01 January 2001

Radio & Event Crime Log: Hove, Payment

Hove Book Festival

That Saharan sand is blowing across the country right now, making itself very unwelcome inside your lungs. One way to ensure you get some fresh air is to get yourself to the seaside.

It just so happens that the good people of Hove have started their own own book festival, which takes place this weekend. As part of the festival – which features talks on how to get published and write for TV, and all sorts – they’ve invited Elly Griffiths to discuss how to write bestselling crime series.

If you’re hanging around this blog, it sounds like something you’d possibly like to know. Elly is, of course, the creator of a series of bestelling books about crime-fighting archaeologist Ruth Galloway, so she knows what she’s talking about.

Elly Griffiths

The latest Ruth Galloway book, the sixth, is called The Outcast Dead. It’s about Ruth’s investigation of a Victorian murderer, and offers another piece in the jigsaw of the complex leading character. Elly’s Ruth Galloway series of book is currently in development with the BBC. And I do believe we’ll be reviewing The Outcast Dead here soon.

So, anyway, Elly will be discussing how she created the character of Ruth Galloway and subsequently developed the books—and about how you can do the same.

The How To Write A Bestselling Series With Elly Griffiths session starts at 1pm on Saturday at the Hove Centre. The £4 ticket sounds a right bargain.

And if, by any chance, you see that miserable wretch George Harvey Bone aimlessly wandering the landscape, do send him home. His cat is very lonely.

I understand that the overwhelming majority of you, living hither and thither, will possibly not be able to make that event on the south coast. Don’t beat yourself up about it. It just so happens that BBC Radio 4 is broadcasting a new series that afternoon that may be of some interest to you.

As a novelist, CS Forester is famous for the Horatio Hornblower series, his rumbustious novels of naval conflict. But early in his career, Cecil Scott wrote three psychological crime novels that were quietly ground-breaking.

We mentioned George Harvey Bone earlier. Forester’s crime novels, known as his London Noir trilogy, were similar to Patrick Hamilton’s work in that they focused on submerged suburban lives in which small, weak people commit desperate acts.

Now BBC Radio 4 is dramatising the three of them on subsequent Saturday afternoons. The first, Payment Deferred, is this week at 2.30pm on BBC Radio 4.

Originally published in 1926, it’s about a bank clerk living in south London with his wife and two children, who’s desperately worried about money and is in grave danger of losing his house and job. An unexpected visit by a young relative with an inheritance tempts him to commit a heinous crime.

Payment Deferred is followed by Plain Murder, written in 1930, and The Pursued. That last book was written in 1935, but then the manuscript was lost for over 70 years!

Photo credit: Jerry Bauer