Granite Noir Crime Writing Festival
I had an amazing time in Aberdeen at the Second Annual Crime Writing Festival. As one of the few Americans in attendance, I had the opportunity to gain perspective on writing from authors and mystery fans from "across the pond."
Among the highlights were interviews with one of the UK's most popular actor/authors, Hugh Fraser. If you are a fan of PBS's Mystery series, you will undoubtedly recognize Hugh Fraser as Captain Hastings, Hercule Poirot's straight laced sidekick.
In his first novel, Harm, Fraser's protagonist, lesbian contract killer Rina Walker, is about as far from Captain Hasting as one could imagine. He told an amusing story...
Fraser was at a book fair mingling with fans when he was approached by an elderly lady who was quite thrilled by her opportunity to meet the charming and reserved Captain Hastings.
She purchased copy of Harm, and began reading it as she waited at the bus stop. Fraser and another lady attending the book fair watched the elderly woman through a window. She got to about page three and promptly threw the book into a nearby trash can. The woman watching with Fraser was astonished! Why would she do that? Fraser surmised that the lady reached page three where he used the "C" word. His companion considered. "Well, in that case can I buy two copies?" 😏 I guess there are those 50 Shade types, and the non-50 Shades types!
Another highlight, for me, was the Poison High Tea held at His Majesty's Theater. Here, Dr. Kathryn Harkup, chemist and author of A is for Arsenic, treated us to plates of warm scones, pastries and dainty sandwiches. Everything on the menu contained ingredients that could...and did... become lethal in the hands of literary Grand Dame Agatha Christie. Dr. Harkup talked about Christie's favorite poisons, describing how she deployed them, and where she found her inspiration.
Very helpful to me as I pen my next novel in the Ivy Snow Mystery Series "Peril in Paradise!"