Like reading Thackeray edited by Elmore Leonard

Cromarty Crimes & Thrillers Weekend


Last weekend April 12-14 I attended the Cromarty Arts Trusts’ Crime & Thrillers weekend at Cromarty, Scotland.  It was an absolutely excellent event.  Cromarty is a beautiful little town on the very end of the Black Isle.  I am particularly fortunate because I live less than an hours' drive away and so was able to end my Friday afternoon’s work with the drive around this beautiful coastline.  The added pleasure on this occasion was a perfect spring evening.  The sea was blue, the sun was bright and the water shimmered as if it were the Mediterranean.  

We began our evening with an excellent dinner at the Royal Hotel, Cromarty with a wide choice of delicious food.  During the entire evening a small cast of local people put on a 'specially written for the occasion' murder/mystery play.  The acting was sufficiently good that I was never aware of anything but enjoying myself.  There appeared to be no hiccups just a few quick and funny ad-libs that had the dining room rocking with laughter (about 55 diners).  

We did not finish until close to midnight when finally the dramatic solution was disclosed.  Thus began our literary weekend.

I was given accommodation at the Royal Hotel with a beautiful room overlooking the sea.  Other writers at the conference were Val McDermid, Ian Rankin and David Hewson.  We had a two hour session in the morning and another in the afternoon which I think all went well.

On Sunday we had further sessions all together.  When discussion became lively, funny and for me, very entertaining in the friendliest of spirits.

I have met some extremely interesting people.  Seen more of one of the loveliest towns in northern Scotland and I think, learned a little and found some new ideas.  This was the first such crime weekend at Cromarty and on the beautiful sunny drive home hoping that this becomes an annual event.  They deserve to succeed.

Thank you to all those who organised it and to the Royal Hotel for the most charming hospitality.