#CrimeFiction Event Alert: Second ‘First Monday’ coming up on 9th May at City University, London

After the stonking success of the sell-out first ‘First Monday’ crime fiction event in April the second event in the series is approaching. But, don’t be fooled, the May event is actually being held on the second Monday – 9th May – to avoid the bank holiday!

If you’ve not heard of it before, First Monday is a monthly crime fiction/thriller night held in Central London. It’s a mix between a social evening and a literary festival panel – with the panel event happening first, from 6.30pm in the College Building at City University (off St John Street, near Angel tube) and the social element taking place from 8pmish in a nearby pub.

Great for readers, writers and industry types, first Monday is an informal get together for like-minded folks to meet up, talk crime fiction, and have a few drinks! There’s a small charge for the panel part of the event – £5 which includes a glass of wine compliments of Goldsboro Books. Goldsboro Books also sell books by the authors at the event, and after the panel there’s plenty of time for signing.

Brought to you by the creative minds of the fab foursome David Headley, Harry Illingworth, Katherine Armstrong and William Ryan, along with new recruit Ella Bowman, this series of events is already set to become one of the must-attend monthly events in crime writing.

Line ups announced so far are:

Monday 9th May – Christopher Fowler, William Shaw, Jack Grimwood, and Sarah Hilary with chair: Jake Kerridge

Monday 6th June – Peter James, Sharon Bolton, Mark Hardie, and Chris Morgan Jones with chair: James Kidd

With a capacity of 110, tickets sell out fast, so to find out more and book your ticket go to www.goldsborobooks.com/events

Follow First Monday on Facebook at www.facebook.com/FirstMondayCrime/

And on Twitter @1stMondayCrime #1stMondayCrime

When CTG Went To … the Fabulous First @1stMondayCrime – the new must-attend monthly #crimefiction night


This week I went along to the first in a fabulous new series of crime fiction/thriller events: First Monday.

Held on the first Monday of each month, this new monthly crime fiction/thriller night is held in Central London at City University. It’s a mix between a social evening and a festival-style panel, offering readers, writers and industry professionals a place to meet, enjoy each other’s company and hear about the latest and most interesting crime fiction around.

At the first event, chair Barry Forshaw (author of Brit Noir) questioned crime writers Elly Griffiths (The Woman In Blue), Amanda Jennings (In Her Wake), Mary Paulson-Ellis (The Other Mrs Walker) and Leye Adenle (Easy Motion Tourist). It was a great evening with a lively and entertaining panel, accompanied by wine and cupcakes (compliments of Goldsboro Books and Orenda Books) and some fantastic goodie bags (from Orenda Books). There was a signing afterwards with all the author’s books available to be purchased from Goldsboro Books.

The First Monday events begin at 6.30pm and are held in the College Building of City University on St John Street (close to Angel Tube station). Each event includes a panel discussion chaired by, amongst others, Barry Forshaw (Brit Noir etc), Jake Kerridge (Telegraph) and James Kidd (Independent). Upcoming authors include, Christopher Fowler (May 9th), Peter James (June 6th), Sophie Hannah and Belinda Bauer, as well as a host of established and debut authors from all over the world. After the panels, the conversation spills over to a local bar.

Organised brilliantly by David Headley and Harry Illingworth (Goldsboro books), Katherine Armstrong (Little, Brown) and William Ryan (author of The Holy Thief and lecturer on the City University Crime Thriller MA course), First Monday is also supported by The Crime Writers Association, City University’s Crime Thriller MA Programme, The International Thriller Writers and Goldsboro Books. It’s a friendly, fun and informative evening and one that I really recommend you try to get along to if you’re a fan of crime fiction and thrillers.

There’s a small entry charge (£5), which includes a glass of wine.

The next First Monday is on May 9th: Christopher Fowler, William Shaw and Jack Grimwood, chaired by Jake Kerridge. It’s going to be fantastic, so book your ticket soon – the April event sold out in no time!

