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Bloody hell!

That Caro Ramsay’s got a new book heading into the hands of eager fans.

Yes – another one! Does she eat?

I'm chatting to Caro Ramsay for the launch of her new book on November 30

I’m chatting to Caro Ramsay for the launch of her new book on November 30

It’s called THE SUFFERING OF STRANGERS and it’s bound to be another belter.

And she’ll be launching it during Book Week Scotland in the Prima Vera Bistro, courtesy of Waterstones Newton Mearns.

Apparently, she’ll be in conversation with yours truly.

We’ll talk about the book, the inspiration, the symbolism with which her work is replete and the existential angst of writing about crime.

If you’ve ever been to an event with Caro, you’ll know that to be a complete lie.

The book is serious but the event will be fun.

I wouldn’t miss it.

Actually, I’d better not – Caro knows how to kill without leaving a trace.

More info here:

https://www.waterstones.com/events/an-evening-with-caro-ramsay/newton-mearns-37241

 

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I complete my mini tour of Argyll and Bute for Book Week Scotland in Helensburgh.

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I’ll be chatting about how it was the writer’s life for me, after everything else proved – well – not for me.

I’m looking forward to all these events!

As with all the events this week, admission is free.

 

Info here:

http://www.scottishbooktrust.com/about/events/skeltons-skeletons-helensburgh-library

With thanks to Argyll and Bute Libraries and Scottish Book Trust.

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The midway point of my three day mini tour of Argyll and Bute takes me to Campbeltown, just down the road from the land of my forefathers (which was Gigha, by the way).

This is another event for the fabulous Book Week Scotland, organised by the Scottish Book Trust (yay for them!)

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These next two events are called Skelton’s Skeletons. Will I be pulling anything out of the closet? Of course I will – I’m not heading there naked. It’s the end of November, for goodness sake. I’d freeze my plots off.

I’ll talking about the life of a writer. Luckily, that writer happens to be me so I know a thing or two about it.

I’ll discuss the books, both fiction and non. I’ll talk about the process. I’ll talk about dealing with reviews.

It’s all light-hearted stuff, so if you’re in Campbeltown, come see me.

More info here:

http://www.scottishbooktrust.com/about/events/skeltons-skeletons-campbeltown-library

 

With thanks to Argyll and Bute Libraries and Scottish Book Trust.

Bute event

My first official Book Week Scotland event takes me back to the lovely isle of Bute.

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I’ll be teaming up pals Caro Ramsay and Michael J. Malone once again – but not for Carry on Sleuthing, although I’m sure it’ll be mentioned.

Caro Ramsay

Caro Ramsay

Michael J. Malone

Michael J. Malone

The panel is called CRIME AND CUPCAKES and in case you’re wondering, Michael and I are the cupcakes.

Bute event

It’ll be a fun night and if you’re on the island hope to see you there.

More info here:

http://www.scottishbooktrust.com/about/events/crime-and-cupcakes

With thanks to Print Point, Argyll and Bute Libraries and Scottish Book Trust.

Caro Ramsay, Michael J. Malone, Theresa Talbot and some bearded old man in 'Carry on Sleuthing' in Waterstones Argyle Street.

Fresh from its triumph at Tidelines, the Carry on Sleuthing team will, to paraphrase The Monkees, take the last train to Clarkston to bring quality theatre to the city suburbs. Or something.

Yes, you lucky Clarkstonians will have the chance to revel in the mystery and fun that has had audiences both puzzled and incontinent from Sanquhar to Grantown.

We’ll be in the library on Thursday October 5.

Details Here:

Clarkston Library

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Yes!

We’re back on stage with the play that will give you the most fun you’ll ever have out of brutal murder.

Carry on Sleuthing will bring this year’s superb Tidelines Festival to a dramatic close.

If you haven’t seen it before, then this is a laugh a minute murder mystery with some wonderful performances from some top crime writers.

If you HAVE seen it before then you’ll know there was at least one lie in the statement above.

This is an extended version of the show that has played Glasgow, Paisley, Grantown, Ayr and Sanquhar.

