Originally started in Philadelphia, by Peter Rozovsky of Detectives Beyond Borders, and with chapters in major cities across America, Noir At The Bar has been working its way slowly southwards in the UK and finally made its Harrogate debut this year. As an informal opener to the festival, a large crowd gathered at Hales Bar, to see and hear some fabulous crime writers reading short stories, and novel extracts in a relaxed, fun and friend filled environment.
Noelle Holten is the name behind the CrimeBookJunkie book blog, as was here beginning her first Harrogate journey.
Ann Bloxwich and LP Mennock, plug their recently release anthology, Happily Never After. A collection of crime short stories written by attendees to Crime & Publishment, the yearly crime-writing workshop held in Gretna Green, the home of British weddings
Penguin publishing sensation, and top Fife farmer James Oswald. Check out his Inspector McClean series.
Graham Smith, the man behind Crime & Publishment and author of Snatched from Home calmly entertains the masses. Stay tuned to Life Of Crime for more information on his upcoming releases.
Louise Mangos proudly showing off her prize, after winning Graham’s book giveaway.
The delightful Russell McClean, smiling because I haven’t had a chance to try and bump him off this year (it’s a long story…)
If these pictures have whet your appetite somewhat, than don’t fret! Noir At The Bar will be back at Harrogate next year. If you can’t wait that long then check out it’s latest UK outing on 7th September, as Noir At The Bar NE showcases at The Town Wall, Pink Lane, Newcastle.
Well that’s 2014 over, and what an amazing year that was!
Of course the highlight for me will always be my now fiancé proposing to me at the end of a panel during this years Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, Harrogate. He couldn’t have chosen a more fitting venue and I will be eternally grateful to the 2014 festival chair Steve Mosby, and the rest of the festival planning committee for helping to make this happen.
Not only that but, I’ve also got the good fortune of being able to re-live the moment whenever I want, as the download of the panel itself (In Space, No One Can Hear You Scream) is available to buy from the festival website and the recording has his proposal (although not my squeaked out answer) on the end of it. That £3 purchase was definitely one of my best of the year!
That was closely followed by appearing with friend and crimesquad.com editor Chris Simmons on this year’s ITV3 Specsavers Crime Thriller Club TV show. Not only did we have two fabulous days out in ‘that London’, meeting new and interesting people, catching up with author friends and laughing with Bradley Walsh, we also WON.
Closer to home it’s been great for me to see this blog really start to increase its traffic (I’m still hoping to break that magic 1,000 followers before the end of the year – sitting at 976 as I write) and getting the opportunity to participate in the blog tours of some brilliant crime reads…
Then of course there were also these fabulous books
Land Of Shadows – Rachel Howzell Hall
I have read several highly accomplished debut novels this year, but this is one that sticks in my mind. Homicide Detective Elouise Norton is someone I’m keen to hear more about. Tough and driven, yet at times insecure. With a fascinating setting on the ever changing border of a gentrifying Los Angeles, it’s a great debut.
The Girl On The Train – Paula Hawkins
“To everyone else in this carriage I must look normal; I’m doing exactly what they do: commuting to work, making appointments, ticking things off lists.
Just goes to show”
Not published until Jan 15th 2015, I am jealous that so many of you have such a fabulous book yet to read and experience. I urge you all to grab it as soon as it comes out, as I guarantee it’s going to cause quite a stir.
Vendetta – Dreda Say Mitchell
In a distinct change of direction to the race against time thriller, Mitchell has produced a gripping read, with cracking characters, storylines and a great deal of style this series could really see her giving Simon Kernick a run for his money.
Dead Men’s Bones – James Oswald
The fourth and latest of Oswald’s books featuring Detective Inspector Tony McLean. With its supernatural twists on the standard police procedural, this is one series that just gets better and better with Dead Men’s Bones proving to be the best yet.
The Killer Next Door – Alex Marwood
Dark, chilling and impeccably plotted, it’s an interesting insight into the secrets that lurk behind closed doors, how little notice we all take of the world around us and asks the question just how well do we ever really know our friends and neighbours?
These few aside there a are plenty more delightful, intriguing and thrilling books out there, and many of those that are currently featuring on an awful lot of top 10 lists this year are staring at me mournfully from my on the verge of collapse to be read pile. I’m looking forward to being able to sit down and catch up with just a few of them over the coming months.
My end of year tally for books read came to a grand total of 123 missing out by more that I would have liked, on beating last years total of 130, so I’ll be going all out to exceed both of these numbers next year.
Here’s looking forward to and wishing you all a fabulous, book filled 2015.
One Kick by Chelsea Cain. After six successful novels with her serial killer / detective duo, Cain is back with a new character and a new direction. Famously kidnapped at age six, Kick captured America’s hearts when she was rescued five years later. Now, twenty-one, she finds herself unexpectedly entangled in a missing child case that will put her talents to the test.
Two is for
Two For The Dough by Janet Evanovich. The second in the now 25 book strong (including between-the-numbers novels) series featuring bounty hunter Stephanie Plum. Madcap capers, romantic entanglements and explosive adventures are packed into every single one.
Missing You by Harlan Coben, master of fast paced novels where the hidden pasts of ordinary people come back to haunt them with a killer twist at the end. Guaranteed thrillers.
N is For
Natural Causes by James Oswald. First of the so far four strong Inspector McLean series, fabulous reads that keep getting better and better. Carefully pictured here with what James calls a Heilan Coo cushion, because when he’s not writing he breeds these handsome cows.
O is For
On What Grounds by Cleo Coyle, if you like a good coffee and your crime a little cosier, head over to this coffee shop mystery series.
Quentin Bates. Author of the Icelandic based novels featuring Officer Gunnhilder. Frozen Out is the first in this series atmospheric, dark and intricately plotted masterpieces.
R is For
Reykjavik Nights by Arnaldur Indridason. Another Icelandic based series, the 10th of Indridasons books to be translated into English sees us going back to the roots of my favourite damaged detective, Erlendur.
1,384 people voted for 636 different authors, resulting in a huge variety of crime writing styles being highlighted this year. I know who I would like to see picking up the award this year. How about you?