Monday, 30 August 2010

Canapes and Crime

Happy Monday, dear reader. I hope you had as grand a weekend as I did. Micky Flanagan at the Pleasance was hilarious. Since my dad reads this blog I can't possibly tell you what my favourite part of his show was, so you'll just have to take my word for how good he was. The birthday party was great fun and I danced my socks off. The football match was slightly tedious so I ended up counting the cameramen. There are an awful lot of cameramen at a football match. Then it was off to the Edinburgh Book Festival where I met up with the lovely Bookwitch and her daughter. I shall let her tell you all about it.

I then went to a party hosted by the Jenny Brown Literary Agency where I had good fun chatting to Super-Agent Al, Aly Monroe, Russel McLean and Helen Fitzgerald. I also met Doug Johnstone and Rosy Barnes (whose book SADOMASOCHISM FOR ACCOUNTANTS sounds right up my street). Helen is currently working on a young adult crime fiction novel called OOPS I KILLED MY SISTER'S BOYFRIEND. Can't wait.

By the time I got to the party I was absolutely starving. I was just about to tuck into Russel's left arm when a saviour appeared in the form of a small boy holding a tray with little biscuit things with cheese on. I watched him out of the corner of my eye as he negotiated various groups of people, gradually getting closer and closer. Then, just as he was about to reach our group, he veered away. I shot out an arm and stopped him in his tracks. "Oi, what are you doing, going in the other direction? Look at this face. This is a hungry face. If you're bringing food, make sure you come to us first, is that clear?"

The small boy looked shocked but nodded. I think he had understood. "Good," I said, scooping up 24 tiny biscuits smeared with cheese. "Now, run along and fetch another tray."

Bless his heart, he kept us stocked up on nibbles for the rest of the evening. We were always his first port of call when he came out to where we were standing. Then, towards the end of the evening he tapped me on the arm.

"No tray, young man?"

He shook his head. "I have good news and bad news."

"Tell me the bad news."

"There's only one tray of food left, and I'm not allowed to bring it outside. I have to serve it to all the people inside."

"And the good news?"

"I'm getting paid."

"How much?"

He beamed. "Ten pounds."

"It's not enough. Tell them you deserve at least fifteen."

A little later I felt a small presence at my elbow. "I have something important to say," he said.

"I'm all ears, young man."

"I have to tell you that I accept tips."

Needless to say, he got one. Brilliant.

And now, on to the crime fiction news.

The Guardian rounds up literary book tours - including both Ian Rankin and Irvine Welsh in Edinburgh. I can see the appeal of the Oxford Bar and Fleshmarket Close but... Irvine Welsh's drug dens?

And, talking of Ian Rankin, he will be appearing on a panel as part of the Tesco Bank Summer Reads programme on September 2nd in Edinburgh.

And if you like champagne, chips and crime (and, let's face it, who doesn't?) here's a great event in Milngavie on 12th September featuring G J Moffat, Shirley McKay, Caro Ramsay and Len Murray. I would go, but I'm in Berlin.

BBC Radio Scotland will feature Val McDermid in a forthcoming My Life in 5 Books.

Louise Welsh reveals that she is afraid of Tories.

A couple of reviews - firstly Christopher Brookmyre's QUITE UGLY ONE MORNING, Kate Atkinson's STARTED EARLY, TOOK MY DOG, and Irvine Welsh's REHEATED CABBAGE.

And, finally, in the Lothians book crime is, apparently, a big thing. In Clackmannanshire, however, they prefer manhole covers.


  1. He´ll have a great future ahead of him, that boy!

    Running off to Bookwitch ...

  2. Yes, that boy will definitely go far! Deservedly so, too :)

  3. The boy with the canapes was Leo Gordon, son of Maggie McKernan (my agent, co-hosting the party with Jenni). I agree, the lad has charm and a great future ahead of him!

  4. You should have said! We had all manner of half eaten things in our bags.

  5. There must be a moral in there somewhere. Beware small boys carrying trays, they expect tips later. Or "beware Greeks carrying gifts" It may be a trojan horse (not computer generated)

  6. Dorte and Belle - he certainly does! I expect to see him on Dragons' Den very soon.

    Aly - thank you for putting a name to the young entrepreneur.

    Bookwitch - 'half eaten things'...sounds rather cannibalistic...

    Anonymous - (is that you, Dad?) I think anyone bringing me a tray of food deserves a tip.