The Four Blokes boy band (????) heads for the exotic island of Bute on Friday to bring their own brand of lunacy to the islanders.

Neil Broadfoot, Gordon Brown, Mark Leggatt and Douglas Skelton be in the Museum – fitting, considering their age – from 7pm.

As usual, it promises to be a fun-filled night, with the guys attempting to create a story from scratch, while wearing the sacred Tea Cosy of Inspiration.

 

For tickets – call Print Point, the island’s fabulous book store, on 01700 503389

The guys appear thanks to Bute Noir.

 

Things have suddenly turned busier than ever here at Hole-In-The-Wall.

First, THE JANUS RUN is now out there and ready, willing and (hopefully) able to give readers a thrill ride in words.

I’m also as busy ever on social media – well, as busy as I can be given I really don’t understand it at all!

I’m writing a new Carry on Sleuthing (more later) and awaiting edits on a new book to be published next March. I’ve already seen the cover and it’s so good it would make me want to read the book! And I know what happens.

You’ll hear a LOT more from me on this new one in the coming months.

However, I’m also out and about a great deal over the next few weeks.

DENZIL MEYRICK

Fans of Denzil Meyrick are snapping up his new book THE RELENTLESS TIDE.

I’ve been lucky enough to chair Denzil at two bookstore events for its release – Edinburgh and Glasgow.

I say chair but really you just start him off and watch him entertain the crowd with a string of one liners and stories.

I have two more with him coming up:

Thursday October 11 – Falkirk Library 3pm (in association with Waterstones)

https://www.waterstones.com/events/an-afternoon-with-denzil-meyrick/falkirk

Thursday November 8 – Waterstones, Oban, 6.30pm.

https://www.facebook.com/events/464645690694642/

If you’ve never seen Denzil then come along if you can – he gives right good chat. and if you’ve never read his books, then you really are missing something!

CARRY ON SLEUTHING

You can’t keep a good show down. The same can be said for Carry on Sleuthing.

The gang is heading to Giffnock Library on Friday October 12 with MURDER AT THE KNICKERAGE.

https://www.eastwoodparktheatre.co.uk/article/9764/Carry-On-Sleuthing

The very first Letitia Luvibod headscratcher, A DEATH ON THE OCEAN WAVE, will descend upon Troon Library on Wednesday November 14.

THE JANUS RUN

On Thursday October 18 I’ll be back in my old haunt of Waterstones Argyle Street for the Glasgow launch of the new book.

https://www.waterstones.com/events/douglas-skelton-launches-the-janus-run/glasgow-argyle-street

FOUR BLOKES IN SEARCH OF A PLOT

The four blokes – Neil Broadfoot, Gordon Brown, Mark Leggatt and myself – are crossing the water to Bute on Friday October 19. It’s already a near sell-out so if you want a ticket, be quick!

MEL SHERRATT

On Thursday November 25 I’ll be in Waterstones Argyle Street once again, this time to natter to bestselling author Mel Sherratt about her new book HUSH HUSH

https://www.waterstones.com/events/mel-sherratt-launches-hush-hush/glasgow-argyle-street

THE WEE CRIME FESTIVAL

The crime festival in Grantown-on-Spey is an absolutely cracking event and I hope I’m invited every year! So far, I’ve been lucky.

The event takes place from Friday November 2 to Sunday November 4 and is jam-packed with great authors.

And we’ll be debuting the brand new CARRY ON SLEUTHING: THE MYSTERIOUS AFFAIR AT PYLES.

BOOK WEEK SCOTLAND

Once again, I’m all over the place like a cheap suit during Book Week Scotland.

