Murderous Medway Panel 3 – Storybuilders

21st September 2019

Panel 3

Guy Fraser-Sampson, Vicky Newham and Linda Regan ponder whether their writing processes make them an architect, an archaeologist or an alchemist.

Guy Fraser-Sampson, previously best known for his Mapp and Lucia novels, which were featured on Radio 4 and optioned by BBC television, is the creator of The Hampstead Murders series, which currently runs to five books, with a sixth on the way.

His series defies any easy classification since they are contemporary police procedurals but written in the spirit of the Golden Age. Neither cosy nor noir, they have been described as intelligent, quirky, elegant, and as “reading like a love letter to the detective novel”. With picturesque Hampstead serving as a constant backdrop, they have also been called “the next Morse”.

Find Guy at Urbane Publications 

Passionate about great stories and fascinated by human behaviour, Vicky Newham’s writing has psychology at its heart.

The DI Rahman novels are gripping detective novels which offer readers a compelling puzzle alongside a window onto contemporary life in multi-cultural East London. Maya faces daily challenges yet it’s her empathy, determination and instinct which make her a brilliant cop.

Turn a Blind Eye is the first in the DI Rahman series of novels and the second, Out of the Ashes, was published in May 2019. Vicky has other novels and non-fiction in development.

Find Vicky at 

Linda Regan will be familiar to you as a successful actor of stage, screen and radio, appearing as April in the hugely popular Hi De Hi sitcom, among many other high profile shows. Writing for many years, Linda’s big break came with winning the Creme de la Crime publishing contract in 2007.

Her first book, Behind You, was published the next year, and two more followed, before Linda moved to Accent publishers, and published a further two books. Linda has just completed her sixth crime novel and is busy with the seventh. 

Find Linda at  

Click here for individual panel tickets or an all day pass.


Murderous Medway Panel 1 – Location, Location, Location

21st September 2019

Panel 1

Elly Griffiths, William Shaw and Lesley Thomson discuss the settings of their novels and how a place can become just as much a character as the heroes.

Elly Griffiths wrote four novels under her own name (Domenica de Rosa) before turning to crime with The Crossing Places, the first novel featuring forensic archaeologist Dr Ruth Galloway. 

The Crossing Places won the Mary Higgins Clark award and three novels in the series have been shortlisted for the Theakstons Crime Novel of the Year. The Stone Circle (Ruth #11) was published in February 2019 and was a Sunday Times Top Ten Bestseller. 

Elly also writes the Brighton Mysteries, set in the theatrical world of the 1950s. In 2016 Elly was awarded the CWA Dagger in the Library for her body of work. Her first standalone mystery, The Stranger Diaries, was a Richard and Judy book club selection and was the Times Crime Novel of the Year 2018. She has also recently published a children’s crime novel, A Girl Called Justice.

Find Elly at

William Shaw’s latest book Deadland has been long-listed for the CWA Gold Dagger and the Theakston’s Old Peculiar Crime Novel of The Year and was picked as one of the Sunday Times Summer Reads of 2019. 

Set in Dungeness, his crime series featuring DS Alexandra Cupidi, grew out of his standalone crime novel The Birdwatcher, hailed by The Sun as “a contender for thriller of the year” and praised by Peter May as “the most gripping book I’ve read in years.” The first novel in the series, Salt Lane, is currently in development for TV.

Before becoming a crime writer, William Shaw was an award-winning music journalist and the author of several non-fiction books including Westsiders, about a year spent with the young men of South Central Los Angeles, and A Superhero For Hire, a compilation of columns in the Observer Magazine.

Find William at

Lesley Thomson’s first novel, Seven Miles From Sydney, came out in 1987 when it made  the City Limits top ten best books.  In 1990, she worked with actor Sue Johnston on her semi-autobiographical book, Hold Onto The Messy Times.

While reading for an MA in English Literature at Sussex University, Lesley wrote A Kind of Vanishing. It won the People’s Book prize for fiction in 2010.

A guest tutor on the Creative Writing and Publishing MA at West Dean, Lesley also runs a crime-writing short course with top crime writer Elly Griffiths, and leads workshops and master classes on writing crime novels.

Lesley is author of the best-selling The Detective’s Daughter series, featuring Stella Darnell (MD of Clean Slate Cleaning Services) and Jack Harmon, driver on London Underground’s District Line. Oh, and not forgetting Stanley the poodle.

Find Lesley at

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Murderous Medway Panel 4 – Crime Seen

21st September 2019

Panel 4

Crime screenwriters Isabelle Grey, Sally Griffiths and JC Wilsher shed light on how the likes of Midsomer Murders and Between the Lines come to life on the screen.

Isabelle Grey was born in London, grew up in Manchester, and for ten years lived on the edge of the Romney Marsh in Kent. A former freelance journalist, she has written for film, radio and television, including numerous screenplays for crime dramas such as The Bill, Wycliffe, Midsomer Murders and Jimmy McGovern’s award-winning BBC series Accused. She has also written four crime novels set in Essex and featuring DI Grace Fisher. The Sunday Times has described her as “one of the most intelligent authors of contemporary crime fiction”. She is currently finishing a novel of psychological suspense set in London in 1963.

Wrong Way Home is the fourth in the DI Grace Fisher crime series. Twenty-five years after the unsolved rape and murder of Heather Bowyer in Southend, new DNA techniques have thrown up two new – and related – suspects. With her investigation shadowed by an ambitious but naïve young true-crime podcaster, backed by tabloid crime reporter Ivo Sweatman, can Grace Fisher reconstruct the original flawed investigation and correctly identify the killer before there is further tragedy?