So come along and help our ace sleuth Letitia Luvibod solve the mystery of who killed odious lawyer Hiram Grabbitt on board the SS Naughty Nigel.

SIFT the evidence!

HEAR the suspects give their version of events!

GASP at the incredible performances!

GROAN at the jokes!

Join our star, bestselling author Caro Ramsay, ably supported by Michael J. Malone, Douglas Skelton, Neil Broadfoot and, in a change to the programme, Pat Young, in Irvine’s Harbour Arts Centre for the theatrical event of the season.

Book here:

Carry on Sleuthing at Tidelines

Or phone 01294 274 059.

 

Byres Road crime writers

Here’s the story so far – Four dashing, debonair, supremely talented young crime writers agree to change the format of their already successful touring panel. It’s daring! It’s brave! It’s astounding!

Meanwhile, Neil Broadfoot, Gordon Brown, Mark Leggatt and Douglas Skelton are doing the same with theirs.

It’s madness!

Madness, I tell you!

The brilliant Byres Road Book bonanza is back – and Four Crime Writers will be looking for that elusive plot in Hillhead Library on Saturday September 23.

The new format sees us create a crime story from scratch, while also engaging in erudite conversation.

Okay, maybe not so erudite but there will be words coming from our mouths, as well as from our fingertips.

We’re not promising they’ll be in the right order or even spelled correctly, but they will be words.

So do get along and see us. We may come this way but once!

Details below and here:

https://www.byresroadbookfestival.com/23rd-september/four-crime-writers-in-search-of-a-plot2282017

 

The cast of Inspector Faro Investigates, clockwise from top left, Marsali Taylor, Douglas Skelton, Alanna Knight, Abir Mukherjee, Harley Jane Kozak and Gordon Brown. Picture: Paul Reich, courtesy of Bloody Scotland

Well.

That’s Bloody Scotland 2017 over, never to be seen again.

Except in photographs.

It was another record-breaker, with ticket sales 30% up on last year. The Festival just grows and grows!

I was busy this year.

A slew (a slewth?) of crime writers and guests at the grand reception. See if you can spot me- or, in other words, Where the Wally? Picture courtesy of Bloody Scotland

A slew (a slewth?) of crime writers and guests at the grand reception. See if you can spot me – or, in other words, Where’s the Wally? Picture courtesy of Bloody Scotland

I attended the reception in Stirling Castle (in the Royal Apartments, don’t you know?) before heading into the Great Hall to watch Denise Mina pick up her McIlvanney Award for ‘The Long Drop’ and then tried not to set anyone ablaze during the torchlight parade.

Ian Rankin, Val McDermid and Denise Mina set out to find Boris Karloff. Picture courtesy of Bloody Scotland

Ian Rankin, Val McDermid and Denise Mina set out to find Boris Karloff. Picture courtesy of Bloody Scotland

I chaired one panel – From Cops to Robbers – and formed one quarter of the Four Blokes in Search of a Plot.

Neil Broadfoot, Gordon Brown and Mark Leggatt handle the chat while I don the Tea Cosy of Inspiration to kick off the story. Picture courtesy of Lucy Cameron

Neil Broadfoot, Gordon Brown and Mark Leggatt handle the chat while I don the Tea Cosy of Inspiration to kick off the story. Picture courtesy of Lucy Cameron

Neil Broadfoot sports the Tea Cosy of Inspiration, Picture courtesy of Bloody Scotland

Neil Broadfoot sports the Tea Cosy of Inspiration, Picture courtesy of Bloody Scotland

I dread to think what MarK Leggatt was claiming was this big. Picture courtesy of Bloody Scotland

I dread to think what MarK Leggatt was claiming was this big. Picture courtesy of Bloody Scotland

We were a bit worried about this one because we didn’t know it would work. Neil Broadfoot, Gordon Brown, Mark Leggatt and myself, with initial prompts from the audience, taking turns to write a crime story live – well, almost live. It was the Sunday after a Bloody Scotland Saturday night, after all.

