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Thursday 5 May 2022

Crimewave Heads to Bristol


 A crimewave is headed to Bristol as the UK’s largest crime fiction convention sees 150 authors head to CrimeFest.

 Hosted at the Mercure Bristol Grand Hotel from 12 to 15 May,
CrimeFest offers a packed programme of 50 panels exploring everything from the Golden Age of the genre typified by Agatha Christie to an examination of the Netflix true crime show, The Staircase.

Featured Guests include the author behind TV hits Vera and Shetland,
Ann Cleeves
; ITV also recently dramatised The Long Call - the first in her Two Rivers series, filmed in part on location in Bristol.

Andrew Child also makes his first UK appearance at CrimeFest since taking over the helm of the phenomenally successful Jack Reacher series, from his brother Lee Child.

 Stalwarts of the genre Robert Goddard will be in conversation with Martin Edwards – both recipients of the highest accolade in crime fiction – the CWA Diamond Dagger.

 The convention, which is sponsored by Specsavers, celebrates the most popular genre in the UK; crime fiction sales across all formats stood at 54m in 2021; a 7% rise on pre-pandemic levels.

Bristol-born Dame Mary Lesley Perkins DBE co-founded the optician chain and is an avid reader.
Dame Mary will attend the CrimeFest gala dinner and awards presentation, which features the CrimeFest Specsavers Debut Crime Novel Award.

The annual CrimeFest awards are now in their 15th year and honour the best crime books released in 2021 in the UK. This year also sees the introduction of the
CrimeFest Award for Best Adapted TV Crime Drama.

Authors from near and far will gather. The Sunday Times bestselling author, C. L. Taylor, who lives in Bristol, has sold nearly two million copies of her books in the UK alone. Flying in from the States is one of the hottest new authors, David Heska Wanbli Weiden. David’s debut Winter Counts was a New York Times Editors’ Choice and winner of the Anthony, Barry, Thriller, Lefty and Macavity Awards for best first novel.

Panellists include CWA Dagger winner Trevor Wood, and Laura Shepherd-Robinson, daughter of Black Adder star Tony Robinson, whose debut Blood & Sugar won the CrimeFest Specsavers Award in 2020.

Almost 400 delegates will attend from across the UK as well as from Australia, Canada, the Cayman Islands, Europe and the United States.

Director and co-founder of CrimeFest, Adrian Muller, said: “We pride ourselves on being open to all authors, which makes it a diverse and democratic celebration of the genre. There’s a friendly and inclusive energy at CrimeFest. Bristol is known for its vibrant, creative and independent spirit, and CrimeFest offers an exciting opportunity for writers and readers alike to meet and mingle.”

Panel topics include the use of humour in crime fiction featuring Helen FitzGerald, whose novel The Cry was adapted into a major BBC drama.

Cathy Ace, whose books are set to hit our TV screens after being optioned by Free@Last TV - behind the hit show Agatha Raisin - moderates a panel on sleuths and Private Eyes.

Exploring the role of social media and technology in fiction is Antony Johnston, the New York Times-bestselling creator of Atomic Blonde, the hit movie based on his graphic novel. The Exphoria Code, the first of his critically-acclaimed Brigitte Sharp cyber-spy novels, is now being developed for TV.

A mock trial puts Netflix The Staircase in the dock, featuring Imran Mahmood, a barrister turned novelist/screenwriter whose smash hit You Don’t Know Me was turned into the BBC1 series, and Steve Cavanagh, a practicing lawyer and internationally award-winning author.

A panel focussing on from Page to Screen is moderated by Kevin Wignall, whose book To Die in Vienna is in production with Jake Gyllenhaal. Joining him is Vera’s Ann Cleeves and Sarah Pinborough, the author behind the Netflix-hit Behind Her Eyes

There is also a panel in remembrance of crime fiction critic Marcel Berlins, with the former Sunday Times Crime Club editor Karen Robinson, Chair of the Crime Writers’ Association Maxim Jakubowski, and leading expert on crime fiction and film, Barry Forshaw.

Other acclaimed authors attending include Holly Watt, Matt Wesolowski, Simon Brett, Michael Ridpath, Vaseem Khan, Ruth Dudley Edwards, Zoë Sharp - the Gala Dinner Toastrix and Guest.

Many authors have lives as fascinating as their fiction. Author Vicki Bradley is a detective in the Met and has worked as on the Serious Organised Crime Command. Dugald Bruce-Lockhart is an actor-turned-writer with 25 years in TV, film and theatre – his debut novel The Lizard is being turned into a global TV series. And Simon Conway is a former British Army officer and international aid worker who cleared landmines, before becoming the author of seven novels.

CrimeFest is at the Mercure Bristol Grand Hotel from 12-15 May, 2022.
For the full list of authors and to book, go to:

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