I Fought the Law was the slightly mysterious title of my first Crimefest panel this year. I moderated an appealing group comprising Diane Janes, Frances Brody, Alison Bruce and Dan Waddell. The theme was crime fact and fiction. All four panellists have had their first crime novels published in recent years, but they were all very professional and this made for a lively discussion, even at 9 a.m., which is not my favourite time of the day. The audience was excellent, too
I hadn’t met Dan Waddell before, but found him a splendid panel colleague. He has written a couple of books which make use of his knowledge of genealogy, and oddly enough there was a time (probably about 15 years ago) when I did some research with a view to writing a genealogical mystery myself. But I gave up on the idea, and I have no doubt that Dan is much better suited to it than I would have been.
I was asked to reprise the Forgotten Authors panel, which was popular last year, although with a different group of authors. I’d been on panels previously with Caro Ramsay, Caroline Todd and Suzette Hill, but this was my first encounter with Stan Trollip, who is one half of the South African double act known as Michael Stanley.
We talked about a wide range of authors, ranging from John Buchan to James McClure. Caro amused me with her theory that Desmond Bagley and Duncan Kyle were one and the same person, and it has to be said that their photos do bear an uncanny resemblance to each other. A fun panel, and the only problem was that there was so much to say about the chosen authors that 50 minutes simply was not enough.