Monday, 22 August 2011

St Hilda's

The 18th St Hilda's College Crime and Mystery conference was another triumph for organisers Kate Charles and Eileen Roberts, as well as for Natasha Cooper, who chaired the sessions with the unobtrusive excellence as well as efficiency that seem to come so naturally to her.

I was glad to share a platform with Andrew Taylor, who gave a very good talk about Wilkie Collins - my subject was the British lawyer-author, with special focus on Cyril Hare and Michael Gilbert. Among the highlights of a varied programme, Ayo Onatade gave fascinating insight into the world of the courts, while Val McDermid spoke very interestingly about justice, referring to one of her own excellent thrillers, A Place of Execution. What I didn't know was that the book was inspired by a true crime case - which she learned about from our mutual friend, the true crime expert Douglas Wynn.

As ever, there was the chance to meet pleasant people for the first tme as well as to renew old friendships. I was glad, for instance, to have a chat with Marcia Talley, who is in the foreground in the photo. Marcia is an accomplished American author who is a regular attendee at St Hilda's.

It was a real privilege to be invited to take part, and I'm very grateful to Kate and Eileen for all their hard work. After an excellent but very hectic week, I must admit I was pretty exhausted by the time I was driving home. But it was well worth it.


Anonymous said...

Martin - Sounds wonderful! Glad you enjoyed it!

Fiona said...

Interesting to read about the weekend, Martin. I went to my first ever crime festival last year at Reading, and was completely bowled over by Natasha: she chaired a panel so brilliantly that I have difficulty remembering who the panellists were, and yet she wasn't at all obtrusive. For me she was one of two stars of the whole festival (the other being Ann Cleeves).

Martin Edwards said...

Thanks, Margot!
Fiona, glad you agree. She is terrific.

Lucy R. Fisher said...

Go Natasha!

aguja said...

Sit back and chiil out, Martin, now that you have put in all the hard work - however enjoyable.
I will be back commenting at the end of the month.
¡Hasta luego!

Martin Edwards said...

Enjoy your break, Aguja