away from fictional detectives and heading instead to psychological mysteries and standalone domestic noir titles. We invite a panel of Mari Hannah, Olivia Kiernan, Parker Bilal, Will Dean and James Oswald to interrogate the truth here. Can the police procedural as we’ve known and loved it survive?




To close out the first full day of festivities, we ask a group of experts to go head-to-head battling for their favourite detectives! Elly Griffiths, Ian Rankin OBE, Mark Billingham, Martyn Waites and Abir Mukherjee to debate who’s ‘Top of the Cops’. Once they decide on a shortlist – the audience will crown the winner by show of hands. Who will it be? Marple or Columbo? Morse or Tennyson?




Join C.J. Tudor, Craig Robertson, Liz Nugent, Luca Veste and Barry Forshaw as they consider what makes a great villain. Asking themselves and each other – who are the greatest baddies of crime fiction and what makes readers so interested in those who plan and commit terrible crimes? Perhaps they tell us something about ourselves or perhaps it is the vicarious thrill we love.

 12.00 PM: NEW BLOOD

Val McDermid’s sought-after New Blood panel returns on Saturday 24 July, with this year’s hotly-tipped debut authors including Anna Bailey, Greg Buchanan, Patricia Marques and Lara Thompson.


Panellists Fiona Erskine, Lin Anderson, Sarah Vaughan, Lesley Kelly and Professor Niamh Nic Daeid together explore the science behind a good crime novel, forensics to pathology. This is your chance to hear how crime writers build believable details into their works, and how the experts feel when the facts are misunderstood.


Crime fiction has always addressed readers’ fears and right now we seem to be concerned about surveillance, online stalking, identity theft, and more and writers have started using these tropes along with fictionalised podcasts et cetera to address problems and worries. Join Chris Brookmyre, Denise Mina, Louise Candlish, Matt Wesolowski and Mark Lawson as they explore the impact of new and rapidly evolving technology on the fiction we read.


In 1920, Black Mask magazine was launched, helping to establish a golden age for American pulp fiction and the crime short story. We ask our panellists Cath Staincliff, Jane Casey, Stuart Neville, Susi Holliday and Ian Rankin to share their perspectives of the pleasures and pitfalls of the short story.





2020 saw the centenary of iconic Belgian detective Hercule Poirot’s first foray into crime fiction. We ask Ragnar Jonasson, Ruth Ware, Sarah Phelps, Stuart Turton and Elly Griffiths to discuss the highs and lows of the crime genre’s Grand Dame: Agatha Christie, who famously disappeared from the festival’s home, the Old Swan Hotel.


The political thriller is as popular as it has ever been - especially on TV. Join Brian McGilloway, Doug Johnstone, George Alagiah, Sarah Vaughan and Alan Johnson as they explore the rise and rise of the political drama, asking if uncertain political landscapes increase the desire for Machiavellian novels?




Tuesday 29 June 2021

The Importance of Place by Torquil MacLeod


To the Romans, the spirit of place was so important that it was revered as a deity – the Genius Loci. In contemporary use, it refers to the distinctive atmosphere of a particular location. In fictional literature, it often takes on its own persona, as it becomes as vital to the story as any of the characters. Many well-known authors have their own distinctive genius loci: Barchester for Trollope, Middle Earth for Tolkein, London for Conan Doyle. Some create their own world; others use the world we know.

In my Malmö Mysteries, I opted for the world we know. Malmö, in the Skåne region of the south of Sweden, is a city I have come to know and love. I first made its acquaintance just before Christmas in 2000 when I went to visit my elder son. It was not the most propitious introduction to a country that was to play such an important part in my life. After a storm-tossed ferry crossing from Newcastle to Gothenburg, my wife and I took a cold, very slow train down the coast and ended up, at midnight, in a desolate, draughty Malmö Central Station. It was like a scene out of The Third Man. Our son then drove us to the small coastal town of Simrishamn. We eventually crawled into bed in the early hours, wondering if our previously exotic perception of Sweden had been wrong. 

The next morning, we awoke to a magical place. Crisp and frosty. Beautiful countryside dotted with apple orchards; atmospheric, single-story, stone farmhouses; long sandy beaches. We had a fantastic welcome, and our love affair with Sweden began. So did the ideas for stories. We befriended a real-life Swedish detective, and Anita Sundström, or someone very like her, began to take shape. At first, I had film scripts in mind. We started to visit Malmö on a regular basis. It’s a wonderfully cosmopolitan city, becoming particularly so after the opening of the Öresund Bridge in 2000, connecting it to Copenhagen across the Sound (many of you will know it well from the Swedish/Danish television thriller, The Bridge). Our son then moved to the city, so our trips always included many hours wandering around and taking in its sights and sounds. When I turned one of the film treatments into a book, Malmö was a natural place to set it. 

Now Malmö is a central character in the stories. Like many places in Sweden, it is at its best in the summer: the many parks are in bloom, the cafés and restaurants move outside, and the streets bustle with life. During Malmö Festivalen in August, the place vibrates with music, art and theatre from diverse cultures, all performed or exhibited outside in the streets or in marquees – and all free! The food is great, too.

