Perfect Crime Writing Festival 2021


Saturday 13th November 2021

9 – 9.45am: Registration

10 – 11am: Murder on the Mersey: Margaret Murphy (moderator), Caz Finlay, David Jackson, Amanda Brooke
Liverpool is a city steeped in culture and history – but it is also a city of stark contrasts, and its dark side has inspired many authors, from literary giants to saga writers. Join us for Murder on the Mersey, where four local (and international!) crime writers, Amanda Brooke, David Jackson, Margaret Murphy (aka Ashley Dyer) and Caz Finlay will discuss the impact of this beautiful and often troubled city on their writing.

11:15 – 12:15pm: Writing in the Margins: Ann Cleeves, Elly Griffiths, Rhiannon Ward (Chair)
Ann Cleeves, Diamond Dagger winner and author of the Vera and Shetland novels, in conversation with Elly Griffiths. Chaired by Rhiannon Ward, these two fabulous writers will discuss the marginal/coastal locations in their crime novels, touching on the importance of nature, isolation and forgotten communities in their writing.

12:15 – 1:00pm: Lunch break

1:00 – 2:00pm: Gritty and Gripping: Mel Sherratt, Heather Burnside, Noelle Holten, Caz Finlay (moderator)
What makes a book unputdownable? What makes a reader keep turning the pages? Gritty and gripping are just some of the words used to describe the novels of these three fantastic authors. Chaired by Caz Finlay, these bestselling authors will discuss just how they put the grit and grip into their thrillers, and what they think keeps their readers coming back for more.

2:15 – 3:15pm: Golden Age Fiction: Sophie Hannah and Martin Edwards
CWA Diamond Dagger winner Martin Edwards is an authority on British crime fiction, awarded the Edgar, Agatha, Macavity, and HRF Keating Awards for his non-fiction book The Golden Age of Murder. He is also follows in the footsteps of Agatha Christie, as current Chair of the Detection Club. Sophie Hannah is a multi-award-winning, international bestselling author of psychological chillers, and a dedicated Agatha Christie fan. For almost forty years after her death, Christie’s family famously rebuffed any suggestion that they might pass the authorial baton to another author yet, to date, Sophie has written four Poirot ‘continuation’ novels, with the Christies’ full blessing. These two clearly have a lot to talk about. And if you like your murder framed in a more elegant era, this is a must-see!

3:15 – 4:00pm: Signings and Social: Your chance to mix with fellow attendees and some of our special author guests, buy the latest crime fiction releases from our authors, and have your books signed.


3:15 – 4:00pm: Crime Writing workshop with David Jackson
Crafting the Killer Pitch: As novelists of commercial fiction, we are in the business of selling ideas – to agents, to publishers and, ultimately, to readers. Our chances of success increase dramatically if we can express those ideas in ways that are brief and snappy and carry a punch that sends our intended audience reeling. In this short workshop David Jackson describes techniques that will help you in devising story pitches that have exactly that tight, powerful focus. (REQUIRES SEPARATE TICKET WHICH CAN BE BOOKED AS AN ADD-ON WHEN YOU BUY YOUR PERFECT CRIME TICKET)

4:00 – 5:00pm: Truth and Lies: Ann Cleeves and Prof James Grieve
What is the truth behind the fiction? Professor James Grieves’s long career in forensic pathology has taken him around the globe and involved a number of high-profile cases. Prof Grieves has also brought the weight of his extensive real-life knowledge and experience to bear on panel discussions between authors and scientists across the UK. So, what does he make of writers’ attempts to bring realism to their fictional crimes? Find out in a fascinating and revealing chat between these two friends.

5:15 -6:15pm: Mind Games: M W Craven, Margaret Murphy, Susanna Beard, Barry Forshaw (moderator)
The psychology of the murderous mind has fascinated readers since Poe’s The Tell-Tale Heart, and crime readers demand psychological depth in contemporary mysteries. But why are we so obsessed with damaged psychologies and the criminal mind? And what is it like to get into the mind of a killer? Barry Forshaw talks to three bestselling authors who really put the psycho into their psychological fiction.

Our book sales room will be open all day, with authors making appearances for book signings.