Harrogate Dispatches #4: Julia Crouch and Endearing Monsters

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I know I’m doing this all out of whack, but yesterday I managed to sneak into a panel with a seriously fantastic panel – not only was the brilliant Julia Crouch (she could be my favourite moderator) holding things down (and telling us about her strange fascination with ‘squeezing spot porn’) but there was also Mick Herron (creator of the much-loved Jackson Lamb series of spy novels), Sabine Durrant (whose Lie With Me has been wowing readers for a year now), Stave Sherez (who, similarly, is wowing people with his latest, The Intrusions) and Canadian writer Shari la Pena. They were discussing the subject of endearing monsters, and it was a cracker. Continue reading

Harrogate Dispatches #3: New Blood Panel With Val McDermid

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I say it every year, but the New Blood panel, hosted by Val McDermid, is one of the highlights of the festival. Why? Well, as a fan of crime fiction it’s always interesting to hear panellists talk about their work – and not least debut writers – who present a raw, often unvarnished and unrehearsed version of their journey to publication. This year’s panel was another cracker. Continue reading

Harrogate Dispatches #1: Lee Child

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And so it begins. After an opening ceremony/party where Lee Child was awarded the Oustanding Contribution To Crime Fiction award (and Chris Brookmyre win the Crime Novel Of The Year award for Black Widow), the 15th Theakston’s Old Peculiar Crime Writing Festival snapped into gear. Elly Griffiths is this year’s chair, and she and the festival team have done an outstanding job at putting together a really great line-up. I’ll be doing my best to bring you as much of the action as I can (although I’m kind of working today a bit). First up, some bloke called Lee Child. Continue reading

Review: Fargo (S3 E8/10), Wednesday 19th July, Channel 4

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We’re nearing the end of series three of Fargo, and now, with the Stussy brothers’ feud now over, it’s down to the last men and women standing to wage a battle royale. For what exactly? Like series one, a plain and simple, good, old fashioned battle between good and evil, featuring the flawed but determined Nikki Swango and the verisimilitudinous¬†embodiment of rotting secretion, VM Varga. The question remaining from last week’s stunning episode was: did Nikki Swango survive the bus crash? Continue reading

Danny Brocklehurst and MyAnna Buring guest on A Stab In The Dark

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UKTV’s crime podcast A Stab In The Dark rolls on this week with two guests at the heart of British crime drama at the moment. Danny Brocklehurst and MyAnna Buring are currently featured in the adaptation of Mark Billingham’s Time Of Death and In The Dark novels for the BBC. More details after the jump! Continue reading

Review: In The Dark (S1 E2/4), Tuesday 18th July, BBC1

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Helen Weeks is under severe pressure, that’s for sure. Not only has she returned to her hometown of Polesford and dug herself into a case of two abducted local children, stepping on the local force’s toes as a result, but pregnant Helen is also hiding not one, but two secrets: one, the baby’s she carrying is probably not her partner Paul’s; and two… well you’ll have to read after the jump.

NB: Spoilers inside Continue reading