Monday 21 May 2018

The Daggers and CrimeFest

I'm back home, briefly, following an action-packed CrimeFest in Bristol. The convention celebrated its tenth anniversary in style, and a large room was packed to the rafters for the panel about our celebratory anthology, Ten Year Stretch. Considering that my fellow panellists included Lee Child, Yrsa Sigurdadottir, Simon Brett, John Harvey, and moderator Donna Moore, that wasn't perhaps surprising, and we had a great time. It was also good to see fellow contributors such as Jeffrey Deaver and Zoe Sharp during the course of the weekend.

I also, as usual, enjoyed moderating the Authors Remembered panel. This time I shared the platform with Sarah Ward, Nick Triplow, John Lawton, Chrissie Poulson and a new friend, Chris Curran. As ever time flew by all too quickly: so many great books to discuss, so little time. Sarah also moderated a splendid panel on "England's Green and Pleasant Land" in which I took part.

A very special highlight for me was the announcement of the CWA Daggers longlists. I'm truly delighted to say that, for the first time, and rather incredibly, I've been nominated for two Daggers in the same year: the CWA Dagger in the Library, and the CWA ALCS Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction (the latter for The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books, which has this year been nominated for four awards, two in the UK, two in the US). It's all rather dizzying, and I'm hugely grateful.

Among many other things, I was delighted to present Peter James with a personal memento recording the award to him (a couple of years ago) of the CWA Diamond Dagger (see him wielding it with great aplomb below!). I also had a highly enjoyable dinner with my publishers, about whom more news before long...All in all, a terrific week-end. The delegates were sorry to hear Adrian Muller announce at the Saturday night banquet that there is some uncertainty about whether CrimeFest will take place next year, but here's hoping...