Monday November 19 – Greenock Library

https://bookweekscotlandevents.com/events/rebels-and-rogues-with-crime-writer-douglas-skelton

Tuesday November 20 – Mitchell Library, Glasgow, in conversation with Denise Mina and Liam McIlvanney

https://bookweekscotlandevents.com/events/a-conversation-with-denise-mina-and-liam-mcllvanney

Wednesday November 21 – Lochgilphead Library

https://bookweekscotlandevents.com/events/the-rebel-in-crime

Thursday November 22 – Tobermory Library, Isle of Mull

https://bookweekscotlandevents.com/events/the-rebel-in-crime-1abe316f-73e2-44c3-bcfd-23b2fee5c80a

 

The second date on the Four Blokes in Search of a Plot whistlestop tour sees us in Edinburgh.

We’re back in Blackwells bookstore, where we first appeared a couple of years ago under the old Crime Factor format.

This time, though, we’re presenting the new, let’s put the show on right here format where we get the audience to give us a main character and a murder weapon and then proceed to create a crime story between us.

Further details on the show and how to book tickets here:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/four-blokes-in-search-of-a-plot-tickets-47473837526

I’ve got a busy few months ahead of me, which is never something to complain about. It keeps me on the streets, as it were.

The Four Blokes in search of a Plot tour is already underway with a session in Glasgow’s Sauchiehall Street Waterstones that really rocked. I even sang. After a fashion.

Picture by Ellie Petrie

 

The tour, with Gordon Brown, Neil Broadfoot and Mark Leggatt, continues as follows:

Thursday August 30 – Blackwells, Edinburgh

Thursday September 13 – Waterstones Stirling

Friday October 19 – Bute Museum, Isle of Bute (as part of Bute Noir’s ongoing calendar of events)

The Tour coincides with all four of us having new books hitting the shelves. Funny how things work out.

Neil Broadfoot’s newie is NO MAN’S LAND, the start of a thrilling new series featuring two-fisted Connor Fraser centred in Stirling.

Gordon Brown’s is DEEPEST WOUNDS, the latest in his Exciting Craig McIntyre series.

Mark Leggatt’s latest is THE SILK ROAD, another suspenseful tale featuring Connor Montrose.

Mine, as you all know, is THE JANUS RUN, which I describe as Jason Bourne meets the Sopranos.

From September 21 to September 23, I’ll be attending Bloody Scotland in Stirling, one of the premier crime fiction festivals in the world!

I’m chairing a couple of panels during the festival – one with Quintin Jardine and Denzil Meyrick, the other with Nick Triplow, Cathi Unsworth and Harry Brett – but I’ll also be joining the Carry on Sleuthing crowd to present Murder at the Knickerage.

Speaking of The Janus Run and Carry on Sleuthing, I’ll be launching the book officially at the Tidelines Festival in Irvine’s Harbour Arts Centre on Sunday September 30 – and later that day we’ll be back with Knickerage.

 

The Sacred Tea Cosy of Inspiration (Pat Pending – lovely woman) has given permission to release the first dates of the Four Blokes mini tour later this year. That doesn’t mean the guys will be wearing minis. Not in public, at least.

Although you never know with that Mark Leggatt.

And the dates are – drum roll, please! (Quick! Someone catch that rolling drum, we need to use it…)

Thursday August 23 – Waterstones Sauchiehall Street
Thursday August 30 – Blackwells Edinburgh
Thursday September 13 – Waterstones Stirling.

Links with times and how to book will be posted later.

And perhaps further dates!

They seem to have been searching for that elusive plot for a long time – will they find it in Glasgow?

Why not come along and find out!

Neil Broadfoot, Gordon Brown, Mark Leggatt and Douglas Skelton return to Waterstones in Sauchiehall Street with the brand new, all fun format of their unique panel game.

Four crime writers are given a protagonist and a murder weapon by the audience and have to create a new crime story within the hour.

The audience select which writer will batter out the next 100 words and while that author dons the sacred Tea Cosy of Inspiration, the other three answer questions about the genre.

Don’t miss this once in a lifetime opportunity see them.

Okay, there’ll be other opportunities, but it sounded good.

You can book your place here:

https://www.waterstones.com/events/four-men-in-search-of-a-plot/glasgow-sauchiehall-street-53940

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?

 

18839089_10155405028104853_6919576078704321143_n

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….