VJ Books Blog

(rafemcgregor.blogspot.com, Dec 19, 2008)

More news on next year’s CrimeFest (14 – 17 May 2009) from Myles Allfrey and Adrian Muller…

We are beyond chuffed to announce that Michael Connelly will be the International Guest of Honour at the next CRIMEFEST (14-17 May, 2009). His participation completes the Featured Guest Author line-up as he joins Simon Brett from the UK and Hakan Nesser from Sweden.

Meg Gardiner is the Toastmistress at the Gala Dinner, and other highlighted authors are John Harvey, Bill James and Andrew Taylor.

Also confirmed: MC Beaton, Stephen Booth, Gyles Brandreth, Martin Edwards, Paul Johnston, Edward Marston, Brian McGilloway, Zoe Sharp and Yrsa Sigurdardottir.

So treat yourself (and others) to a Christmas present and sign up for CRIMEFEST. We’ll give you a registration reduction of £10 if you do so before the new year. To receive the £10 off, go to REGISTER and use the coupon code christmas (all lower case).


Two publishers are hosting parties that are by invitation only. Who is invited? Anyone who has registered for CRIMEFEST!

On Friday the 15th of May Crème de la Crime is celebrating the publication of Criminal Tendencies, a short story anthology. £1 per copy sold will benefit breast cancer charity The Genesis Appeal. With entries by Featured Guest Author Simon Brett and other luminaries such as Ann Cleeves, Martin Edwards, Sophie Hannah, Reginald Hill, Peter James, Val McDermid and Zoe Sharp and Andrew Taylor lots of money is bound to be raised for this good cause.

Prior to the Gala Dinner on Saturday, May 16th, Constable & Robinson are highlighting their impressive crime list represented by MC Beaton, Featured Guest Author Simon Brett, Alison Bruce, and Bill James. And we are assured that there will be other surprise authors for fans to talk to as well.

All are welcome!


Once again Tours of Discovery/Cumbrian Discoveries, organisers of the Smithsonian’s British ‘Mystery Lovers’ Tour’, are organising a number of pre- and post- convention excursions. All trips will be accompanied by a qualified Blue Badge Guide.

Tuesday, 12th May 2009
Stonehenge, Old Sarum and Salisbury
Travel through five thousand years of history from the prehistoric monument of Stonehenge, a World Heritage site, to the nearby great Iron Age earthwork of Old Sarum which later became the site of a great Norman castle and, finally, Salisbury Cathedral, one of England’s finest examples of gothic architecture.

Wednesday, 13th May 2009
Avebury and Lacock
Visit Avebury, another World Heritage Site and one of Europe’s largest prehistoric stone circles, and Lacock, the country house created out of a medieval abbey (former home of William Henry Fox Talbot, a pioneer of photography) and the village which provided film locations for both Pride and Prejudice and the Harry Potter films.

Thursday, 14th May 2009
Bristol – cruise and walk
This is an excellent way to appreciate the setting of Bristol, to see the SS Great Britain and to learn about the Great Voyages of Discovery and Trade as well as to view the panorama of the city.

Monday, 18th May 2009
A full day tour of nearby Georgian Bath where you will see the very best parts of this magnificent city. Includes a walking tour, a visit to the Assembly Rooms, Roman Baths, and the Royal Crescent.

For more information and to register visit TRIPS/WHAT TO DO.


Have you ever thought about writing a crime novel but are unsure about how to do so? Then CRIMEFEST’s CRIME WRITING WORKSHOP is for you! It consists of an intensive afternoon class; a one-on-one assessment of work by tutors (award winning authors in their own right); an opportunity to quiz Camilla Bolton of the Darley Anderson Agency and the crime editor from a big publishing company; and the option to enter the Crime Writing Association’s Debut Dagger Competition. There is limited availability, so register soon to avoid disappointment! For more information visit CRIME WRITING WORKSHOP.

Have you written a manuscript and are looking for an agent? If so, we are pleased to announce that CRIMEFEST will be hosting a PITCH AN AGENT strand during next year’s convention. Camilla Bolton of the Darley Anderson Agency, Broo Doherty of the Wade & Doherty Literary Agency and David Headley of DHH Literary Agency will be at CRIMEFEST, and aspiring crime writers will have 10 minutes to pitch their manuscripts to these top agents. Consider it speed dating for an agent! As with the workshop there is only limited availability so register while you can.


The third online reading group title is The Death List by award winning crime writer Paul Johnston. After several excellent near-futuristic police procedurals and evocative thrillers set in Greece, Paul has changed gears and locales again and has started a new series featuring crime writer Matt Wells as the lead. The Death List is Matt’s debut. The first 20 people to email us at read@crimefest.com with their postal and email address will receive a free copy of The Death List.

All copies of Meg Gardiner’s China Lake and Hakan Nesser’s Borkmann’s Point, the first and second online reading group titles, have now been sent out. If you did not receive an email indicating that you would be one of the recipients, but you would still like to participate in the discussion, then go to ONLINE READING GROUPS to register. (To buy copies online, please visit Blackwell, the CRIMEFEST bookseller.)


In 2009 CRIMEFEST will again be awarding
– the Sounds of Crime Awards for best abridged and unabridged crime audiobook
– the Last Laugh Award for best humorous crime novel
To find out which titles are eligible visit CRIMEFEST AWARDS.


And finally, if you have already bought yourself, friends and family passes to CRIMEFEST and are still looking for another treat, how about British Crime Writing: An Encyclopedia. This is a substantial, wide-ranging A-Z reference of British crime writing covering the astonishing riches of the whole tradition from classic authors of the Golden Age of British Crime to recent and new, hot names. Key British film and TV adaptations, entries and essays on key themes are also included. It will keep anyone occupied well into the new year!