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Wednesday 28 June 2023

CrimeFest Conference 2023: Thursday 11 May


Bristol, 11-14 May 2023
There were 49 events over the four days
these are a few of my favourites
by Lizzie Sirett
Photographs courtesy of Gary Stratmann

 Thursday 17:00-17:50. Authors Remembered

L-R: Martin Edwards, David Beckler, Chris Curran, Pter Guttridge and
John Lawton

David Beckler writes the Sterling & Mason and Antonia Conti series, pacy thrillers with character and a social conscience.  His most recent book is A Nuclear Reaction which is set in a dystopian London. He talked on 

Friedrich Durrenmatt  (1921-1990)
who was a Swiss author and dramatist. He was a proponent of epic theatre whose plays reflected the recent experiences of World War II. The politically active author gained fame largely due to his avant-garde dramas, philosophically deep crime novels, and often macabre satire.

Chris Curran is a huge fan of Daphne Du Maurier, Barbara Vine and Patricia Highsmith, Chris writes dark psychological suspense. Her latest novel, When the Lights Go Out, is set in the atmospheric Forest of Dean. She presented to us

Vera Caspary aka Sergei Marinoff (1899-1987)
an American writer. whose best known novel was
Laura, which was made into a seuccessful movie. Her novels revolved  around women who are menaced, but who turn out to be neither victimized nor rescued damsels.                          

Martin Edwards is the author of 21 novels, including the Lake District Mysteries and the Rachel Savernake books, and also an acclaimed history of crime fiction, The Life of Crime. He received the CWA Diamond Dagger for the sustained excellence of his work. Martin spoke about Scottish author

Margot Bennett. (1912-1980)
She worked first as a copywriter in the UK and Australia and then as a nurse during the Spanish Civil War before turning to writing. Her output in crime fiction was relatively small, yet successful. She won the CWA Gold Dagger in 1958 with Someone From the Past.

Peter Guttridge has written 18 crime novels and was the mystery reviewer for The Observer newspaper for many years.  He has a two book deal for mystery thrillers about 18th century smugglers in Sussex and Kent, the first of which will be published at the end of 2023. He chose to talk about

Donald Hamilton (1916-2006).
American western, mystery and espionage writer, whose best know character was Matt Helm, a professional assassin working for a secret government agency. Helm, code named Eric, was a much more ruthless agent than his British colleague, Ian Fleming's James Bond.

John Lawton lives in a hilltop village in the Derbyshire Pennines. His latest novel Moscow Exile, is book 5 in the Joe Wilderness series, published 4 May 2023  by Grove Press. John spoke on

Stanley Ellin. (1916-1986)
who was born in Brooklyn, New York. He became a
full-time writer in 1946 and was made a Grand Master of the Mystery Writers of America in 1980.


As I was hosting a ‘newbie’ panel at the quiz which began at 8 pm, I had arranged  to eat at Giuseppe’s at 6pm. Accompanied by John Sirett, Mike Ripley, Zoe Sharp and Christopher Huang, we made our way there. The food is great. It is in fact the oldest Italian Restaurant in Bristol, and I heartily recommend it.

As in previous years the quiz master was Peter Guttridge author of the mystery series featuring journalist Nick Madrid and more recently the Brighton Mysteries.


Photo  Left -
Dolores Gordon-Smith and 
Mike Linane

Below -
Lizzie, John Sirett
Felix Francis

On the left the triumphant winners of the Quiz.
Martin Edwards, that font of all crime fiction knowledge with Dolores Gordon-Smith.
 Below diving into the prize are:
Mike Ripley,
Christopher Wang
and Zoe Sharp and far right Alison Bruce.

A good time was had by all and then we headed for the bar.
Photo on the right Lizzie Sirett with
Andrew Child, Aka Andrew Grant.

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