Newsletter Archive

Thursday, 23 November 2023.

Hi all,

It’s been too long since we last contacted you, so welcome to this bumper newsletter.


But first… If you registered to attend CrimeFest 2024, please check you are listed on the Authors & Delegates page. If not, please do contact us and let us know.

If you haven’t registered yet,

(Sorry for shouting, but we want to make sure you beat the price increases! So, buy Tickets now.)


…are – tada – Laura LippmanDenise Mina, and Leader of Toasts, Cathy Ace. Joining these remarkable women, in spirit, is the extraordinary P.D. James as our Ghost of Honour.

Oscar Wilde said, “If it is worth having, it is worth waiting for… That certainly applies to Laura Lippman: having her as a Featured Guest has been a long time coming. As a two time-winner of CrimeFest’s eDunnit Award, for Wilde Lake and Sunburn, she was set to attend in 2019. Then, of course, for most of us, events were put on hold for nearly two years.

So, 2024, is the year where we finally get to welcome the multi-award-winning author of the Tess Monaghan book series, as well as many standalone crime and thriller novels. No doubt she will also be able to tell us about the upcoming Apple TV+ adaptation of Lady in the Lakea novel that Stephen King declared as, “Extraordinary”. The series will star Natalie Portman.

Denise Mina last attended CrimeFest just over ten years ago, and a lot has happened since: An Alex Morrow novel, a new thriller series featuring Anna and Fin, three stand-alone novels, and Denise is the first woman to be asked to write a continuation instalment of Raymond Chandler’s classic PI Philip Marlow books! And that doesn’t count lots of other forays into television and graphic novels. Plenty to talk about then; we can’t wait to welcome her back.

Cathy Ace first attended CrimeFest in 2016, and it has been a pleasure to have the whirlwind of an author attend every year since. So, we’re delighted that Cathy will be the Leader of Toasts at next year’s CrimeFest Gala Awards dinner. The Welsh writer, who now lives in Canada, is best known for her WISE Enquiries Agency and Cait Morgan mysteries. The rights to the latter books have been bought by Free@LastTV, the production company behind the Agatha Raisin television series.

In 2012 the CrimeFest team received a call from P.D. James’ publisher, asking if we might be interested in having her attend our convention… Guess how long it took us to think about that! She couldn’t have been a more graceful guest and, at age 92, enthusiastically participated in all the events we offered her. Ten years since her passing, we will be celebrating her contribution to crime fiction with regular Ghost host Simon Brett, award-winning crime novelist Frances Fyfield, and Peter Kemp, the Sunday Times chief fiction critic. All were good friends of Inspector Adam Dalgliesh creator Lady James of Holland Park.

Of course, apart from the headliners, we also have new faces and much appreciated regulars. Visit the website for a list of all the participating authors who have registered to date.

First introduced in 2022, CrimeFest’s bursary for a crime fiction author of colour returns for a third year. The bursary covers the costs of a weekend pass to the convention, with a night’s accommodation and panel appearance. Previous recipients were Saima Mir and Elizabeth Chakrabarty. To apply, send an email with ‘BURSARY’ in the subject line, and a brief description of what you hope to gain by applying. The deadline to apply is 30 November, so get your skates on!

We’re thankful for the input of Ayo Onatade and Vaseem Khan, who help judge all applications. And to Ayo for her insightful comment on why bursaries are still important today. Read it here: The Bookseller – Comment – Why we need bursaries

In recognition of the high-quality of writing by many self-published authors, CrimeFest annually schedules our Indie Alternative panel. The deadline to be considered as one of our four panellists is 30 November. So, again: skates! For more information visit the Indie Alternative info page.

