Sleuthing poster

They called it a triumph in Grantown-on-Spey (or some kind of clapped out old banger, anyway).

And in January, Carry on Sleuthing 2: Murder at the Knickerage is heading for Dumfries – and the oldest working theatre in Scotland.

And if that wasn’t enough to get the funny bone tingling, the Theatre Royal will also host Four Crime Writers in Search of a Plot.

ALL IN THE SAME NIGHT!

Let Joy be unbound (she’s a lovely girl)!

Carry on sleuthing composote (2017_11_10 11_48_18 UTC)

Yes, indeedy – Gordon ‘GJ’ Brown, Mark Leggatt, Neil Broadfoot and Douglas Skelton will be dusting off the old Tea Cosy of Inspiration (TCOI) and getting their little grey cells in gear to create a crime story before the audience’s very eyes live on stage (well, almost live. A couple of them don’t look too healthy).

Here’s the drill – the audience is invited to suggest a protagonist and a murder weapon and then choose which author will write the next section of the story. While the chosen one is sporting the TCOI and churning out some fantastic prose (it could happen), the others will field question about crime writing from the audience.

It’s fast, it’s fun and it could well be folly.

four blokes byres road 2 (2017_10_12 09_40_46 UTC)

Then the Carry on Sleuthing team – Caro Ramsay, Lucy Cameron, Michael J. Malone and Douglas Skelton – will take over the stage to present a mystifying mystery filled with suspense, danger and, well, mystifying mystery.

Either that or they’ll just do Murder at the Knickerage.

With script in hand, because they’re incapable of remembering lines and you wouldn’t want some of these stuck in your head anyway, they will invite you to listen to the witnesses, find the clues and decide who the murderer was.

However, budding sleuths have to wade their way through a barrage of jokes and sight gags to find the clues!

Don’t miss this tittersome evening of murder, mystery and mirth.

Tickets can be booked now, priced £8 for an individual show, or £12 for the two.

 

Find out how to book here:

https://www.ents24.com/dumfries-events/theatre-royal

 

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

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.

 

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

 

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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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

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….

 

To be honest, I can’t believe it’s almost here.

It seems like only yesterday that I shared a stage with Catriona MacPherson, Gillian Galbraith, Russel D McLean and the always wonderful Theresa Talbot (she paid me to say that). But it wasn’t yesterday, it was last September.

This year I’m involved in three things. Yes, three! Some mistake, surely? But no, I’ve managed to elbow my way in.

First up, I’m chairing Kate London, Clare Mackintosh and RJ Mitchell in the ‘From Cops to Robbers’ panel. (Saturday Sept 9, .5.30pm – 6.30pm). They are all former police officers now turned to writing. Naturally, there is no suggestion that they have turned to robbery as well, but I’ll keep a firm grip of my clipboard just the same.

Details here:

From Cops to Robbers

Then, on Sunday, I’m flexing my acting muscles to play Inspector Faro in Alanna Knight’s play ‘The Case of the Vanishing Vagrant.’

I reject any suggestion that because of the way I dress I should play the vagrant.

I’m looking forward to this and can only hope I can fill Stuart MacBride’s shoes adequately. He played Faro in last year’s play and was very, very, VERY good.

What’s doubly daunting is that fellow cast members Marsali Taylor, Abir Mukherjee and Gordon Brown have to perform knowing that a proper actor is standing beside us.

Hollywood star Harley Jane Kozak also write crime and she has agreed to take part in the play.

I know the rest of the cast join me in saying GULP.

Details here:

Inspector Faro Investigates

Immediately after that – we’ll barely have to time to fend off our adoring fans (cough) – Gordon Brown and I will head to another venue for ‘Four Blokes in Search of a Plot’.

Our Crime Factor comrades Neil Broadfoot and Mark Leggatt will make up the quivering quartet trying to create a crime storybefore the audience’s very eyes, while also keeping up a stream of witty banter and interesting conversation. Or something.

Details here:

Four Blokes in Search of a Plot

It’s going to be fun and the entire festival is one not to be missed. Still some tickets left for a wide variety of events.

Full list of panels and events here:

Bloody Scotland 2017

I’m heading back across the border to Newcastle again, this time to take part in the hugely popular Newcastle Noir festival. Clearly, I got away with it last time.

I’m appearing with fellow Crime Factor alumni Neil Broadfoot as well as Russel D. McLean and Michael J. Malone (I’m now also wondering if I should sport a middle initial).

Douglas, left, sharing a panel at Bloody Scotland with Russel D. McLean, right.

Douglas, left, sharing a panel at Bloody Scotland with Russel D. McLean, right.

Neil Broadfoot

Neil Broadfoot

Michael J. Malone

Michael J. Malone

So come along and see us talk about Scottish crime, writing, writing crime, Scottish writing and anything else that takes our fancy.

More details here:

Tartan Noir at Newcastle Noir

 

A the airts

A’ The Airts, the community arts venue in Sanquhar, is launching a Nithsdale Noir season of events with the comedy mystery CARRY ON SLEUTHING on March 3.

Once again, best-selling author Caro Ramsay will essay the role of ace sleuth Letitia Luvibod (below), once again solving the brutal murder of lawyer Hiram Grabbitt on board the SS Naughty Nigelas it steams across the Atlantic.

Caro luvibod

Michael J. Malone (below) will return as various characters, as will Douglas Skelton.

Michael. J. Malone

Michael. J. Malone

They will be joined for this epic production (and I use the word epic in its broadest possible sense. Ditto the word production. And the word comedy above) will be debut crime writer Lucy Cameron (below).

2

Neil Broadfoot below) will also be on hand to deal with the various complicated bits of stage business that makes the show such a success. It says in his press release.

neil

It’s a night of laughter and mystification. Well, mystification anyway. Come along, join in the fun.

For ticket prices and to book, please phone the venue on the number below.