Mention of Andrew Garve and Cyril Hare naturally leads me to a subject of great personal interest – crime writers who combine their fiction with a day job. To illustrate my other life, you may be amused to read my legal reminiscences as an employment tribunal advocate on the BBC website, or even to watch my less than George Clooney like performance when they filmed me the other week. Or you may conclude you’d rather not know!
Apart from journalists and lawyers, police officers often turn to fictional crime. Maurice Procter was probably the first noteworthy example in the UK, and he has had many successors. Those whose main source of income was not obviously criminal include the man who wrote as George Bellairs, who was a bank manager. (On second thoughts, perhaps we do think of bankers as criminally inclined these days.)
At the CWA Daggers Dinner last year, I had the pleasure of meeting, and sitting next to, Elizabeth Corley, a successful businesswoman. Janet Neel shuttles between high finance and crime writing. Michelle Spring is an academic, and so is Christine Poulson. For as long as one can juggle two careers, it’s a fascinating thing to do.