CrimeFest will shortly be contacting publishers inviting them to submit eligible titles for our CrimeFest Awards:

– Specsavers Award for Best Debut Crime Novel
– eDunnit Award for Best Crime eBook
– Last Laugh Award for Best Humorous Crime Novel
– H.R.F. Keating Award for Best Biography or Critical Book related to Crime Fiction
– Best Crime Novel for Children (aged 8-12)
– Best Crime Novel for Young Adults (aged 12-16
– Thalia Proctor Memorial Award for Best Adapted TV Crime Drama

There is no cost attached to entries being submitting, shortlisted, or winning, so, if you are an author, check the eligibility guidelines, and urge your publisher to enter your book(s).

This award is named after Thalia Proctor, a much-loved and valued member of the CrimeFest team and the crime writing community.

The winning drama is voted by you. We have been scouring the Radio Times for eligible entries and, though there are still several weeks to go before the end of the year, we’re asking any Goggle-boxers out there to let us know if you think we have missed any.

To be eligible, the programme has to be based on a book (commercially published in the UK at any time), and screened on television for the first time in 2023. Please see the page with entries identified so far, and let us know if we missed any, (or whether we got any of them wrong).

To thank you, we will do a random draw of all the emails we receive and send the winner a crime drama DVD boxset. (Please note that, unless it is region free, the discs are likely to only play on European – region 2 – players.) The deadline to do so is 15 December.

And, back by popular demand, see further down for some news items about crime dramas that will make their way to your screen(s) soon.

Baffled by what to buy the crime fiction lover in your life this Christmas? Have no fear, CrimeFest’s Seasonal Gift Store is here, with some killer buys: T-shirts, refillable bottles, mugs, key rings, coasters, and copies of Ten Year Stretch, CrimeFest’s 10th anniversary anthology.

Of course, the greatest gift of all would be to buy your nearest and dearest (which obviously includes you) a registration to CrimeFest 2024! Buy Tickets now and, if it is for someone other than yourself, we can send you a gift certificate.

Oh, and another gift you might consider is the latest novel by CrimeFest co-host, Donna Moore. Yes, our amazing programmer is also an award-winning author! Following Go to Helena Handbasket and Old Dogs, comes The Unpicking. Spanning three generations of women who take on systemic corruption and injustice, the new novel takes on a darker tone than its predecessors, and comes – of course – highly recommended!

Slow Horses, winner of this year’s Thalia Proctor Award, returns for season 3 on Apple TV+ on 29 November. Gary Oldman, who plays Mick Herron’s Jackson Lamb, has indicated that he would be very happy and honoured and privileged to go out as Jackson Lamb — and then hang it up.” Fortunately, he’s contracted for at least one more season after this one!

Close runner-up for the same award was the rollicking Reacher, which also returns as a binge worthy seasonal treat. Tune into Amazon Prime on 15 December for the adaptation of Bad Luck and Trouble, number eleven in the book series. So far it is not known which title will be the basis for the third season, though Reacher star Alan Ritchie is known to be partial to Die Trying and The Hard Way.

Also coming to Amazon is Kay Scarpetta, based on the hugely popular series by Patricia Cornwell. Nicole Kidman plays the forensic expert. No news on who will play Kay’s niece, but Jamie Lee Curtis has been confirmed as Lucy’s mother.

The BBC’s Christie for Christmas is Murder Is Easy. It may not feature any of The Queen of Crime’s famous sleuths, but the cast includes David Johnsson, Douglas Henshaw, Penelope Wilton and Tamzin Outhwaite.

Following Death in Paradise, created and novelised by CrimeFest regular Robert Thorogood, and Beyond Paradise comes another spin-off: Return to Paradise. Following Caribbean and West Country settings, the latter will be set in Australia. No news on casting yet, but Ralph Little and Kris Marshall return for Christmas specials.

A further Robert Thorogood creation making it to your screen soon is the adaptation of The Marlow Murder Club, the first instalment of his books featuring an unlikely collection of women who band together to solve crimes. Former Miss Moneypenny Samantha Bond heads the cast.

That’s it for now. Is it too early to say, Season’s Greetings?

Adrian & Donna,
CrimeFest organisers.