For more information and to book tickets: www/goldsborobooks.com/events

And be sure to follow First Monday on Facebook: www.facebook.com/FirstMondayCrime/ and Twitter @1stMondayCrime


CTG Reviews: Writing Crime Fiction – A 60-minute Masterclass by William Ryan and M R Hall


What the blurb says: “Everybody loves a good, juicy murder. So it’s little wonder that crime fiction is the UK’s, if not the world’s bestselling literary genre. In the first of their three 60 Minute Masterclasses, Writing Crime Fiction: An Introduction, acclaimed novelists William Ryan and M.R. Hall give an intensive and entertaining overview of the essentials of the craft.

Fast-paced, clear and accessible, Ryan and Hall distil their years of experience into a definitive guide that will show you how to turn your idea for a story into a page-turning and commercial novel. Written for beginners and experienced writers alike, the authors introduce the essential elements of a compelling story: plot, character, setting and theme, as well as advice on securing the all-important publishing deal.”

So you want to write a crime novel and you’re looking for advice?

Well, who better to guide you through the process than crime writers William Ryan – author of The Holy Thief, The Twelfth Department, and The Bloody Meadow – http://www.william-ryan.com @WilliamRyan_ on Twitter, and M R Hall – author of The Flight, The Coroner, and The Burning – www.m-r-hall.com  @MRHall_books on Twitter; both fabulous crime writers and experienced tutors of the Guardian writing masterclasses.

Structured in a step-by-step sequence helpful to prompt your thinking about each aspect of the crime novel you want to write, Ryan and Hall share their expertise and pose thought-provoking questions to help guide you through the choices you’ll need to make.

In clear, concise chapters this information-packed guide covers: what makes a crime novel; research, points of view, character creation – central and subsidiary, the dramatic world, structure and plotting, writing a novel, and how to be commercial.

With examples from classic and contemporary crime novels, this is an accessible, informative and entertaining read – perfect for reading cover-to-cover, or dipping into as and when you need some help.

So whether you’re revving up to writing a crime novel or you’ve already started and are wrestling with a work-in-progress, Ryan and Hall’s Writing Crime Fiction Masterclass is a book that you really shouldn’t be doing without.

Highly recommended.


You can buy the book from Amazon by clicking on the book cover below:


And, if you’d like to learn direct from William Ryan, check out this fabulous Guardian writing workshop http://www.theguardian.com/guardian-masterclasses/2015/aug/27/how-to-research-and-write-historical-fiction-william-ryan-writing-course



[with thanks to William Ryan and M R Hall for my copy of Writing Crime Fiction: a 60-minute Masterclass]


Event Alert: Get Writing! conference – Saturday 29th March 2014

Get Writing

If you’re writing a crime novel (or any genre of novel, in fact) then the annual Get Writing! conference organised by Verulam Writers Circle is well worth a visit. Taking place this year on Saturday 29th March at the University of Hertfordshire at their de Havilland Campus, there’s a jam-packed schedule aimed at everyone with an interest in writing.

The day is packed with talks, panels and practical workshops on all aspects of the creative process from idea to publication.

There’s also the chance to fast-pitch to agents and editors, or have a longer facetime session with them to discuss your work.

Workshops of special interest to aspiring crime writers are:

M R Hall (best selling crime thriller writer of many books including The Coroner, The Flight) and William Ryan (critically acclaimed author of the Captain Korolev crime series including The Holy Thief, and most recently The Twelfth Department) will be running a workshop on Constructing Character and Plot. [I attended a workshop run by them at Goldsboro Books last year – it was fantastic: practical, thought-provoking and lots of fun!]

Screenwriter and thriller writer Max Kinnings (author of fast-paced thrillers Baptism and, in 2014, Sacrifice) is running a workshop on How Studying Screenwriting can make you a Better Novelist, showing how he uses the script development model to shape a novel.

