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

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

A very serious Caro Ramsay, Neil Broadfoot and myself. I think we’d just been told Michael J. Malone was going to sing his selection of The Krankies Greatest Hits. We promise to be jollier for Room 101.

Caro Ramsay is in the chair (unless we pull it out from under her) for what promises to be an entertaining evening of likes and dislikes and the sending of items, phrases and whatever comes to mind to Room 101.

I’ll be joining Lesley Kelly, Michael J. Malone, Neil Broadfoot, Mason Cross and Frank Muir to help raise funds for the RNIB and launch the short story collection ‘Ten Year Stretch’.

Come along and see us, raise money for a good cause, have some tablet and a Pringle (one each), maybe a wee glass of wine. And a laugh.

 

More details here:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/crime-writers-room-101-in-glasgow-argyle-st-tickets-46929104214

 

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