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UK Crime Book Club Event in Leeds

Monday, June 12, 2023

 On the 3rd of June I went to Leeds with my friend Sarah for a UK Crime Book Club event. I had seen it on Elly Griffiths' twitter, because she was appearing at the event, and asked Sarah to go. This was way back in January! Tickets were £20 and we were both looking forward to it. Sarah picked me up and we drove to Leeds and parked in The Light. It was a bit difficult because the satnav took us to the wrong side of The Light, but I managed to turn us round and get us to where we needed to be. We walked to the Carriageworks Theatre and got signed in and everything. It was a good building because it's all accessible and it was really clear where we needed to be.

The first panel was all Yorkshire crime writers, so that was good. Sarah and I both really likr crime novels and we heard of about twenty to add to our lists in this panel, by the panellists themselves and ones they suggested! It was great to hear stories from two ex police officers and about how that influences their writing. And it was nice to hear about why and where they've set their books in Yorkshire. I need to pick some of those books up! The next panel was in a different room and it was called "The Evil Within", but it didn't focus very much on that which was a bit of a shame, but the three panellists were really funny and engaging. One of them was really young (a rarity in crime writing, I think!) and his books feature counter terrorism and stuff like that, so I would like to give those a go! 

Then it was lunchtime and Sarah very nicely went to Greggs to pick something up for both of us. We sat in the square in the sunshine which was completely glorious! We went back in and headed to the next panel which was "Women in Crime". That was a very funny panel, but I will say that I really wish that people would use microphones when they're available. There was a lot of background noise coming from the bottom of the theatre and it was distracting. People think they can speak loudly enough and they really can't! 

We went back to the second room where some signings were happening. I had bought three books in the morning, and picked up a couple more. I had also taken three of Elly's books to sign that have come out since last time I met her, which was in November 2018! The headline panel was next, which was Elly, William Shaw, and Lesley Thomson. I've read a couple of William's books and enjoyed them. I haven't read any of Lesley's but it was one I had bought. This panel was brilliant - they're all friends which made for a really funny panel full of inside information and stuff like that. It was an excellent ending to the day. 

We headed back to the bar area to get our books signed and had great conversations with Elly, William, and Lesley. I had worn my Bruce Springsteen t shirt especially for Elly as I know she's a fan (and so is Ruth Galloway in her books!). Sarah was thrilled to meet Elly too. The event was definitely worth £20 and I would go again.

We then walked back to The Light and had tea in Prezzo. I had burrata and tomato and pesto salad to start with and then a lovely mushroom and vegetable calzone. It was nice to go there! We got back to my house about 7pm I think and I had a little lie down. Lee was out at a gig so I could just relax for the evening. 

The Yorkshire writers panel

The next one in the smaller room. I would estimate there were about sixty people there

Sitting in the square eating lunch

Women in Crime panel, with the organiser Caz on the left hand side

Lesley, Elly, and William in their panel

Elly and me afterwards

And Elly and Sarah!

Me and Sarah in Prezzo

And my delicious food!

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