Bloody Scotland celebrates "Tartan Noir"

 

I've just heard about Bloody Scotland, the first crime writing festival north of the border, sponsored by Mazars, that take place in Stirling on 14–16 September 2012.

A number of leading authors will take part in an event promising a mix of forensics, ebooks, an investigation into the ethics of crime writing, and a debate on themotion, 'This house believes it's time a crime novel won the Man Booker.' 

The festival will also celebrate three important landmarks in Scottish crime writing: the 125th anniversary of the publication of the first Sherlock Holmes story, which will be marked by a special dinner (deerstalkers optional) as well as an unmissable one-off performance of a specially dramatised Holmes story, The Red Headed League, with a colourful cast of 10 leading crime writers; secondly, William McIlvanney discusses the 35th anniversary of 'Laidlaw', generally reckoned to be the start of Tartan Noir; and on the 25th anniversary of the birth of Rebus, Ian Rankin will give the festival's keynote address about the distinctiveness of Scottish crime writing, and its relationship to international crime fiction.

Ann Cleeves, author of the series now dramatised as 'Vera' starring Brenda Bythven on ITV and the Shetland-based Jimmy Perez novels, will address a day of masterclasses and workshops taking place at the University of Stirling. More than 40 other crime writers are taking part , including some of the most famous names in the business: Ian Rankin, Peter James and Val McDermid. 'Gregory's Girl' actor John Gordon Sinclair, whose novel Seventy Times Seven will be published in July, will also be showcased. 

Leading Scottish crime author Val McDermid commented: "If Scotland does go for independence, there's one thing we won't be short of — we've already got more than our fair share of top class crime writers, and plenty of them will be on show at Bloody Scotland.'

Mazars managing partner Peter Jibson explained why the firm got involved: "Today's launch of the festival programme for Bloody Scotland marks the official start to the build-up of what promises to be a groundbreaking literary event. The programme reads like a 'who's who' of the crime writing world and features world-famous names including Ian Rankin, Val McDermid, Chris Brookmyre and William McIlvanney. To have authors of this stature featuring in Scotland's first ever crime literature festival is a huge coup for the organisers and Mazars is delighted to be playing a key role in bringing this festival to fruition.

"Scotland has produced many of the finest crime writers in the world and this event puts Stirling, and Scotland as a whole, on a global stage and provides an opportunity to enhance the Scotland brand by showcasing our outstanding literary talent. "As an international firm with a strong and vibrant presence in Scotland, Mazars is proud to sponsor Bloody Scotland."

I'll be asking Mazars for more insights, but wanted to see if anyone here had any questions they wanted to add. For example, is there any psychological reason why accountants might be attracted to crime novels? And is it time that we saw more forensic accounting and less clinical forensics in crime novels? And what is it with cold, windswept northerly countries and crime fiction. Not only do we have "Tartan Noir", we also have all their Scandinavian rivals to contend with.

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