Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Why you should be at Crimefest 2015

I always enjoy Crimefest in Bristol, England, not least for its stellar lineup of guest authors.  P.D. James appeared there. So have Bill James, Peter James, and Dan James. 

Maj Sjöwall
I met that affable superstar of Scottish crime writing, William McIlvanney, at Crimefest, and I heard Declan Hughes sing country and western to a fellow author at the hotel bar. (As a singer, Hughes is a damn good author and playwright.) It was Frederick Forsyth's entertaining and informative presentation at Crimefest 2012 that finally got me to read his classic Day of the Jackal.

Your humble blogkeeper
with the great Bill James,
author of the Harpur & Iles
novels, at Crimefest 2010
But this year's special guest is as special as any guest at any crime festival anywhere. Maj Sjöwall wrote the classic Martin Beck series of crime novels with Per Wahlöö, and she'll be at Crimfest 2015 to be interviewed by Lee Child and to present the Petrona Award for best Scandinavian crime novel.

Your humble blogkeeper (right) explains things
to William McIlvanney at Crimefest 2013
Sjöwall and Wahlöö blazed a number of crime fiction trails (or at least were there at the very start), among them those of social criticism, a multiplayer cast of detectives, and elevation of the investigator's personal life to importance comparable with that of the mysteries he or she investigates. Their ten Beck novels, from 1965's Roseanna to The Terrorists in 1975, were among the first to examine a society critically as well as tell a crime story, and authors to this day cite them as influences.  

The best photo ever of Ali Karim
(right), with Peter Guttridge at
Crimefest 2013. Photo by
your humble blogkeeper.
So this is big, a chance to hear and meet one of crime fiction's modern greats, and I'll be there, May 14-17 in Bristol. (The award  Maj Sjöwall will present is named for the blog maintained by the late Maxine Clarke, a longtime reviewer and supporter of crime fiction. She posted the first ever comment here at Detectives Beyond Borders, back in September 2006.)

© Peter Rozovsky 2015

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Blogger Dana King said...

I've reached a state with air travel where anyplace I can't comfortably drive to needs a compelling reason for me to go there. This conference has been on my radar for a few years now, so, if I ever feel the urge to leave the country for a bit, this is most likely were I'll end up.

April 09, 2015  
Blogger Unknown said...

Alas . . . no money, no passport, no time, and an aversion to airplanes (i.e., too many gut-wrenching military airlifts in the past) . . . I shall have to enjoy the vicarious experience, and I look forward to your excellent reports and photos.

April 09, 2015  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Dana: You and I can take a train to England when someone builds the first trans-Atlantic rail tunnel or bridge. Air travel, at least American style, is the worst. Air travel, American style, is one reason I took the train for my recent trip to and from Montreal.

Bristol is a fine city, and Great Britain is small enough that you can reasonably take the train anywhere in England or Scotland (or a ferry to Ireland) if you want to take a wee dram with Declan Burke.

April 09, 2015  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

R.T., having written what I just said to Dana, I will say that I have never found a commercial flight similar to a military airlift. A mildly more comfortable and perhaps slightly more dignified form of steerage, yes, but military airlift? No.

Bristol is a lovely city for wandering around before, after, and in off-hours during the conference: a college green, a fine Gothic cathedral, good things to do on the quay. It seems to have been well up on the trend of redeveloping old industrial areas.

April 09, 2015  
Anonymous Oscar de Muriel said...

Nice post Peter! Can't wait now. It will be my first ever Crimefest so really looking forward to it.

April 21, 2015  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

It will be my fifth, and all have been good fun. I look forward to our paths crossing. Will you take part in any panels?

April 21, 2015  
Anonymous Oscar de Muriel said...

Yes. I will be in two. The Fresh Blood panel on Friday and "Things that go Bump" on Saturday. Hope to see you either there or at the bar!

May 06, 2015  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I will see you at some or all.

May 06, 2015  

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