Our local crime & mystery writing festival, Granite Noir, starts tonight. I have three events booked, one in person and two as online live streams. I’m still wary of crowds of people. I was not fond of crowds before the pandemic, and the last couple of years have not changed this. The one event I will attend in person is in a small venue just 10 minutes walk away from my home.

The event kicked off earlier today with a talk with Ruth Ware, which I know must have been a highlight of this year’s line up. Kudos to the organisers for getting this set up. In fact, I’m rather impressed by how many events have been sold out, but then I know that the local do love a good “goose-flesher” as Bertie Wooster would call the books.

I missed out on the even I was most keen on – Kathryn Harkup’s Poisoned Cocktail Party. It had sold out in minutes, but this is no surprise. I have been to this event a few years ago and it was brilliant.

So, the events I am going to see this year are:

The Century of Deception

As we grapple today with fake news and digital tricks, we look back and remember we’ve always been vulnerable and manipulation has been with us for many years. In The Century of Deception, magician and historian Ian Keable tells the engrossing stories of these eighteenth-century hoaxes and those who were duped by them. Public hoodwinks including swallowing whole tales of rapping ghosts, a woman who gave birth to rabbits, a levitating Frenchman in a Chinese Temple and outrageous astrological predictions.

Brilliant Women

Three brilliant authors share the stage to talk about their books, how they found their place in crime fiction and their influence in leading the way for women’s voices. Ann Cleeves is the author of over thirty critically acclaimed novels and is translated into as many languages. She is the creator of popular detectives Vera Stanhope and Jimmy Perez from TV’s Vera and Shetland series. She is joint by bestselling authors Lin Anderson and Alex Gray, best known for the Rhona MacLeod forensic scientist and Detective William Lorimer series respectively, and for co-founding the Bloody Scotland Crime Writing Festival.


Mysteries of Life and Death

How do we die and what happens when we do? World-renowned forensic anthropologist Professor Dame Sue Black takes us on a journey of revelation from skull to feet and shows that each part of us has a tale to tell. Professor Andrew Doig’s This Mortal Coil is an entertaining work that looks at how death has changed over the past 10,000 years, and what this can tell us about the way different societies have lived.

There was another event I was interested in, which was a talk by Louise Welsh on her new book, the sequel to The Cutting Room. However, I haven’t read The Cutting Room, yet, so I didn’t want any spoilers. I did enjoy one of Welsh’s other book, tho, which made me interested.

Anyway, I guess it’s time I gave The Cutting Room a try.

Has anyone read it?