Anita’s apartment is situated near one of the parks; the main one – Pildammsparken. Whenever possible, I try to use real locations. In some ways this is easier than creating my own imaginary locations. However, it does have its challenges. You have to go there, be there, and keep up with the ever-evolving genius. In the last twenty years, parts of the city centre have changed beyond recognition. The draughty station of my first visit has now been transformed into a modern, airport-style concourse; and the trains from Copenhagen, which used to wind around the suburbs, have been redirected underground through two new, architecturally eye-catching stations. And the view from the university of the Turning Torso, Malmö’s iconic twisting skyscraper, as described in Menace in Malmö, no longer exists, blocked by yet another wave of construction. Some authors manage to write about places they have never or rarely visited. The aforementioned Conan Doyle didn’t know London well and used street atlases and the London Post Office Directory to move Sherlock Holmes around the capital. He made all sorts of mistakes. And HRH Keating didn’t visit India until ten years after he started writing his Bombay-based, Inspector Ghote novels. Of course, nowadays Google Earth makes the whole process so much simpler. I have to confess, I’ve resorted to it myself during the Covid pandemic, as plans for our next Swedish visit have had to be put on hold several times.

Of course, Anita doesn’t stay in Malmö all the time. Her investigations often take her into the Scanian countryside, and even further afield. The tendency of some writers and filmmakers to portray the Swedish landscape as permanently gloomy, snowbound and unforgiving is vexing and, as far as Skåne is concerned, inaccurate. Southern Sweden doesn’t get the harsh winters often experienced by the rest of the country. So the compulsion that every Swedish drama should be situated with a dark and brooding backdrop is spurious and misleading (the monochrome scenery in the British Wallander adaptations springs to mind). On a similar theme, the producers of The Bridge, to a certain extent damaged Malmö’s image by purposefully not showing any of the city’s best buildings and most distinctive areas pre-1940.

Another important factor with regard to visiting the locations where I want to set scenes is that the places actually help stimulate ideas and motivate the thought process; even create characters I hadn’t thought about. Or they send the story off in a different direction. So, as my eighth Malmö Mystery novel makes an appearance and I plan the next, I’m flexible enough to acknowledge that my next visit to southern Sweden may well turn an existing idea on its head. But that’s all part of the fun of writing crime fiction!

Mammon in Malmö by By Torquil MacLeod (Published by McNidder & Grace (Out Now)

With a new Skane County Police commissioner wanting to make his mark in Malmoe, the Criminal Investigation Squad is under pressure when they are called in to solve the killing of a private investigator. The nature of the victim's work throws up some obvious suspects, yet not all is what it seems. When another murder takes place, there seems to be a politically sensitive connection. Anita Sundstroem, out of the force for a year after her resignation, is approached by a dying woman to track down a collection of paintings stolen from her family. The paintings were looted by the Nazis in Budapest in 1944. But needing the money, Anita takes on this seemingly impossible task. As she heads off to Hungary, she has no idea of the dangers ahead.

More information about Torquil MacLeod and his books can be found on his website

Monday 28 June 2021

Bloody Scotland Debut Prize Shortlist


Bloody Scotland International Crime Writing Festival 17-19 September 2021

sponsored by The Glencairn Glass
Winner to be presented on Friday 17 September 2021

Bloody Scotland International Crime Writing Festival can today reveal that three of the books on this year’s McIlvanney Prize longlist have made the shortlist for this year’s Bloody Scotland Scottish Crime Debut of the Year. The 2021 shortlist is:

The Silent Daughter by Emma Christie (Wellbeck) – from Aberdeen / Portobello

No Harm Done by Alistair Liddle (Self Published) – from Stirling

Edge of the Grave by Robbie Morrison (Macmillan) – from Helensburgh / Glasgow

Waking the Tiger by Mark Wightman (Hobeck Books) – from Edinburgh / Linlithgow

Emma Christie appeared on Crime in the Spotlight 2020 – the element of the Festival where up-and-coming stars appear ahead of big names - and the Bloody Scotland Pitch Perfect winner 2017, Mark Wightman, is also in the mix for this year’s Debut Prize.

The shortlist is based on points received by a team of readers – largely made up of bloggers and booksellers – but the winner will be judged by Janice Forysth from BBC Radio Scotland, Simon Lloyd from Waterstones and Kenny Tweeddale from sponsors, the Glencairn Glass.. It is the second year that both awards have been sponsored by the Glencairn Glass – the world’s favourite whisky glass.

Kirsty Nicholson, Glencairn’s design and marketing manager commented: ‘We are immensely proud of our continued sponsorship of the Bloody Scotland Debut Crime Novel of the Year with the Glencairn Glass. As a Glasgow-based family business, we cherish our Scottish heritage, so to be associated with such talented authors emerging in the Scottish crime fiction scene is an honour. We look forward to immersing ourselves again in gripping crime novels – dram in hand – and we wish all the writers the best of luck

Bob McDevitt, Director of the Festival said' Once again, I’ve been blown away by the quality of the debut novels submitted this year. The fact that three of them also feature on the McIlvanney Prize longlist gives you some idea of just how high the standard was this year.