In the end it worked. The audience seemed to enjoy it and its success was put down to the influence of the Tea Cosy of Inspiration that we wore when writing our 50–70 words.

I also took part in Alanna Knight’s play ‘The Case of the Vanishing Vagrant’. I played Inspector Faro, with a top–notch cast comprised of Hollywood star Harley Jane Kozak (who really showed us how it was done), Marsali Taylor, Gordon Brown and Abir Mukherjee. Every single one of them sparkled. I kind of flickered.

Taking a bow: from left, some eejit, Abir Mukherjee, Marsali Taylor, Harley Jane Kozak and Gordon Brown. Alanna Knight is far left, wondering how she gets herself involved in this. Picture courtesy of Laura Jones

Taking a bow: from left, some eejit, Abir Mukherjee, Marsali Taylor, Harley Jane Kozak and Gordon Brown. Alanna Knight is far left, wondering how she gets herself involved in this. Picture courtesy of Laura Jones

Gordon Brown and I in (almost) full swing. Picture courtesy of Debbie Pitt.

Gordon Brown and I in (almost) full swing. Picture courtesy of Debbie Pitt.

Abir, Marslay and Harley on stage, while Gordon and I try to keep out of their way. Picture courtesy of Linda Wright

Abir, Marsali and Harley on stage, while Gordon and I try to keep out of their way. Picture courtesy of Linda Wright

I was also volunteered at the last minute to MC the football match between Scotland and England. Ironic, given I know nothing about football. Thankfully, I wasn’t expected to do a running commentary, merely read out the team lines prepared by Craig Robertson then deal with the raffle at the end and the trophy presentation. Scotland won 6–3! Captain Ian Rankin was suitably delighted, as was the 150-strong crowd. Well, the Scots among them anyway.

I was completely impartial as it was immaterial to me who won. As long as it was Scotland.

The two teams were the best of friends even though Scotland gave England a severe spanking. Picture courtesy of Bloody Scotland

The two teams were the best of friends even though Scotland gave England a severe spanking. Picture courtesy of Bloody Scotland

Earlier that day I was waterboy for Gordon Brown and Neil Broadfoot who were painting the pitch. I thought they were always green.

So, another successful year for Scotland’s top crime writing festival.

The committee members, staff and volunteers all deserve a massive round of applause for their Stirling efforts (see what I did there?)

I wonder what they’re going to come up with next year?

 

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Four guys

The Crime Factor old boy band are getting back together, specially for Bloody Scotland.

Neil Broadfoot, Gordon Brown, Mark Leggatt and I will be fielding questions from the audience on crime, crime writing and how to put the two together.

There may even be cat jokes!

We’re appearing in a new venue to Scotland’s top crime writing festival, the Allan Park South Church, at 5.30pm on Sunday September 10.

We like to think we’re the climactic event in the weekend festival. Don’t pay any attention to those who says it’s Lynda La Plante!

You can order tickets here:

Book here

Douglas Skelton, Neil Broadfoot, Mark Leggatt and GJ Brown will be hitting the road this year as Four Crime Writers in Search of a Plot. Picture: Daniel Morrison

Well, this is scary.

Inspired by the success (well, we enjoyed it) of the #ScotLitFest Crime Collaboration Creation, in which over four hours on Facebook we created a brand new crime tale. It was original, some might say unique, some might say off-beat, some might say just plain crazy.

But here’s the really crazy thing…

We’re going to do it again.

And this time we’ll be within striking distance of the audience!

No hiding behind social media for us – oh, no. We’ll be a mere book’s throw away from the front row.

And in September we’re doing it not once but twice (Yes! Count ’em!)

First up is Bloody Scotland on September 10 in Stirling and you’ll find further details here:

Bloody Scotland event

 

As for the second one, I’ll publish details of that soon.

So if you’re going to Bloody Scotland – and if not, why the hell not? – get yourself a ticket to see Neil Broadfoot, Gordon Brown, Mark Leggatt and myself (hereinafter to be known as the accused).

It’s madness – madness, I tell you….