The Hay Festival site is starting to accumulate audio recordings for this year.
If you missed Rob Brydon, you can find his interview there. You won't get the benefit of the facial expressions, but the audio should be entertaining enough. Look out for some heckling from the audience - a little on the hostile side - aimed at John Walsh conducting the interview. He simply was not allowed to speak for too long.
Also up there is Jimmy Carter, who had some excellent reporting of his event. Apart from at The Times, which carried a headline earlier this week of "Flooding at Hay Festival leaves Jimmy Carter out in the cold", suggesting he didn't get to speak. Naughty! Could this be to do with competition in the media on sponsoring lifests?
John Mitchinson: Would you like to hear A. A. Gill on organic restaurants?
A. A. Gill: How many of you actually care about organics?
Some hands went up in the audience.
John Mitchinson: Excellent.
A. A. Gill, pointing at the audience: See? The really pasty ones.
Blogging here may be a tad erratic at the moment because I'm blogging on the Hay Festival at the BBC's site:
They had to call the fire brigade for a pump out yesterday because of flooding. It has continued to rain in south east Wales, so I expect to see a lake when I return later today.
More on the Philip Kerr & Tom Rob Smith event to come later, but it was a very jolly event and both authors were delightful, readily agreeing to pics later during the signing. Those who have been impressed with Child 44 will be pleased to know that Tom Rob Smith is working on his second novel and bringing more Leo to your crime fiction world. See below for the pics of the guys in action.
[Link functionality is still absent from the upgraded Typepad; so all links will have to appear in the long form, clunky and ugly state. Apologies.]
This year's - and the 21st - Hay Festival has now kicked off and I make no apologies for this site's diversions into all matters Hay, for a few days.
It's The Guardian Hay Festival and it's also sponsored by Sky Arts. Coverage from both can be found at these sites:
Finally, and of course not overlooking the UK's public service broadcaster, the BBC's mid Wales community site also has some dedicated pages to the festival: http://www.bbc.co.uk/wales/mid/sites/hay/hayfestival.shtml.
was announced today.
At the time of going to press, William Hill were quoting odds of 1/2 for Tom Rob Smith's Child 44.
Joining Tom Rob Smith on the shortlist are Nikita Lalwani for Gifted and John Walsh for Sunday at the Cross Bones.
The prize aims to choose a winning novel
'... which creates a “buzz”, a book with “word of mouth” appeal. In addition, the judges will look for the following qualities:
[Note: no links provided as Typepad has upgraded its "compose" screen and links are not working. In ugly full form, you can find out more about the prize here: http://www.desmondelliottprize.org/.]
Here at It's a Crime! we loved J. F. Englert's first Randolph story A Dog About Town. Now, the second in the series is out and it's called A Dog Among Diplomats, available from Amazon UK here and Amazon US here. (A Dog About Town is available from Amazon UK here and Amazon US here.)
If you'd like to try out the series but still have reservations about a poetry- and Dante-loving sentient black Labrador retriever as a protagonist, here's your chance of a free copy of A Dog Among Diplomats. The author, Mr J. F. Englert kindly sent us a few copies. One was definitely for us - beautifully dedicated to Oscar and I, two were marked (or reserved), leaving one copy up for grabs to the lucky winner. (Mr E is ever so generous.)
When we got a new vet on 2 Jan this year - a 'best practice' if never there was one - Oscar's new vet referred to him as 'anorexic', to which I took immediate offense. He is a slimline Siamese, but he can can control his weight with ease, eating up to three pouches of cat food per day, with what seems like hollow legs.
But I also remember one of Thatcher's thoughts: it was good to have an added half-stone to cover you when ill, as an adult human being. I subscribe to that theory, especially given a New Year's Eve party I went to in my early twenties. Many there, including me, admired one girl's figure. But when the party-food salmonella infestation hit, she was the one who was in hospital for a week or so, on a drip. She had no reserves to call on. But that's an aside.
Oscar does not have reserves and it only takes a day or two, max, for him to look truly anorexic. And this is him now.
The latest Crowner John medieval mystery, The Manor of Death, from Bernard Knight pushes the limits for many of its series characters and for Crowner John in particular. But you'll have to read this tome to get the picture and wonder what might happen to Crowner John in the final of the series; as I believe from exchanges with the esteemed Professor Bernard Knight CBE (again a new web home), there is only one more novel to come after this story, making a total of 13 for the series - or can the dear Prof be persuaded to write yet another one, during his well deserved retirement...
In a nutshell: The Manor of Death opens with the ever-irascible Crowner John called to Axmouth where an unidentified body has been discovered. There, he finds a closed community and some local conflict between officials. The Keeper of the Peace had sent his clerk to notify of the discovery of the body, but on arrival, Crowner John is faced with Edward Northcote, "bailiff to the Prior of Loders, who holds this manor", who snaps at John "...If you are the coroner, then you have had a wasted journey. You were sent for without my knowledge or consent".
John is not a happy man. Bothered by a boil on his backside, and after a long ride, he is quick to assert himself, "If there is a dead body lying here, then I will be the judge of that..." John is always a man of keen instinct and it's no different here. The body had been discovered by a priest seeking to bury his dead dog. The locals would prefer to send off Crowner John with the claim that it is a body washed ashore at the port and later buried secretly. Not so, the young man had been strangled. And so begins a difficult investigation for Crowner John and his team, as well as the start of some life-changing opportunities...