As ever, author and co-founder of Bloody Scotland, Alex Gray has also selected four debuts that have made a big impact on her from those not eligible for the Bloody Scotland Debut Scottish Crime Book of the Year:

One Night, New York by Lara Thompson (Virago) – from London

How To Kidnap The Rich by Rahul Raina (Little,Brown) – from Oxford / Delhi

The Long, Long Afternoon by Inga Vesper (Bonnier) - from London

The Final Round by Bernard O’Keefe ( Muswell Press) – from Barnes, London

Alex Gray – who is on the longlist of the McIlvanney Prize for the first time – said:‘This year’s debuts were incredibly strong and all looks well for the future of crime fiction.’ After a year in which all authors, but particularly debut authors, suffered from bookshops being closed and festivals being cancelled Bloody Scotland are delighted to continue to celebrate the very best in debut crime fiction.

Sunday 27 June 2021

More Than Malice Programme Schedule of Events


Please Note: Registration for individual panels is not required. All of the panels will be accessible to everyone who is registered for More Than Malice. The panels will also be recorded and available for viewing at any time during the Festival, and for a designated amount of time afterwards. Registering for More Than Malice grants access to all of the panels and discussions.

All times below are EASTERN


Wednesday, July 14th


6:30 - 7:00: LOUISE PENNY and VERENA ROSE In Conversation

7:00 - 8:00: Author Speed Dating (Round 1)

Thursday, July 15th


7:00 - 8:00: Author Speed Dating (Round 2)

Friday, July 16th Panels

11:30 to 12:30                                                     2:30pm to 3:30pm

Seeking Agatha                                                        Read What You Like

It happened: True Crime                                       Women Across The Years

1:00pm to 2:00pm                                           4:00pm to 5:00pm

Culture Clash                                                             Diamonds of Detection 

Keep it Confidential                                                  Adrenaline Junkie

6:00 - 7:00: Will Dean and Val McDermid In Conversation

8:00 - 9:00: Alafair Burke and Laura Lippman In Conversation

Saturday, July 17th

11:30 to 12:30                                        2:30pm to 3:30pm

Past as Prologue                                        Nice Work of You Can Get It

Voices Carry                                                Keep it Short

1:00pm to 2:00pm                              4:00pm to 5:00pm

Come On- A My House                              Can't Get Here from There 

It Takes A Village                                        League of Lisas

5:30 - 6:30 Agatha Awards Presentation

Gun Honey Comic Series





Titan Comics and Hard Case Crime are excited to announce GUN HONEY, a new 4-part crime comic series written by Charles Ardai, the Edgar and Shamus award winner and co-founder of Hard Case Crime, with art by Ang Hor Kheng. Issue #1 launches September 15, 2021 with covers by superstar artist Bill Sienkiewicz and legendary movie poster artist Robert McGinnis. Praised by comic creators Max Allan Collins (Ms. Tree), Ed Brubaker (Captain America) and Duane Swierczynski (Birds of Prey), GUN HONEY is a story about weapons supplier Joanna Tan, the best in the world at providing the perfect weapon at the perfect moment.

But when a gun she smuggles into a high-security prison leads to the escape of a brutal criminal, the U.S. government gives her an ultimatum: track him down or spend the rest of her life in a cell.

In addition to Sienkiewicz and McGinnis, the comic will feature stunning covers across the series from fantastic artists including Adam Hughes, Kendrick Lim, Jay Anacleto, Chris Wahl, Fay Dalton, Andrea Camerini, and more.

Gun Honey is a project I’ve been working on ever since we launched Hard Case Crime Comics five years ago, and I’m thrilled to finally get to share it with readers,” said Charles Ardai. “Anyone who loves Modesty Blaise or Alias or Uma Thurman in Tarantino’s Kill Bill will be drawn to Joanna Tan’s story the same way I was, and anyone who loves great comic book art will be floored by Ang Hor Kheng’s stunning debut.”

GUN HONEY is the latest title from Titan’s acclaimed Hard Case Crime comics imprint, whose recent publications have included Minky Woodcock: The Girl Who Electrified Tesla by award-winning author, artist and playwright Cynthia von Buhler; explosive manga Ryuko by Eldo Yoshimizu; the multi-volume complete Ms. Tree collection by Road to Perdition author Max Allan Collins; and adaptations of Stieg Larsson’s international best-selling Girl With The Dragon Tattoo novels.

Saturday 26 June 2021

Call for Paper - Genre en séries : cinéma, télévision, medias


Call for Paper – Special Issue #16

Genre en séries : cinéma, télévision, medias

Femmes fatales”, “Men in crisis”?

