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Reflections of a working writer and reader



Harrogate Crime Writing Festival

The Harrogate ‘old peculier’ crime writing festival got under way yesterday, when Allan Guthrie‘s novel, Two Way Split was confirmed as the winner of the festival’s Crime Novel of the Year 2007. Allan had gone for a bite to eat and a lot to drink when we arrived for the opening party, so we missed him.

But there were lots of old friends around and microscopic hors d’oeuvres served by (mostly) smiling waitresses kitted out in The Crown’s interpretation of Victorian propriety.

Ann Cleeves and Martin Edwards introduced us to their separate groups of tame Americans, over here for the festival and a couple of other stops. Ann is shepherding her group back to the States on the Queen Mary, while I believe Martin is simply waving goodbye on the dockside.

British parties consist of disparate groups of three or more individuals who form a fortress with their backs to the room, thus forbidding entry to all but the brave. We still managed a few words with Natasha Cooper, Lindsey Davis, Jean Rogers and Roger Cornwell.

We spoke at length about old and new times with Val McDermid and her partner, Kelly Smith of Bloody Brits Press (my American publisher).

And suddenly all but three hours had cruised on by and we were approaching the witching hour. There was just time to catch up with the Donna Moore gang before we were travelling back home through the night.

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