Celebrate Crime Writing at Noirwich
Thursday 12 - Sunday 15 September
In just three weeks’ time our city will play host to the sixth instalment of its annual literary festival dedicated to crime writing: Noirwich, co-created by the National Centre for Writing and UEA. The largest of its kind in the region it draws a host of incredible crime writers from across the genre.
We’re thrilled to be hosting one of the opening events here at Jarrold on 12th September, an evening with the creator of the glorious Grantchester Mysteries, James Runcie (see below for my review of his latest). Jarrold will also be at Dragon Hall on the 14th and 15th September with a pop-up bookstall for the weekend’s events.
Here are just a handful of new crime books and authors I’d recommend, all featuring at Noirwich festival – I’ve tried to resist saying this but it really is going to be criminally good!
Jarrold price £12.99
A seductive and unsettling debut suspense novel with a local flavour that opens on the grey, concrete campus of UEA in Norwich. First year student Jess arrives at university dazzled by her maverick tutor Lorna Clay, whose specialist subject is Agatha Christie – the perfect backdrop for what turns into Jess’s own mystery. With inevitable (and not unwelcome) echoes of Donna Tartt’s The Secret History, the plot takes a dark turn as Jess’s new friends share secrets, lovers and finally a tragedy.
Kate Weinberg will appear on the First Offenders panel as part of Noirwich: Saturday 14th September, 10.30am, National Centre for Writing, Dragon Hall
The Road to Grantchester
Jarrold price £12.99
Since ITV aired their adaptation of Runcie’s glorious Grantchester Mysteries, it’s impossible not to picture James Norton as hero Sidney Chambers, a vicar with a side-line in sleuthing. The Road to Grantchester is the tenderly written prequel to the Grantchester crime series, revealing how the young Sidney Chambers first began leading his double life. Dealing with his life in post-war London, it is evocative and atmospheric, reminding us our own fallibility.
James Runcie will be in conversation about the Grantchester Mysteries as part of Noirwich, Thursday 12th September, 6.30pm, The Pantry, Jarrold
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The Family Upstairs
Jarrold price £10.99
On my to-read pile, Lisa Jewell’s brand new ‘domestic noir’ novel comes dripping with praise from fellow crime writers Ian Rankin, Elly Griffiths, Sarah Pinborough and many more. A horrifying but compulsive premise: a baby is alone in her cot upstairs in a London house, well fed and clothed. Downstairs three corpses have been decomposing for several days. Who has been looking after the baby? And what happened to the dead? I think I’m a little scared to find out!
Lisa Jewell will appear on The Next Twist panel as part of Noirwich: Saturday 14th September, midday, National Centre for Writing, Dragon Hall
Jarrold price £11.99
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A heady mix of a ghost story and a psychological thriller, Louise Doughty’s new novel – just out – is not for the fainthearted. The story opens on Platform Seven of a deserted train station where a man is about to commit suicide. Watching him is Lisa Evans, who realises she knows him, but can’t stop him from his fate… because she too is dead. What unravels is Lisa’s story, her experience of a coercive, abusive relationship and her connection to this man. The most chilling thing of all? That it’s all too easy to imagine this really happening.
Louise Doughty will be in conversation about Platform Seven as part of Noirwich: Saturday 14th September, 2pm, National Centre for Writing, Dragon Hall
Bad Day at the Vulture Club: A Baby Ganesh Agency investigation
Jarrold price £13.99
Vaseem Khan’s latest instalment of the fantastically charming Baby Ganesh Agency series, set in Mumbai and featuring Inspector Chopra, forced into early retirement from the police but determined to continue pursuing justice. His life and work is complicated by the dilemma of taking care of a baby elephant, sent to him by an enigmatic uncle. Classed as ‘cosy crime’, this is the perfect series of those who like their crime a little more low key, peppered with witty subplots. And if you like this, there are six others in the series to get stuck into!
Vaseem Khan will appear on the Scandal in the City panel as part of Noirwich: Saturday 14th September, 3.30pm, National Centre for Writing, Dragon Hall
The Confessions of Frannie Langton
Jarrold price £8.99
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Set in 1826 in London, Frannie Langton stands trial for the murder of her employers, Mr and Mrs Benham. The story then dives back in time as Frannie describes how she came from a planation in Jamaica and on to the complex position she found herself occupying in the Benham household. Her fevered narration is gripping and for anyone who likes their crime fiction with a historical flavour this comes highly recommended. The big question is, did Frannie murder the only person she ever loved?
Sara Collins will appear on the First Offenders panel as part of Noirwich: Saturday 14th September, 10.30am, National Centre for Writing, Dragon Hall
Prices and availability checked Thursday 22 August 2019.