Reexamining gender representations in film noir

Ever since their emergence in the field of academia, gender studies have looked closely at Hollywood film noir and neo-noir. Following the seminal book Women in Film Noir, edited by E. Ann Kaplan (1rsted. 1978, 2nd ed. 1998), important works have examined, using a psychoanalytic prism, the feminine (Doane 1991) and masculine (Krutnik 1991) characters of this genre, before others used a variety of approaches more attentive to socio-historical factors. The gender issues of Hollywood film noir from the 1940s and 1950s were thus placed in a context marked by the upheavals of war and the post-war period, as well as by the development of consumer society and urban modernity (see, among others, Cohan 1997, Biesen 2005, Jankovich 2011), while their reinvestment by neo-noir from the 1980s onwards raised new questions about the ideological implications of such a generic recycling process, caught between the effects of sexual liberation and the persistence of a puritanical morality (Letort 2007). Whereas some chapters of Women in Film Noir (Dyer 1998a and Kaplan 1998b) already pointed to the complexity and heterogeneity of gendered representations initially perceived as univocally misogynous, subsequent studies have further deconstructed this reductive vision (Cowie 1993, Spicer 2002, Hanson 2007, Grossman 2009, etc.) by discussing the relevance and the limits of notions such as “femmes fatales” and “men in crisis” with regard to the variety of models of femininity and masculinity proposed by film noir (“girls next door”, “good-bad girl”, “weak guy”, “damaged man”, “tough guy”, etc.), from the classical period to the contemporary era.

Despite this long critical tradition, many aspects of film noir are yet to be analyzed from a gendered, and more broadly cultural, perspective, especially in the context of French film studies, where works on film noir that include this approach are still scarce (Letort 2010, Esquenazi 2012, Pillard 2014 and 2019). This issue of Genre en séries: cinéma, télévision, médias therefore proposes to revisit this genre historically central to feminist film studies, in order to contribute to the renewal and new directions of this teeming field of research. On the one hand, the aim will be to extend our knowledge of long neglected films in the noir corpus, such as the French “noir realism” (Burch and Sellier 1996) or German “Strassenfilm” (Wager 1999), and, on the other hand, to revisit (supposedly) already well-known films in order to deepen our understanding of them with the help of new methodological frameworks.

Among the productions that have remained largely ignored by works studying film noir through the prism of gender, we must first mention those belonging to non-Hollywood cinema. Since the turn of the 2000s, a certain number of works have contributed to reassesing the national boundaries of this cinematic genre hitherto perceived as fundamentally American, thus highlighting not only its European roots and the aesthetic and cultural transfers that run through it (Vincendeau 1992, Morgan and Andrew 1996), but also its “global” dimension (Desser 2003) and the different forms it takes outside of Hollywood. However, despite some noteworthy studies (Spicer 1999 and 2007, Hanson and O’Rawe 2010, Pillard 2014, Da Silva 2014, Walker-Morrison 2019), these phenomena of transnational circulation remain seldom explored through the prism of gender. Similarly, whereas the literature-cinema relationship remains inescapable when it comes to the noir genre as a whole (Tadié 2009), its transmediality is beginning to be considered along new lines, with research looking at radio, comics, and television (Schlotterbeck 2013, Lyons 2013, Sanders 2013). However, the gendered dimension of these productions is still rarely examined. Finally, as various articles on its classic Hollywood expression have already pointed out (Cook 1978, Cowie 1993, Martin 1998), the very definition of film noir is far from trivial with regards to the identities and gender relations it represents. It is therefore important to revisit the processes of perpetual redefinition of this protean corpus, both to question its boundaries, as works suggesting the existence of a “noir women’s film” or “women’s film noir” invite us to do (Walsh 1986, Esquenazi 2012), and to circumscribe its ideological stakes and tensions as finely as possible.

Moreover, hitherto under-exploited approaches could make it possible to renew research on film noir from a gender perspective. Reception studies are, for instance, rarely utilized beyond analysis of professional film reviews, even though they could shed light on the various uses and readings that ordinary spectators make of these films (Pillard 2015). An analysis of the promotional materials, especially those produced by the studios, would be likely to enrich this research by considering all the media texts available to the public, whose heterogeneity allows for a multitude of appropriations (Haralovich 2013). Similarly, the study of production archives would refine our understanding of the role played by specific producers, directors or screenwriters in the elaboration of the gendered representations conveyed by these films (Biesen 2005, Sonnet 2011). For their part, star studies and acting studies would make it possible to analyze the way in which the persona of stars and their acting in films noirs participate in the construction of female and male models (or counter-models) specific to this genre (cf. Baron 2010). Finally, despite the existence of various works on racial issues (Diawara 1993, Lott 1997, Kaplan 1998c, Oliver and Trigo 2003), as well as representations of homosexuality and bisexuality (Dyer 1977, White 1991, Dyer 1998b, Straayer 1998, Dyer 2002, etc.) in these productions, the often complex articulation of gender with class, race, ethnicity, sexuality, generation, etc., remains to be explored in many noir or neo-noir films.

