Yes – it’s true!

Those Four Blokes are still searching for that plot and the trail is taking them back to Dumfries’ fabulous Theatre Royal.

Once again, they will be joined the Carry on Sleuthing team in a double bill of mirther (that’s a mixture of mirth and murder, in case you hadn’t spotted it).

 

The crime writers on offer in the show are Caro Ramsay, Lucy Cameron, Neil Broadfoot, Gordon Brown, Mark Leggatt, Michael J. Malone and Douglas Skelton.

The blokes will, as usual, create a crime story before the audience’s very eyes – and given it’s taking place on Burns Night, there may well be a Bardic flavour. Be prepared for exploding haggi, Slashy Sarks and a man’s a corpse for a’ that.

The Carry on Sleuthing epic this year will be ‘A Death on the Ocean Wave’, a cunning tale of murder and skulduggery aboard an ocean liner. Once again ace sleuth Letitia Luvibod will look up from her knitting to fathom the mystery and bring the identity of the dastardly murderer to the surface – but the audience have to spot the clues and put forward their own theories. To do so they have to wade through a sea of bad jokes and red herrings. Perhaps even a couple of turbot.

You’ll find details here. You can buy tickets singly at £8 or £12 for both shows:

https://www.evensi.uk/carry-sleuthing-66-68-shakespeare-street-dg1-2jh-dumfries/279949477

It’s an attractive little town, like many in the highlands. Neat streets. Solid stone buildings. Stunning views to the mountains.

But for one weekend a year it becomes the focal point of murder and mayhem. A centre of dark acts and despicable deeds.

And that’s just the jokes in Carry on Sleuthing!

Yes, it’s time for the Wee Crime Festival in lovely Grantown-on-Spey (November 2-4).

This will mark the fourth year I’ve trekked northwards for this absolutely terrific event and one of these years they’ll find me out.

Once again the Crime Writers Associated Players (CWAP) will be debuting a brand new Carry on Sleuthing. There will be drama, horror and tears. And that’s just when Michael J. Malone can’t find his sporran.

Caro Ramsay will once again be taking the leading role. Spinster sleuth Letitia Luvibod is becoming very much her alter ego, I think.

But that’s just one event in the weekend of fun and fear.

There are top names attending this year.

Stuart McBride!

Alex Gray!

Craig Robertson!

Alex Sokoloff!

Neil Broadfoot!

Sandra Ireland!

Thomas Enger!

Margaret Kirk!

Helen Forbes!

Hugh Pugh, Barney McGrew!

Well, okay perhaps not the last two.

The events mostly take place in the Pagoda, a terrific venue in the town, while the Saturday night dinner takes over the Garth Hotel restaurant and the Sunday session will be found in Grantown Golf Club.

Come along and make a weekend of it. It is a truly great festival – Marjorie in the Bookmark and her willing band of volunteers really do a great job in pulling all this together.

 

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.

 

I’ll be heading to Waterstones in Argyle Street for the Glasgow launch of THE JANUS RUN.

I’ll be chatting about the book, writing about a city in which I don’t live, thrillers, mobsters, black ops agents and possibly tap dancing cats with fellow crime writer Neil Broadfoot.

And before you, ask no – I couldn’t get anyone better.

Kidding.

Maybe.

Anyway, it all kicks off at 6.30pm and I hope to see you.

Tickets are free but the store asks that you book, so here’s the link:

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

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

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