Yesterday I popped into the Bradford Literature Festival. It is a massive celebration of all kinds of literature, including crime. It is held in Bradford, all across the city. There are just so many events to delight all kinds of reader. I am very impressed to have such a major book event on my doorstep. It is a bookworm’s paradise. Well done, Bradford.
This is a collection of memories, photos and how I met a few lovely authors.
I went to the Secrets of Crime Writing Panel featuring Alex Caan, Vaseem Khan, A. A. Dhand and Abir Mukherjee. They are all best selling authors. Alex Caan wrote Cut To The Bone, which I reviewed and raved about for the blog. A. A. Dhand has the incredibly dark Bradford crime series featuring D. I. Harry Virdee, which I think is exceptional. Vaseem Khan is the author of the Indian Inspector Chopra series. Abir Mukhajee has written historical crime set in the times of the British Raj. A Rising Man being his debut novel.
All of the panelists introduced themselves and their books. I was already very familiar with two of the authors. I met Alex Caan last year at Crimefest 2016. I read his book pretty soon afterwards. I was his first five star reviewer. We never mention that! Hahaha!
I also went out of my way to read A. A. Dhand’s two books. He writes raw, dark gritty crime set in Bradford. Although Dhand was chairing the panel, he spoke a little about his books. He is from Bradford and he knows the city. He is writing about what he knows. It made me laugh, that he is actually annoying some people with his depictions of Bradford.
Alex Caan spoke about Cut to the Bone and his next novel, which should be out next year. I cannot wait to get my hands on that one. He chatted about the research involved and how he thinks crime novels can cover any topic. I agree.
Vaseem Khan has set his books in contemporary India. He lived in India for ten years, so he knows it well. When he lived in India, he randomly saw an elephant in the street. It is that kind of place. It inspired his work. His Inspector Chopra books feature a baby elephant, which is very popular with his fans. His books have been compared to the wonderful No 1 Ladies Detective Agency series. I really must read this series. Luckily, I do have book one in the series! Hooray! After hearing Vaseem talk, I just know I will love it.
Finally this is Abir Mukherjee. His historical crime novels are set about a hundred years ago in India, featuring Captain Sam Wyndham. He was saying that there is a lot of research involved, as you would expect with historical novels. It can be fascinating, like not getting the uniforms wrong. He writes from the perspective of the British there. I was hooked. He sold me on his books. I will be grabbing a copy of A Rising Man asap.
That was just a taste of what they all said. They were GREAT. They made us all laugh! They entertained. No singing was involved. Fabulous crime in Bradford!