Papers may focus on the following:

  • Femmes fatales” and “men in crisis”: relevance and limits of these notions

  • Transnationalism / cultural transfers / remakes / intertextuality

  • Films noirs of lesser studied cinemas: Latin America, Europe, Asia, etc.

  • Socio-historical contextualization of classic and contemporary noir

  • Generic hybridity (noir and comedy/action/gothic female/SF/horror/etc.)

  • Production / promotional materials / receptions

  • Articulation of issues of gender, race, sexuality, class, etc.

  • Stars, acting, performance

  • Transmediality (cinema, literature, television, radio, comics, video games, etc.)

  • Definitions of the noir corpus: gender issues

Submission guidelines:

Submitted papers must not have been published in any other journal or conference proceedings.

The proposals will explain and justify precisely how they incorporate the existing literature on the genre and in relation to the notion of film noir.

Proposals (abstract of 500-800 words along with a short bio-bibliography) are to be sent to and before September 15, 2021. A response will be given at the end of September, and the finished papers are to be submitted by March 15, 2022. They will then be subject to double-blind peer review. The issue will be published in fall 2022.

Suggested references:

Abbott, Megan E. (2002), The Street Was Mine: White Masculinity in Hardboiled Fiction and Film Noir, New York, Palgrave Macmillan.

Auerbach, Jonathan (2011), Dark Borders: Film Noir and American Citizenship, Durham & Londres, Duke University Press.

Baron, Cynthia (2010), “Film Noir: Gesture Under Pressure”, in Christine Cornea (ed.), Genre and Performance: Film and Television, Manchester, Manchester University Press, p. 18-37.

Biesen, Sheri Chinen (2005), Blackout: World War II and the Origins of Film Noir, Baltimore, Johns Hopkins University Press.

Boozer, Jack (1999), “The Lethal ‘Femme Fatale’ in the Noir Tradition”, Journal of Film and Video, 51(3-4), p.20-35.

Britton, Andrew (1993), “Betrayed by Rita Hayworth: Misogyny in The Lady from Shanghai”, in Ian Cameron (ed.),The Book of Film Noir, New York, Continuum, p. 213-21.

Bronfen, Elisabeth (2004), “Femme Fatale: Negotiations of Tragic Desire”, New Literary History, 35(1), p.103-116.

Bronfen, Elisabeth (2014), “Gender and Noir”, in Homer B. Pettey, R. Barton Palmer (eds.), Film Noir, Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press, p.143-163.

Burch, Noël & Sellier, Geneviève (1996), La Drôle de guerre du cinéma français, 1930-1960, Paris, Nathan.

Cohan, Steven (1997), Masked Men: Masculinity and the Movies in the Fifties, Bloomington & Indianapolis, Indiana University Press.

Cook, Pam (1978),Duplicity in Mildred Pierce, in E. Ann Kaplan (dir.), Women in Film Noir, Londres, British Film Institute, p.69-80.

Cowie, Elizabeth (1993), “Film Noir and Women”, in Joan Copjec (ed.), Shades of Noir:A Reader, New York, Verso, p. 121-166.

Da Silva, Antônio Márcio (2014), The “Femme” Fatale in Brazilian Cinema: Challenging Hollywood Norms, New York, Palgrave Macmillan.

Desser, David (2003), “Global noir: Genre film in the age of transnationalism”, in Barry K. Grant (ed.), Film Genre Reader III, Austin, TX, University of Texas Press, p. 516-536.

Diawara, Manthia (1993), “Noir by Noirs: Towards a New Realism in Black Cinema”, African American Review, 50(4), p. 525-537.

Doane, Mary Ann (1991), Femmes Fatales: Feminism, Film Theory, and Psychoanalysis, New York, Routledge.

Dyer, Richard (1977), “Homosexuality and Film Noir”, Jump Cut (16), p. 18-21.

Dyer, Richard (1998a), “Resistance Through Charisma: Rita Hayworth and Gilda”, in E. Ann Kaplan (ed.),Women in Film Noir, London, BFI, p. 115-122.

Dyer, Richard (1998b), “Postscript: Queers and Women in Film Noir”, in E. Ann Kaplan (ed.),Women in Film Noir, London, BFI, p 123-129.

Dyer, Richard (2002), “Queer Noir”, in The Culture of Queers, London & New York, Routledge, p. 90-113.

Esquenazi, Jean-Pierre (2012), Le Film noir. Histoire et significations d'un genre populaire subversif, Paris, CNRS.

Farrimond, Katherine (2018), The Contemporary Femme Fatale: Gender, Genre and American Cinema, London & New York, Routledge.

Gates, Philippa (2014), “Independence Unpunished: The Female Detective in Classic Film Noir”, in Robert Miklitsch (ed.), Kiss the Blood off My Hands: On Classic Film Noir, Urbana, Univ. of Il. Press, p. 17-36.

