Over the weekend of 19-21 September, Stirling played host for the third time to a gathering of writers and readers of crime fiction. For three days of (almost) uninterrupted sunshine, the streets, hotels and other venues in and near the city buzzed with people intent on being part of activities centred on crime – but they all stayed within the law.
This was Bloody Scotland 2014.
Alex Gray and Sophie Hannah
On offer was a range of possibilities: a day-long masterclass on crime writing; talks/interviews by over 50 crime authors from near and far; a cinema presentation in the Old Town Hall; A court room drama in Stirling Sheriff Court; Medieval Murder in Stirling Castle and the Deanston Scottish Crime Book of the Year Dinner.
It was difficult to choose from such a list, but I opted for:
MC Beaton chaired by Cat McPherson
The Female in Crime Fiction
Peter May chaired by our own Alanna Knight
Sophie Hannah chaired by our own Alex Gray
Deanston Scottish Crime Book of the Year Dinner, where Peter May’s book Entry Island claimed the prize.
In order to grasp the sheer ambition of the programme, you might want to have a look at the Bloody Scotland website.
Bill (Daly) was there, Myra (Duffy) came for the day on Saturday, and I discovered that Morag (Moffat) had also attended for the weekend, although we missed each other in the crowds.
I enjoyed every minute of my weekend. The talks were splendid and on Saturday evening, I had the good fortune to be sitting beside MC Beaton, who proved to be a lively and entertaining dinner companion.
My plan will be to return next year to Bloody Scotland 2015!