Chris Brookmyre’s return to Bute

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Celebrated crime writer Chris Brookmyre visited Rothesay Library last week to promote his latest novel.

Chris, born in Glasgow, visited Bute last August as part of the first Bute Noir - a festival for crime writers and fans - as the headline act.

And he was impressed enough by the Brandanes’ passion for the subject that he was pleased to accept an invitation to speak again at last Wednesday’s ‘pop up noir’ event, which sold out quickly.

Chris said: “I had a great time when I was up for the festival last year, which was the first time I had been here for 40 years.

“What I remember about last year was how well attended the festival was.

“You’re never sure when someone organises something like Bute Noir in a small community like this whether there is going to be a culture of going out to events, but the festival was always busy and everyone seemed to have a great time.”

Last year’s Bute Noir, held across a weekend in August, was made up of 11 events held in Rothesay Library, Bute Museum and Print Point in Rothesay.

And this year’s iteration will be bigger, taking place from 4-6 August and comprising 14 events including talks like Chris Brookmyre’s from a range of crime writers.

Chris’ latest novel Want You Gone was released on April 20, and at last week’s event at the library he read two extracts from the book and spoke about his inspiration, the writing process for crime fiction and his brief stint as a stand-up comedian.

His previous novels include Quite Ugly One Morning, A Big Boy Did it and Ran Away, and Dead Girl Walking.

Patricia McArthur, the library supervisor, helped organise Chris Brookmyre’s talk last week and was pleased with the turnout.

She said: “I think it went excellently, and a lot of people came out for it.

“Big names like Chris doing these events is great for the island, and Bute Noir should be a success again this year.”

The first iteration of Bute Noir was the result of a meeting between Karen Latto of Print Point and the author Craig Robertson in 2015.

Karen said: “Basically Craig appeared at Rothesay library and I was selling his books.

“I asked if he thought about doing a crime festival on Bute and he thought it was a great idea so I kept pestering him until he caved in and agreed!

“The festival was pulled together from start to finish in about six weeks, and we sold around 700 tickets.”