Noirwich 2019 & Ten Autumn Crime Reads

Well, Noirwich 2019 was a blast. It was my first time at this crime festival – now in its 6th year – and it has certainly hit its stride. I was there on the Saturday, as part of a range of panels at the incredible medieval Dragon Hall. It was quite a venue for our ‘Euro Noir’ panel.

Simone Buchholz and Antti Tuomainen were both on top form, and there was *plenty* of interesting discussion and laughter. Although their work shares a very strong noirish feel and humour, there are also some striking differences, which made for rich conversation. For example, Simone writes the ‘Chastity Riley’ series, while Antti focuses on standalones; Simone’s work is rooted in the ‘mean streets’ of Hamburg, while Antti’s novels wander around Finland, from the capital Helsinki to seaside towns and villages in the frozen east.

Both writers acknowledged the influence of Noir writers and filmmakers from Raymond Chandler to Jakob Arjouni and the Coen Brothers, but also felt that after a few books, these were subsumed into their own authorial voices – they had made them their own. And both felt that characters were at the heart of the story rather than the plot, and that placing characters in a quandary or difficult scenario gives narratives their oomph.

You can see how much fun we all had below… It was a very lively panel! And the bilingual readings in German-English and Finnish-English went down a storm.

You’d be forgiven for thinking Simone and Antti are doing a karaoke version of ‘Islands in the Stream’…

Mrs Peabody’s 10 Autumn Crime Reads

These are my most anticipated reads as the nights draw in. Some are recent, some not; some are pure crime, some are cross-genre… All look great!

  1. Laila Lalami, The Other Americans (US)
  2. Stina Jackson, The Silver Road, trans. Susan Beard (Sweden)
  3. Margaret Atwood, The Testaments (Canada)
  4. John le Carré, Agent Running in the Field (UK)
  5. George Pelecanos, The Man Who Came Uptown (US)
  6. Kevin Barry, Night Boat to Tangier (Ireland)
  7. Elif Shafak, 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World (UK/Turkey)
  8. Janet Malcolm, The Journalist and the Murderer (US; non-fiction)
  9. Denise Mina, Conviction (Scotland; Denise was at Noirwich and her session made me want to grab this book.)
  10. Riku Onda, The Aosawa Murders, trans. Alison Watts (cheating; not out until Jan 2020, but hey).

The Silver Road is one of the submissions for the 2020 Petrona Award.

8 thoughts on “Noirwich 2019 & Ten Autumn Crime Reads

  1. It looks and sounds as though you had a lovely time, Mrs. P., and I couldn’t be happier! What a great panel, and some great discussion. Those books look tempting, too (*eyes the Mina, the Atwood, and the Shafak in particular*).

  2. I can’t begin to say how much I’m enjoying “Little Siberia” on your recommendation or how much I’m looking forward to the next Le Carre (and how grateful I am that he’s still on form in his 80s).

  3. Conviction was very good. I’ll look for your reviews as I can’t read all of these tantalizing books. I can’t read Atwood’s book as women’s oppression really upsets me. I saw her on TV last week and she said her books are based on real events that have happened. Yikes! Where? How? Enough restrictions on women’s rights are happening here. At least women have gained some rights in Ireland, but they fought for them and it’s taken years. I have to cheer on my sisters in one of my historic homelands. And I hope that all of you in the national health care system do not lose it. It’s so important and people here are losing coverage or paying huge deductibles and premiums.

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