Gopalan, Lalitha (2013), “Bombay Noir”, in Andrew Spicer and Helen Hanson (eds.), A Companion to Film Noir, Malden, MA, Wiley-Blackwell, p. 496-511.

Greven, David (2011), Representations of Femininity in American Genre Cinema: The Woman’s Film, Film Noir, and Modern Horror, New York, Palgrave MacMillan.

Grossman, Julie (2009), Rethinking the Femme Fatale in Film Noir: Ready for Her Close-Up, London, Palgrave Macmillan.

Grossman, Julie (2014), “Women and Film Noir: Pulp Fiction and the Woman’s Picture”, in Robert Miklitsch (ed.), Kiss the Blood off My Hands: On Classic Film Noir, Urbana, Univ. of Il. Press, p.37-61.

Grossman, Julie (2020), The Femme Fatale, New Brunswick, Rutgers University Press.

Hanson, Helen (2007), Hollywood Heroines: Women in Film Noir and the Female Gothic Film, London, I. B. Tauris.

Hanson, Helen & Catherine O’Rawe (eds.) (2010), The Femme Fatale: Images, Histories, Contexts, Houndmills & New York, Palgrave Macmillan.

Forth, Christopher E. (2013), “‘Nobody Loves a Fat Man’: Masculinity and Food in Film Noir”, Men and Masculinities, 16(4), p.387-406

Haralovich, Mary Beth (2013), “Selling Noir: Stars, Gender, and Genre in Film Noir Posters and Publicity”, in Andrew Spicer & Helen Hanson (eds.), A Companion to Film Noir, Malden, MA, Wiley-Blackwell, p. 245-263.

Harvey, Sylvia (1998), “Woman’s Place: The Absent Family of Film Noir.” in E. Ann Kaplan (ed.), Women in Film Noir, London, BFI, 1998, p. 22-34.

Hollinger, Karen (1996), “Film Noir, Voice-Over, and the Femme Fatale”, in Alain Silver & James Ursini (eds.), Film Noir Reader, New York, Limelight, p.242-259.

Jamieson, Gill & Anne McVitie (2016), “Noir building? Understanding the Immersive Fandom of Noir City”, Participations: Journal of Audience and Reception, 13(1), p.530-552.

Jancovich, Mark (2011), “‘Vicious Womanhood’: Genre, The Femme Fatale and Postwar America”,Canadian Journal of Film Studies, 20(1), p.100-114

Kaplan, E. Ann (ed.) (1998a), Women in Film Noir, London, British Film Institute [1978].

Kaplan, E. Ann. (1998b), “The Place of Women in Fritz Lang’s The Blue Gardenia,” in E. Ann Kaplan (ed.), Women in Film Noir, London, BFI, p 81-88.

Kaplan, E. Ann (1998c), “The ‘Dark Continent’ of Film Noir: Race, Displacement and Metaphor in Tourneur’s Cat People (1942) and Welles’ The Lady From Shanghai (1948)”, in E. Ann Kaplan (ed.), Women in Film Noir, London, BFI, p.183-201

Krutnik, Frank (1991),In a Lonely Street: Film Noir, Genre, Masculinity, New York, Routledge.

Lee, Nikki J.Y & Julian Stringer (2013), “Film Noir in Asia: Historicizing South Korean Crime Thrillers”, in Andrew Spicer & Helen Hanson (eds.), A Companion to Film Noir, Malden, MA, Wiley-Blackwell, p.477-495.

Letort, Delphine (2006), «Femme fatale/femme assassine dans le film noir : dévier le stéréotype », in Karine Hildenbrand (dir.), «Figures de femmes assassines – Représentations et idéologies », CYCNOS, 23(2), p.147-159

Letort, Delphine (2010),Du film noir au néo-noir : mythes et stéréotypes de l’Amérique, 1941-2008, Paris, L’Harmattan.

Letort, Delphine & Gelly, Christophe (2017), “Women’s Song and Dance Performances in Film Noir”, in Alain Silver & James Ursini (eds.), Film Noir: Light and Shadow, New York, Applause Theatre & Cinema Book, p.88-101.

Lott, Eric (1997), “The Whiteness of Film Noir”, American Literary History, 9(3), p.542-566

Lyons, James (2013), “‘It Rhymes with Lust’: The Twisted History of Noir Comics”, in Andrew Spicer & Helen Hanson (eds.),A Companion to Film Noir, Malden, MA, Wiley-Blackwell, p.458-475.

Martin, Angela (1998). “‘Gilda Didn’t Do Any of Those Things You’ve been Losing Sleep. Over!’: The Central Women of 40s Film Noir”, in E. Ann Kaplan (ed.), Women in Film Noir, London, BFI, p. 202-228.

Maury, Cristelle (2006), “Fighting One’s Way to Eroticism: the Representation of the Male Body in Postwar American Film Noir”, in Nieves Pascual, Laura Alonso-Gallo & Francisco Collado-Rodriguez (eds.), Masculinities, Femininities and the Power of the Hybrid in US Narratives: Essays on ender Borders, Heidelberg, Carl Winter Publishing House, p. 143-156.

