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Saturday, 27 February 2016

Watching The Detectives


Have you ever thought about what an author of murder stories might look like? Will they resemble someone who enjoys killing people?

I think most people know what Agatha Christie looks like from photos and films about her. From what I've remember, she looks like your favourite old aunt. But one that has bumped an awful lot of people off with her pen!

So I wondered what I was letting myself in for when I went to my local library this afternoon, to listen to thriller writer Stephen Booth. He was giving a public talk about his life and work. Will he be waiting to pounce on us as we went through the door, waving a pick axe about. Blood splattered on the walls?

Well no, he actually looked quite normal. Someone with a kind face. Stephen spoke for well over an hour about his early life in Lancashire and his interest in books. Even though there was only three in the house. He even managed to write a novel when he was 12 years old. He also answered questions from the audience of about 40 people, who sat glued to every word.

Once he had finished his degree at university, Stephen got a job as a journalist on a local newspaper, where he got to know the local police. This gave him the spark to start writing properly, and completed his first murder story, set in the Derbyshire Peak District in 1999. It featured two young detectives called Cooper & Fry, and was entitled 'Black Dog'. He's just about to have his 16th novel published, which also features the dynamic duo.

I must admit, I have never read one of Stephen's books, or even heard of Cooper & Fry before. I will though, especially now, as the stories may be televised in a new series that is presently going through the development stage.

There was an opportunity at the end of the talk for his fans to buy any novels that they didn't have, get them signed and personally chat to him.