Crime writing festival is no longer on trial

One of the Bute Noir 2018 events with Abir Mukherjee, Chris Brookmyre, Helen Fitzgerald and Luca Veste discussing what to put in Room 101.
One of the Bute Noir 2018 events with Abir Mukherjee, Chris Brookmyre, Helen Fitzgerald and Luca Veste discussing what to put in Room 101.

The third Bute Noir crime writing festival has been deemed a success, bringing top authors as well as more visitors to the island.

The festival, the brainchild of the crime writer, Craig Robertson and Karen Latto of the Print Point, offers crime writing to suit all tastes. This year’s event sold 1100 tickets and featured 13 writers.

Bute Noir 2018 launch event, author line-up.

Bute Noir 2018 launch event, author line-up.

Rothesay Library, Bute Museum and the Print Point hosted writers including Chris Brookmyre, James Oswald, Sarah Hilary and Mari Hannah, who took part in events over the three days of Bute Noir including straight forward interviews, debates, workshops, walking tours and fun events including A Question of Court and Room 101.

‘From Screen to Page to Screen’ with Helen Fitzgerald and Alexandra Sokoloff gave a different slant on crime writing. Graeme Macrae Burnett accepted his trophy for winning the Brookmyre Cup.

Alanna Knight MBE, Myra Duffy and Anna Smith joined Craig Robertson, Denzil Meyrick, James Oswald and Alex Gray in a varied series of events. Themes included why writers set novels on Bute, the experience of being a journalist before becoming a crime writer and the detective’s perspective in crime novels.

A team of volunteers helped put the growing festival together this year, including Craig Robertson, Karen Latto, Anne Speirs of Bute Museum, and Patricia MacArthur of Rothesay Library.

Craig Robertson commented: “The weekend went even better than we could have hoped. Authors and readers loved it, and it didn’t rain!

“Several of the writers attending for the first time said they’d had the best and the friendliest audiences they’ve ever had at a book festival.

“I’m already getting heavy hints from writers about returning next year.

“Planning is underway and some very big names in the crime fiction world have already signed up. It promises to be very exciting.”

The event was sponsored by Creative Scotland, Live Argyll, For Bute, Bute Island Foods, Ian Ranking Plumbing, Cal Mac Ferries and Guildford Square Co-Op.