Also, there’s The Crime Panel with M R Hall, William Ryan, Max Kinnings, and fabulous thriller writer Emlyn Rees (author of action packed thrillers including Hunted, and dark psychological thrillers including That Summer He Died). And the Get Writing organisers are going to let me chair the panel!

To find out more about what promises to be a fantastic event hop on over to the Get Writing website …

Website: http://getwritingday.verulamwriterscircle.org.uk/

Event Alert: Iceland Noir Festival of Crime Fiction

Iceland Noir Poster

Iceland Noir Poster

Fancy a weekend away?

Love crime fiction?

If the answer to both those questions is YES then this is the perfect event for you: the first Iceland Noir Festival of Crime Fiction is taking place from the 21st – 24th November in Reykjavik, Iceland.

As well as a stellar line-up of fabulous crime writers appearing in the interviews and panels including Zoe Sharp, Quentin Bates, Ragnar Jonasson and Nick Quantrill, there’s a special screening of Ann Cleeves’ Shetland TV series pilot, a crime writing workshop hosted by author William Ryan, and the chance to go on a whole bunch of tours to some of the stunningly beautiful Icelandic locations nearby including whale watching trips and a hunt for the Northern Lights.

It sounds amazing.

For more information, pop over to the Iceland Noir website at www.icelandnoir.com 

The Twelfth Department by William Ryan

The Twelfth Department

The Twelfth Department

What the blurb says: “Mosco, 1937. Captain Korolev, a police investigator, is enjoying a long-overdue visit from his young son Yuri when an eminent scientist is shot dead within sight of the Kremlin. Korolev is ordered to find the killer.

But when another scientist is brutally murdered, and evidence of the professors’ dark experiments is hastily removed, Korolev begins to realise that he’s caught in a dangerous battle between two warring factions of the NKVD. And then Yuri goes missing …”

The Twelfth Department is the third in William Ryan’s Captain Korolev series set in 1930s Russia. His previous novels in the series, The Holy Thief and The Bloody Meadow have between them been shortlisted for a range of fabulous awards including the Theakstones Crime Novel of the Year, the CWA New Blood Dagger, the Irish Fiction Award and the Ireland AM Irish Crime Novel of the Year.

The Twelfth Department is a stunning read. On every page of this novel you feel the undercurrent of tension and horror, a situation made commonplace by Stalin’s Great Terror. Yet despite living in a city caught in the vice-grip of fear, Captain Korolev is a loyal and honourable man, seeking out justice and truth, and determined to do the right thing even if that puts him in danger.

The story feels so authentic, the setting and period detail so vivid, and the story drives forward with a sense of urgency born from the very real jeopardy that the characters find themselves in. I found myself so drawn into the story – the lives of the characters and the world in which they lived – that it was a real struggle to put the book down when I had to go to work (or sleep).

While the novel is part of an ongoing series it works well as a stand alone story in its own right. A must for fans of the police procedural and historical crime fiction, and for anyone looking for a gripping mystery and emotive story that will keep you hooked to the very last page.

Highly recommended.


[With thanks to MANTLE for my copy of The Twelfth Department]


Book Launch of The Twelfth Department by William Ryan

The Twelfth Department

The Twelfth Department

I was thrilled to be invited to the launch of author William Ryan’s new novel The Twelfth Department. The event was held on Tuesday at the gorgeous bookstore Goldsboro Books by invitation of Pan Macmillan and Goldsboro Books. It was a fabulous evening.

The Twelfth Department is the third novel in William Ryan’s Captain Korolev series set in 1930s Russia.

I’ll be posting a full review shortly, but to whet your appetite here’s the blurb: When an eminent scientist is shot dead within sight of the Kremlin, police investigator Captain Korolev is ordered to find the killer. But when another scientist is murdered, and evidence of the professors’ dark experiments is hastily removed, Korolev realises that he’s caught in a dangerous battle  between two warring factions of the NKVD. Then his young son Yuri goes missing … 

The Twelfth Department is published by MANTLE today, 23rd May 2013.

Watch this space for my review …