Maury, Cristelle (2008), “‘The Dark Side of the Wartime Experience’? Calling into Question Feminist Film Noir Theory”, in Melvyn Stokes & Gilles Menegaldo (eds.),Cinéma et histoire, Film and History, Paris, Michel Houdiard, p. 89-103.

Maury, Cristelle (2011), « ‘Cops have homes too’: les hommes ordinaires du film noir», in Noëlle de Chambrun (dir.), Masculinité à Hollywood de Marlon Brando à Will Smith, Paris, L’Harmattan, p.119-142.

Maxfield, James F. (1996), The Fatal Woman: Sources of Male Anxiety In American Film Noir, 1941-1991, Madison, Fairleigh Dickinson University Press.

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Friday 25 June 2021



SlaughterFest is returning for a second year in September, celebrating crime writing with a weekend of events curated by author Karin Slaughter with HarperFiction.

Covering the broad spectrum of crime fiction, from historical to courtroom thrillers, organised crime gangs to the return of serial killers, SlaughterFest will offer a diverse programme for readers in the genre. The festival will feature a mix of live and pre-recorded content, hosted on Zoom and the Killer Reads Facebook page, and will take place on 3rd and 4th September.

Slaughter said: “I am so pleased to announce the second year of SlaughterFest, and we’re hoping for an equally fantastic line-up of authors, with a wide range of perspectives and storytelling. We strive to host authors that will appeal to readers from all genres within the thriller spectrum. We hope fans will enjoy hearing from some of their favourite writers, while also discovering new and emerging voices in crime fiction. I look forward to seeing all of my partners in crime in September!

Slaughter is calling for UK publishers to submit their authors for panels on historical crime fiction, true crime, organised crime gangs in fiction, authors who have changed genres to write crime, serial killers in fiction, political thrillers and courtroom fiction.

The festival will also feature a live masterclass in crime fiction, and a special opening event, "Karin Slaughter Introduces…", a panel showcasing writers at the start of their career, hand-picked by the author. Submissions, including an author's biography, blurb for their most recent books, press release and supporting information (such as event experience and a passion pitch) should be sent to

The submission deadline is 9th July and authors will be notified by 16th July. Panel recordings will take place the week commencing 2nd August and the programme will be announced to the public on 9th August. For more information, terms and conditions, visit the event website or see below.


  1. This festival is promoted by HarperCollins Publishers Limited (“HarperCollins”), 1 London Bridge Street, London, SE1 9FG.

  2. This festival is open to UK Publishers only and we invite them to submit authors of all nationalities.

  3. How to submit your author: Submissions should be sent to and include: Author biography, Blurb for their most recent book/s, Press release, Supporting information e.g. event experience, a passion pitch.

  4. Authors should be submitted to take part in or chair a specific panel. The panels are:

  • Crimes of the Past: taking a criminally good stroll through out past with the finest historical crime fiction

  • True Crime: what is it about real life crime that we find so compelling? This panel will explore documentaries, podcasts and books in the genre

  • The OCG: we’re interested in one thing and one thing only – catching bent coppers! A deep dive into the murky world of organised crime gangs in crime fiction

  • Embracing the Dark Side: meet the authors who have recently switched genres and taken the plunge into the criminal world

  • Serial Killer Thrillers: serial killers in fiction are here to stay, and this event will introduce some of our favourite psychopaths

  • The Politics of Crime: meet the authors of contemporary political thrillers getting right to the heart of governance

  • All Rise! Crime in the Courtroom: a look at crime fiction set in the legal world, and why the courtrooms remain a place of endless fascination

  1. The opening date for submissions is Thursday 24th June 2021. The closing date for entries is 5pm BST Friday 9th July. No entries received after this date will be accepted.

  2. HarperCollins will pay a fee of £100 to panellists and £200 to panel chairs, following participation in the agreed panel and after the festival has taken place

  3. HarperCollins will not accept: (1)responsibility for submissions that are lost, mislaid, damaged or delayed in transit, regardless of cause, including, for example, as a result of any equipment failure, technical malfunction, systems, satellite, network, server, computer hardware or software failure of any kind; or (2)proof of transmission as proof of receipt of entry to the competition.

  4. Any submission containing incorrect, false or unreadable information will be rejected.

  5. HarperCollins reserves the right to invite authors to take part in the festival in addition to the submission process.

  6. Publishers will be contacted regarding the programme from 16th July and the programme will be announced on 9th August

  7. The festival SlaughterFest will take place on 3rd and 4th September 2021. Authors must be available to record their panel event in the week of 2nd

  8. HarperCollins reserves the right to hold void, suspend, cancel, or amend the festival where it becomes necessary to do so.

  9. The entry instructions are part of the Terms and Conditions for this competition.

  10. By submitting authors to the festival you are agreeing to accept these Terms and Conditions. Any breach of these Terms and Conditions by you will (in the sole discretion of HarperCollins) mean that your entry will not be valid, and you will not be allowed to enter this competition.

