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Crime returns to Cromarty

By SPP Reporter

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Professor Sue Black.
Professor Sue Black.

INVERNESS-BORN forensic anthropologist Sue Black will join some of Scotland's most successful practitioners of (fictional) crime, including Ian Rankin and Stuart MacBride at the second Cromarty Crime and Thrillers weekend next month.

Crime fiction has become by far the most popular genre of writing in Scotland today. The list of the top 100 most borrowed books released recently - astonishingly, the entire top 20 are crime novels.

Cromarty will host the second Crime and Thrillers Weekend between 25 and 27 April with leading authotrs Ian Rankin, Ann Cleeves, Lin Anderson, Alex Gray and Stuart McBride.

Ann Cleeves has published nearly 30 novels and in 2006 was the first winner of the prestigious Duncan Lawrie Dagger Award of the Crime Writers’ Association for Raven Black, the first in the Shetland Island Quartet. Lately, Anne’s series of Vera Stanhope novels have been dramatized for TV as Vera. A second series of the BBC's adaption of her Shetland quartet is currently showing on BBC1. As well as panel discussions, Anne will be presenting her talk ‘Vera, Jimmy Perez and me’ and presenting ‘Your place or mine?’ with Stuart MacBride over the weekend.

Lin Anderson isbest known as the creator of forensic scientist Rhona MacLeod. She’s published 8 novels and a novella in the MacLeod series as well as writing two stand-alone novels, a number of screenplays and a book about the making of and the phenomena that is the film Braveheart. Lin is a member and co-founder of Bloody Scotland, a Scottish crime writers’ festival held annually. She is also part of the Femmes Fatales crime writing trio, working with Alanna Knight and Alex Gray.

Lin will present ‘Movies, Jewels and Murder on the Cote d’Azur’ and co-presenting ‘Telling Lies to tell the Truth – How Crime Fiction uses the Real World’ with Ian Rankin and Alex Gray.

Alex Gray has published ten novels featuring Detective Chief Inspector Lorimer and Solomon Brightman, his psychological profiler. She has been awarded the Scottish Association of Writers’ Constable and Pitlochry trophies for her writing and is a co-founder of the Bloody Scotland festival as well as part of the Femmes Fatales trio

Alex will co-present ‘Telling Lies to tell the Truth – How Crime Fiction uses the Real World’ with Ian Rankin and Lin Anderson as well as talking about ‘What is it about the genre that attracts so many readers and writers’ on the Sunday.

, who prefers to be called a write-ist, sets his crime thrillers in Aberdeen and is best known for his character DS Logan McRae. He’s published a number of other novels and is the recipient of the Barry Award for best first novel, the CWA Dagger in the Library Award and the ITV3 Crime Thriller Award for breakthrough author of the year.

Stuart MacBride.
Stuart MacBride.

Stuart McBride

Stuart will talk on ‘Hypocraty’ (crime fiction, neuroscience, his new book, the origins of language, being a writer and why you should never get in a lift with Sam Neill) and, together with Ann Cleeves, present ‘Your place or mine’ at the event.

Ian Rankin is a prolific writer, having published at least 25 novels and a plethora of short stories, some as collections. He co-wrote the play Dark Road which premiered at the Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh last September. His most famous creation is Inspector John Rebus, adapted as a television series starring John Hannah and then Ken Stott. Ian is the recipient of a host of prestigious awards, honorary doctorates and the Order of the British Empire.

Ian will be co-presenting ‘Telling Lies to tell the Truth – How Crime Fiction uses the Real World’ with Lin Anderson and Alex Gray and talking on ‘The Two Secrets of the Successful Crime Writer’.

Professor Sue Black is a leading forensic anthropologist and the director of the Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification at Dundee University. Her forensic expertise has been crucial to a number of high-profile criminal cases, including the conviction of Scotland’s largest paedophile ring in 2009. In 1999 she headed the British Forensic Team’s exhumation of mass graves in Kosovo.

She founded the British Association of Human Identification in 2001, the same year in which she received an OBE for her services to forensic anthropology in Kosovo.

All the authors will take part in a panel discussion and there will be other informal opportunities to meet them over the course of the festival.

For the budding crime-writers, there will be two opportunities to take part in a half-day workshop with a leading writer. 

On the Saturday night, there will be acurry buffet supper and entertainment with The Shee, a very talented all-female band who will be sharing the stage with Shine, another impressive and innovative all-female group in a programme billed ‘Here Come the Girls’!

For information on any aspect of the Crime and Thrillers Weekend, or to book tickets for some or all of the events, contact the Cromarty Arts Trust on 01381 600354 or see the website at http://www.cromartyartstrust.org.uk/crime-and-thrillers.asp

Look out for our interview with author Alex Gray in our papers nearer the time.

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