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 www.ellygriffiths.co.uk

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 williamshaw.com

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 lesleythomson.co.uk

Click here to book individual panel tickets or a pass for the whole day.

Advertisements

Murderous Medway Panel 5 – Lines of Duty

21st September 2019

Kent Police detective Lisa Cutts talks to former police intelligence analyst Elizabeth Haynes and former WPC Gina Kirkham about how much freedom they can allow artistic licence to override procedures when crafting their novels. 

Lisa Cutts has over 20 years experience as a serving detective constable with Kent Police and has investigated over 50 murders during 10 years with the serious crime directorate. She is also now an established star of the crime writing genre, with her fifth novel Lost Lives published in November 2018. 

She is the author of the DC Nina Foster series, Never Forget – winner of the 2014 Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award for Best Thriller – and Remember, Remember, with her third and fourth novels Mercy Killing and Buried Secrets featuring the East Rise Incident Room. 

A fantastic resource for crime writers, Lisa writes a monthly column for Writing Magazine, answering police procedural questions from other writers.

Lisa has been Patron of the RLF since 2016. Find her at www.lisacutts.co.uk

Elizabeth Haynes is a former police intelligence analyst from Kent who now lives in Norfolk.

Her first novel, Into the Darkest Corner, was Amazon’s Best Book of the Year 2011 and a New York Times bestseller. Now published in 37 countries, it was originally written as part of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), an online challenge to write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November. 

She has written a further three psychological thrillers – Revenge of the Tide, Human Remains and Never Alone – and two novels in the DCI Louisa Smith series, Under a Silent Moon and Behind Closed Doors

Her latest novel, The Murder of Harriet Monckton, is based on an unsolved murder in 1843 and was published by Myriad in September 2018. Find her at www.elizabeth-haynes.com

Gina Kirkham began her career in front-line policing as a single parent in her thirties. During her time with Merseyside Police she received several commendations and in 2000 she was awarded Police Officer of the Year.

Her debut novel, the humorous Handcuffs, Truncheon and a Polyester Thong, was published in May 2017 by Urbane Publications. July 2018 saw the launch of the second book in the series, Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot, and the third, Blues, Twos and Baby Shoes will be published in October 2019.

The series tells the story of single mum Mavis Upton, as she tackles everything that life, love and career can throw at her, in the funny but poignant account of an everyday woman who one day followed a dream to become a later-life police officer and provide for her child.

Gina is now retired from policing and lives on the Wirral with her long suffering husband, two wayward, unruly dogs and the welcome distraction of three hyperactive grandchildren. Find her at www.ginakirkham.wordpress.com

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: www.henryhemming.com

 

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 www.garethrubin.com

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.

Adrift – Refugee Week

Adrift poster

To mark Refugee Week, we’re hosting an event in partnership with the Huguenot Museum on Saturday, June 25 from 11am-2pm.

Britain has a history of offering shelter to displaced peoples, whether due to war or religious persecution, be they Huguenots, Vietnamese boat people, Jewish children escaping the Nazis or Syrians fleeing their war ravaged country.

Continue reading