THE LOST AND THE BLIND: “Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. SLAUGHTERS HOUND: “A hardboiled delight.” – Guardian. ABSOLUTE ZERO COOL: “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre.” – Sunday Times. THE BIG O: “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews. EIGHTBALL BOOGIE: “One of the sharpest, wittiest books Ive read for ages.” – Sunday Independent.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Event: The Hodges Figgis Book Festival

I’ve always been very fond of the Hodges Figgis bookstore on Dublin’s Dawson Street, which is currently hosting its own book festival (it runs from September 10th to 19th). The event that caught my eye, and which I’m hoping to get to, is the crime fiction night on Thursday 17th, when John Connolly will host a conversation between some of the most impressive talents of the new wave of Irish crime fiction, said talents being Karen Perry, Jane Casey, Alex Barclay, Liz Nugent and Sinead Crowley.
  It won’t have escaped your notice that, with the exception of the Paul Perry half of the ‘Karen Perry’ writing partnership, all those writers are women. Whether by accident or design, the Hodges Figgis event is certainly a timely one in that it celebrates the fact that female writers are very much to the fore in Irish crime writing these days. There have always been terrific women writers in terms of Irish crime fiction, among them Julie Parsons, Ruth Dudley Edwards, Ingrid Black, Cora Harrison, Erin Hart, Tana French, Niamh O’Connor and Arlene Hunt, but in the last couple of years women have come to dominate the scene, not least in terms of winning the crime fiction prize at the Irish Book Awards (Louise Phillips and Liz Nugent have won the last two awards); and this year alone we’ve seen debuts from Andrea Carter, Jax Miller, Sheena Lambert, Anna Sweeney and Kelly Creighton.
  I don’t have any theory as to why this might be the case (“Wot!?” I hear you gasp – “No theory?”), but if there is any underlying reason(s) for the trend, there’s no better man than John Connolly to winkle it/them out. The event takes place at Hodges Figgis, Dawson Street, Dublin 2, on Thursday 17th September, at 6.30pm. The event is free, and no booking is required.

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