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Crime and music

For some reason – and it’s probably coincidence, though I’d like to think it’s the birth of a trend! – we’ve been to two events in the last two weeks which brought together crime fiction and music.

This week’s was the launch of The Myth of Justice, the second book from Red Squirrel Press’s Crime imprint. The author, Graham Pears, retired from the Northumbria Police force with the rank of Chief Superintendent, and perhaps this helped persuade Northumbrian Piper David Bailey (who is Piper to the Chief Constable of Northumbria Police, as well as to the Lord Mayor of Newcastle upon Tyne) to provide some musical interludes for the event. It was clear from Graham Pears’ lively reading that his 33 years in the force had helped him to write his book, in his humorous and believable depictions of the working life of a police station if not in the life of crime itself!

Last week we had been at another event which brought together a crime writer and a musician: Ann Cleeves and fiddle virtuoso Chris Stout got together to bring a touch of Shetland to Gateshead, in an event which Ann describes in her diary.

This wasn’t strictly a launch, but an overview of Ann’s quartet of mysteries illustrating the four seasons in Shetland – but she did give us a preview, the first ever reading from the fourth book of the series, which will not be published until next February. Ann read the opening passage, which describes a very bumpy flight in to Fair Isle; "That’s exactly what it’s like," confirmed Chris. "You can see it on YouTube, one of my band made a video of it!"

Two very different and very enjoyable events: here’s hoping it’s not a coincidence but a trend, and that there are more collaborations ahead!

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