  11. By submitting authors to the festival you are agreeing that, the author’s name may be a) used for the purpose of announcing the festival and/or b) in any related publicity by HarperCollins, without additional permission.

  12. Any personal information you give us will be used solely for this competition and will not be passed on to any other parties without your agreement. HarperCollins’ privacy policy can be found at:

  13. Under no circumstances will HarperCollins be responsible for any loss, damages, costs or expenses arising from or in any way connected with any errors, defects, interruptions, malfunctions or delays in the promotion of the festival

  14. HarperCollins reserves all rights to disqualify any entrant whose conduct is contrary to the spirit or intention of the competition.

  15. Insofar as is permitted by law, HarperCollins, its agents or distributors will not in any circumstances be responsible or liable to compensate anyone in connection with this competition or accept any liability to anyone for any loss, damage, personal injury or death occurring in connection with this competition or as a result of taking up the prize except where it is caused by the negligence of HarperCollins, its agents or distributors or that of their employees. Your statutory rights are not affected.

  16. The competition and its terms & conditions are governed exclusively by the laws of England and Wales. Any dispute relating to the competition shall be governed by the laws of England and Wales and will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts.

Thursday 24 June 2021

Romy Hausmann on How a Sausage Seller made Her become a Crime Writer


When I started writing in 2009, I never thought that one day I would end up as a thriller writer. I rarely read thrillers myself and when I did, I couldn’t understand what attracted people to this genre. For me, blood and any form of slaughter were not exciting, just disgusting I have to admit though, there wasn’t a lot that I knew of the genre and probably lumped all novels together. There were no corpses in my early stories; it was never about physical survival for my main characters. Instead, I wrote about young women trying to find their place in life. Like the story of the sausage seller Lisa, who escapes from her small village to a big city because she believes she will find a better life there – but, of course, she is wrong. I assumed that I had written a coming of age story, full of absurdities and crude humour. Although there was also a bit of suffering as the shadow of her mother’s suicide still lay upon Lisa. I used this element more like a literary tool to show that no place in the world will ever make you happy as long as you don't face your own inner demons. Still, if I had been asked what genre this story fits into, I would have immediately said: It's mostly a comedy. 

In fact, this book was released – and it was a big flop. I got four or five rather mixed reviews and that only because I gave the book away in various book groups. Funnily enough, in the end I actually became a thriller writer because of a rather disastrous review. It said: “Dear Romy, next time please write about what you probably understand more of: mass murderers, psychopaths or little boys who drown newborn cats – but don't disguise this psychological nightmare with a cute cover and sell it as a funny novel”.

You could say that I hadn't even noticed what kind of story I had apparently written and how it had affected my handful of readers (poor them!).

Well, I still don't think that I write about mass murderers and I would never let a kitten drown. But eventually I did find my literary home in psychological thriller writing. I believe that it is not only blood or scary creaking stairs that make a thriller captivating for us readers, but the emotions of the main characters that we cannot escape. Deep down, we all long for the same things: security, love, attention. And it is also the same thing that we fear: loss in any form. The loss of a loved one, the loss of the life we know, the loss of control. I did a lot of research on the human psyche, especially anxiety, and found out that in psychology, a distinction is made between fear as a state and fear as a trait. While the fear of a state is a temporary emotion resulting from a real danger (like creaking stairs), the trait anxiety leads to situations being assessed as dangerous even without an acute threat. So, in a figurative sense, I still write about the Lisas of this world, normal people with fears that have consolidated through their personal life experiences and that have developed their character. And then I create an external threat that confronts them with these very fears. But – just like us real people – the characters try to evade this confrontation. Either they try to repress it or eliminate it as quickly as possible and by all means necessary. Both ways are risky, and so the characters become the greatest danger to themselves. 

You will see what I mean by this in my debut thriller Dear Child. Yes, there is a crime, there are corpses, a cracking skull and a little blood. But above all, there are main characters who want to protect themselves from loss – the loss of their family, of their view of the world and of their own identity. 

And that's exactly what I learned to love about the thriller genre. It's a genre with so many possibilities. It is so much more than superficial horror. There is room for psychological studies and great emotions. It can reflect our society and make us not only bite our nails but also think. Who would have ever thought that a sausage seller made me realise that?

Sleepless by Romy Hausmann (Quercus Publishing) Out Now

It's over, my angel. Today I'm going to die. Just like her. He's won. It's been years since Nadja Kulka was convicted of a cruel crime. After being released from prison, she's wanted nothing more than to live a normal life: nice flat, steady job, even a few friends. But when one of those friends, Laura von Hoven - free-spirited beauty and wife of Nadja's boss - kills her lover and begs Nadja for her help, Nadja can't seem to be able to refuse. The two women make for a remote house in the woods, the perfect place to bury a body. But their plan quickly falls apart and Nadja finds herself outplayed, a pawn in a bizarre game in which she is both the perfect victim and the perfect murderer...