Find her at


Sally Griffiths is a lifelong fan of crime fiction and drama. With her writing partner, Rachel Cuperman, she has written six episodes of ITV’s Midsomer Murders, including the notorious murder-free episode which attracted the wrath of the Daily Mail and featured as a quiz question on Have I Got News for You.

Sally and Rachel have an original TV crime series in development with Route 24 Productions, and actor Bill Nighy is attached to star in their first feature film, a comedy drama. Flying solo, Sally is the author of three radio dramas broadcast broadcast on Radio Four’s Afternoon Drama slot.


JC Wilsher was born in London, and educated at Leicester & Lancaster Universities. A writer of single plays for television & radio in the late 70’s – early 90’s, JC became a regular writer for The Bill from 1989-2001. He then created the award-winning police series Between the Lines, which aired between 1992-94.

JC has written episodes for some of TV’s most popular crime series: The Vice, Silent Witness, Murder in Mind, Dalziell & Pascoe, New Tricks, Midsomer Murders and Death in Paradise.  He lives in North London.

Tickets for this panel (£7) and/or an All Day Pass (£30) can be found here.

Murderous Medway Panel 2 – Politically Thrilling

21st September 2019

Henry Hemming, KH Irvine and Gareth Rubin capture the political zeitgeist of the last three years and how it’s informed their work. Chaired by Dr. Kate Bradley.

Henry Hemming is the author of six works of non-fiction, including most recently the Sunday Times bestseller M, a biography of the MI5 spymaster Maxwell Knight.

His latest novel, Our Man in New York is gripping story of a propaganda campaign like no other: the covert British operation to manipulate American public opinion and bring the US into the Second World War.

When William Stephenson arrived in the United States towards the end of June 1940 with instructions from the head of MI6 to ‘organise’ American public opinion, Britain was on the verge of defeat. Surveys showed that just 14% of the US population wanted to go to war against Nazi Germany. But soon that began to change…

Those campaigning against America’s entry into the war, such as legendary aviator Charles Lindbergh, talked of a British-led plot to drag the US into the conflict. They feared that the British were somehow flooding the American media with ‘fake news’, infiltrating pressure groups, rigging opinion polls and meddling in US politics.

These claims were shocking and wild: they were also true.

That truth is revealed by Henry Hemming, using hitherto private and classified documents, including the diaries of his own grandparents, who were briefly part of Stephenson’s extraordinary influence campaign that was later described in the Washington Post as ‘arguably the most effective in history’. Stephenson – who saved the life of Hemming’s father – was a flawed maverick, full of contradictions, but one whose work changed the course of the war, and whose story can now be told in full.

“OUR MAN IN NEW YORK is gripping and intoxicating, it unfolds like the best screenplay.” – NICHOLAS SHAKESPEARE

Find Henry at:


K.H. Irvine grew up in Scotland and now lives near London. An experienced business leader for over two decades, K.H. Irvine’s work has taken her to board rooms, universities and governments all over the world and has included personal access to the UK’s Special Forces.

A KILLING SIN is K.H. Irvine’s first book and tackles a number of challenging themes, asking when tolerance becomes intolerable and where security measures become racial profiling. A gripping page-turner with huge commercial appeal and immediate resonance in today’s climate, the book raises questions we may not want to answer and is sure to trigger debate.

Book two is set a few years later as Britain moves to civil unrest and the rise of the far right, where the personal and political become intertwined.

Set in London in the very near future, A Killing Sin centres around three dynamic, flawed women who forged a life-long friendship at university. Through their different career paths, their lives become entwined with that of a young woman, a committed jihadist, who embarks on a horrific terrorist plot hitting right at the heart of Government.


Gareth Rubin spent two decades avoiding libel actions as a social affairs journalist before writing his first novel, Liberation Square. His follow-up, published in 2020, is about British agents in France on the eve of D-Day.

Described as ‘a gripping story, with heart’ by the Daily Telegraph, ‘tightly plotted, tense and set in a chillingly plausible world’ by the Sunday Mirror, and ‘a gripping and well-imagined yarn’ by The Sun​, Liberation Square is a murder mystery set in Soviet-occupied London.

It’s 1952 and Soviet troops control British streets after winning the Second World War. After the disastrous failure of D-Day, Britain is occupied by Nazi Germany, and only rescued by Russian soldiers arriving from the east and Americans from the west. The two superpowers divide the nation between them, a wall running through London like a scar.

On the Soviet side of the wall, Jane Cawson calls into her husband’s medical practice, hoping to surprise him. But instead she detects the perfume worn by his former wife, Lorelei, star of propaganda films for the new Marxist regime. Jane rushes to confront them, but soon finds herself caught up in the glamorous actress’s death. Her husband Nick is arrested for murder. Desperate to clear his name, Jane must risk the attention of the brutal secret police as she follows a trail of corruption right to the highest levels of the state. And she might find she never really knew her husband at all.

Fun fact: Gareth also jointly holds a Guinness World Record as a member of the world’s biggest coconut orchestra!

Find him at

Work picDr. Kate Bradley is a senior lecturer in social history and social policy at the University of Kent.

Kate researches and teaches on a range of areas in justice and social policy in the twentieth century, from the development of the juvenile courts to youth leisure and welfare after the Second World War. She has just finished a book on the history of legal aid and advice, which will be published by Manchester University Press in 2019/20.  Kate lives in Rochester, and is an avid reader of crime fiction in her spare time.

Tickets for this panel (£7) and/or an All Day Pass (£30) can be found here.

Murderous Medway: The Three ‘C’s Crime Writing Workshops

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Saturday 13 October 10am-4pm.

We wanted to have a day of workshops from which you could leave with a blueprint for your own story. This could be one you’ve been working on for some time and need to kick start, or one where you have just the seed of an idea and need to nurture it. Either way, these workshops covering Concept, Character and Conflict will help you thrash out the story you need to tell.

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