Capital Crime 2019

Back in July I chanced to have a conversation with David Headley where he persuaded me although it probably didn’t take a lot of persuasion to come to Capital Crime. Tickets and accommodation booked fast forward to last weekend.

I had the pleasure to attend the inaugural Capital Crime Festival held at the Grand Connaught Rooms. As a crime reader and book collector I knew beforehand that I was going to have a good time, but had’nt realised just how much I was going to enjoy the whole occasion.

Arriving on the Thursday evening having registered and collected my goody bag, I headed off for the new voices award won by Ashley Harrison a worthy winner, plus a chance to meet up with a few authors and have the odd drink.

I had decided to stay in the Kings Cross area for logistical reasons, so an early start on the Friday as I wound my to Holborn Station and the Grand Connaught Rooms for the opening event

This was the event I was most looking forward to as a bit of an Agatha Christie geek, and I was not disappointed, lively and entertaining, I was particularly interested when one of the audience questions was to as which was the panellists favourite book to see if it matched mine, John Curran did, it was then off to

It was interesting to hear about why the authors set their books where they do, as a Scarborian I am now waiting for David Hewson to write the great Bridlington crime novel, Vaseem Khan and Abir Mukherjee I could easily listen to all day.

As a collector it was then off to get some books signed, followed by a quick trip back to my hotel. Back in time for

Two authors sparking of each other enlightening the audience with how a spark can turn into a novel.

By this time although I didn’t want to I thought it best to have some food , returning for the evening

Then off to the bar for a few more drinks, before heading back for a relatively early evening.

Whilst Saturday dawned grim and overcast the days entertainment was going to be anything but. Now whilst I have no interest in writing it was off to

Followed by

Another highly interesting and entertaining panel, with wonderful anecdotes for both the side of the police and the legal side

Another quick break before

Interesting to hear how the actors go about bringing an audio book to life, in the afternoon, we were regaled with some highly amusing and laugh out load stories at

Then onwards to

The final event of the evening was another lively affair

It was then off to the readers awards and one or two more drinks.

So what did I think of the festival, as a first time festival it is only natural to be a little sceptical about how well run will it be what will the atmosphere be like, as a Yorkshire man I don’t mince my words and I can truly say it was one of the best festivals I have attended. Every panel was lively, incite full and entertaining all in the hands of some great moderators. The venue itself was perfect and big thank you must go to the staff all helpful and friendly, one of the unique features of the festival was the ability to walk into a talk halfway through or pop out for a quick beer.

Another huge thank you must go to all those involved in running the festival and all the unsung volunteers all helped to make the two days go seamlessly, to the point that on the Thursday evening I was having a drink on my own at one point, a volunteer came up to have a chat,so welcoming imagine that elsewhere.

Another life saver was the tea and coffee provided by Pan Macmillan that helped get through the days.

Those that know me know that as a collector my favourite bookshop is Goldsboro books so to have the whole team their was a real treat, and i was pleased to say they really looked after my money, although it was unfair to bring some of the books from the shop, they clearly knew I was coming !, they all worked extremely hard especially in changing the books over from the Friday to Saturday authors.

My personal festival highlight was being introduced to Robert Glenister by his daughter,such a nice and charming person I’m not a great one for having my photo taken but this was one opportunity I wasn’t going to waste

I loved the way the book signings were organised, a unique format for any festivals I have attended but such a clever idea.

Another thing that stood out was the whole atmosphere and vibe of the weekend all so friendly and relaxing meeting and talking to people you don’t know and finally meeting some I only knew via Twitter.

Were there any downsides yes the difficult decision to decide which panels to attend, the fact that I could only buy so many books only limited by the fact that i had to get them back on the train, 2 suitcases for 2 days did seem a bit ott, to be honest I’m not to sure how I got them back.

In conclusion you cannot really appreciate the effort and hard work that people put in to make my two days really pleasureable and to making a festival a success, however to all at capital crime, the volunteers, Goldsboro books, the moderators and panellists, but especially to three people Lizzie Curle, Adam Hamdy and David Headley a huge and heartfelt thank you. This reader really appreciates everything

Hopefully we can all return in 2020

Categories 2019 Reviews

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