Portsmouth MysteryFest was meant to take place in March but had to be cancelled due to the horrendous weather which saw train services disrupted, meaning it was impossible for most of the guests, including myself to get there. Due to the heroic efforts of Carol Westron and her team, Colin Telford of the Hayling Island Bookshop and all at Portsmouth Central Library, the event was reorganised and went ahead on 2 June.
The first panel was on the subject of contemporary crime, and panellists were Leigh Russell, Peter Tickler, Jeff Dowson, Christine Hammacott and Judith Cranswick, with Carol as participating moderator. The audience was very engaged with the subject and there was a lively question session at the end.
After a break for tea coffee and cake, there was a talk by Dr Paul Smith and Inspector Colin White on forensic investigation in the real world. There followed four short talks – Gaynor Baker discussed spiritualism in Agatha Christie’s books and stories, Dot Marshall-Gent shared her experiences as a police countable in the 1980s, Peter Tickler told us of the hazards of writing crime fiction in Oxford, and Leigh Russell gave us some insights into the changes and rewards of writing a sucessful series.
After a tea break it was time for the Mystery History panel in which I participated, Carol was our moderator and my fellow authors were Barbara Nadel, Nicola Slate, William Shaw, Jeff Dowson and Leigh Russell.
There was just time for participants to make a last raid on the bookshop before the event drew to a close. I think it was apparent that everyone enjoyed themselves, and are all looking forward to next year!
It is intended (English weather permitting) to run the event on 9 March 2019 in conjunction with Portsmouth BookFest.