Alibis in the Archive: Timetable

Alibis in the Archive: Timetable

An overview of the draft programme for Alibis in the Archive, Friday 8th - Sunday 10th June. Please note timings may change.

Time Chapel Glynne Room
Friday, 8th June
6pm - 7.30pm Registration
6.45pm - 8pm Dinner (in Food for Thought)
8pm - 9.30pm

Ann Cleeves's Shetland & MURDER MYSTERY - Martin Edwards

A short talk about Ann Cleeves’s fiction and her TV success, followed by Ann’s 'Bannock and Blood' murder mystery event with prizes! Presented by Martin Edwards.

Saturday, 9th June
9am Registration


Introduction to the Archive

9.30am - 10.15am

A Crime in Rhyme - Simon Brett

A one-man show in which Simon Brett skewers all the clichés of the Golden Age Whodunit. A terrible crime has been committed at Cranfield Towers, during a weekend house party, whose guests all seem to have guilty secrets in their pasts. The local constabulary are summoned to solve the mystery, but fortunately there is also on hand a polymathic amateur sleuth, along with his chauffeur sidekick. The investigation is full of twists and turns, but eventually the perpetrator is unmasked and, in the comforting, reassuring manner of Golden Age Whodunits, sent to the gallows.

10.15am - 11am

Underneath the Glitter: The Dark Origins of Golden Age Crime Fiction - Andrew Taylor

This event will look at some real-life murder cases and discuss how they helped to create the climate which enabled British crime fiction to flourish between the Wars. In particular, Andrew will deal with two cases that were distantly connected to his own family (the Moat Farm Murder of 1899 and the 1921 murder of Irene Wilkins) and discuss the impact on some of his own novels.

11am Coffee
11.30am - 12.15pm

Collecting Crime Fiction  - Martin Edwards

Crime fiction has fascinated collectors for many years. First editions of the Sherlock Holmes books, among many others, sell for vast sums, and memorabilia connected with the genre also attracts collectors all around the world. But collecting needn’t cost a fortune  - there is, for instance, a very active trade in “green Penguin” detective stories, and even societies dedicating to collecting that series and the work of various other authors. Martin Edwards will discuss with Andrew Taylor the appeal of collecting crime fiction – which often involves plenty of amateur detective work. Delegates will be able to examine a range of rare and usual books from Martin’s own collection, including several books with suitably mysterious inscriptions.

12.15pm - 1pm

Hidden in Plain Sight: Derbyshire Crime Fiction - Sarah Ward

Derbyshire has a fascinating history as a location in crime novels. From J Sheridan Le Fanu to Val McDermid, writers have drawn inspiration from the county. Sarah Ward, whose own books are set in the Peak District, explores how the diverse landscape of Derbyshire has produced memorable crime fiction.

1pm - 2.15pm Lunch (in Food for Thought)
2.15pm - 3pm

Making Fun of Death and Political Correctness - Ruth Dudley Edwards

Ruth Dudley Edwards explains how she recovers from writing seriously about politics, revolution and terrorism by writing satirical crime novels. A firm believer in learning to laugh at everything and a dedicated opponent of fashionable opinions, she will talk about how she chooses her subjects, why she so loves the crime-writing world and its inhabitants, and why she’s never met a fan of her crime novels that she did not like.    

3pm - 3.45pm

Medieval Murder, Mayhem and Magic! - Writing Historical Crime - Michael Jecks

Michael Jecks, the author of 40 historical novels, will talk about life as a modern crime writer who chooses to write about the past. What are the challenges of researching, plotting and writing medieval murder stories, but also what are the benefits of setting crimes in the past? Hear Michael talk about picking the period, finding the characters, choosing the novel’s theme, and trying to avoid the pitfalls, such as how far a horse can travel, where did the roads lead, and where to go for inspiration.

3.45pm - 4.15pm Tea
4.15pm - 5pm

The March of the Medical Policeman - Professor James Grieve

Professor James Grieve draws on his lifetime expertise in Forensic Pathology. The March of the Medical Policeman will involve musings on murder and mythology through the millennium and review some old cases.

5.15pm - 6pm

Meet the Crime Writers

A panel event. Didn’t get the chance to ask your question earlier in the day, or thought of another since then? Ask our panel of writers now!

6.45pm Dinner (in Food for Thought)

Social Time

Sunday 10th June
9.30am - 10.15am

The Female of the Species - Jessica Mann

During the “Golden Age”, crime writing was one of the few categories (creative or otherwise) in which women could compete as equals with men. In 1981 when Jessica Mann’s study of women’s crime writing, 'Deadlier than the Male' was published, the detective novels of D. L. Sayers, Agatha Christie, Margery Allingham and Ngaio Marsh were still popular and in print while nearly all their male competitors had dwindled into obscurity. 'Deadlier than the Male' can now be seen, in a way, as a historical document, because in crime writing, as in everything else, the distinctions between what men do and what women do are disappearing. In discussing the women crime writers of the “Golden Age” and before, Jessica will also consider whether their success had anything to do with the fact that they lived in a world in which there were no equal rights for women – not even for the Grandes Dames of Detective Fiction.

10.15am - 11am

The British Crime Writing Archives - Martin Edwards

The British Crime Writing Archives, inaugurated at Gladstone’s Library last year, continues to grow and attract interest from crime researches worldwide. Martin Edwards, archivist of the CWA and the Detection Club, will tell the story of the archives’ development, and plans for the future, in conversation with colleagues from the CWA and Detection Club.

11am Coffee
11.30am - 12.15pm

From Past to Present - Peter Lovesey

Peter Lovesey, CWA Diamond Dagger winner and 2018 Mystery Writers of America Grand Master, shares highlights of his outstanding career, starting as an award-winning writer of historical mysteries, and now as an acclaimed author of cutting-edge contemporary crime fiction.