Praise for Declan Burke: “Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre.” – Sunday Times. “A hardboiled delight.” – Guardian. “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews. “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Crimefest 2013

Caveat emptor, as they say. There were no criminals on the stage, to the best of my knowledge, for the ‘Criminal Mastermind’ quiz on Sunday at Crimefest, and on the evidence produced by the question-and-answer session hosted by Barry Forshaw, there were precious few masterminds either. I took part (I use the phrase in its loosest possible meaning, and thanks to Ali Karim, who took this picture of yours truly about two seconds after I’d heard that Peter Rozovsky had compiled the questions for my ‘specialist subject’) with fellow victims, sorry, authors Peter Guttridge, Susan Moody and Matt Hilton, with my specialist subject being Irish crime fiction. Things went downhill even before the event began, when I learned that my questions had been compiled by Peter Rozovsky, who shall henceforth be known as ‘Et Tu Rozovsky’. I’ll draw a veil over how well (or badly) I fared on my ‘specialist’ subject. Suffice to say that I did not win the ‘Criminal Mastermind’ crown, which went, for the second year, to Peter Guttridge.
  For those of you interested in testing yourself against Et Tu Rozovsky’s questions, he has kindly provided the full list here. I got four right out of eleven questions asked, by the way …
  I was also shortlisted (or co-shortlisted) for two awards during the Crimefest weekend, for SLAUGHTER’S HOUND and – along with John Connolly and Clair Lamb, for BOOKS TO DIE FOR – and was conspicuously unsuccessful there too. Which should be disappointing, but in fact wasn’t – both shortlists were very strong, and you can’t win ’em all. Hearty congratulations, then, to Ruth Dudley Edwards, who won the Goldsboro Last Laugh gong for KILLING THE EMPERORS; and to Barry Forshaw, whose BRITISH CRIME WRITING: AN ENCYCLOPEDIA won the HRF Keating Award for Best Non-Fiction.
  All told, I had an absolute ball at this year’s Crimefest, which seemed to me to be the best to date. Yes, there are panels to attend, and awards to be competed for, but Crimefest is fundamentally about people for me, and I got to spend time with some terrific folk. I won’t list them all, because we’d be here all day, but I would like to say well done and congratulations, yet again, to Miles, Adrian and Donna for a brilliant weekend.
  Roll on Crimefest 2014 …

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