Wednesday 24 April 2024

In Brighton, talking crime

 I've been in Brighton for a long weekend for the Crime Writers' Association Annual Conference.

 It was a bit disconcerting to be greeted at the station by a very large contingent of police along with three very enthusiastic sniffer dogs. What they were looking for I don't know, but they didn't find it in my bag, I am glad to say. 

I had a really good time. Lots of technical style talks - research techniques, police procedure, courtroom dramas, criminal psychology - I now know more about what makes a serial killer than I did before.

Be afraid ... 

The hotel was big and modern, right on the sea front. 

I had a very nice room but declined to pay for the upgrade for a sea view. Breakfast was spectacular. I adore hotel breakfasts and this was top ten class. Saturday afternoon featured a crime walk - the dark side of Brighton, including historic murders, bodies in trunks and a man who was on the run for seventeen years. I was a bit dubious as my back is still playing me up but I managed most of it before limping back to the hotel for a cup of tea. The gala dinner included the announcement of the long lists for the CWA Awards - the Daggers. It was a pleasant surprise to recognise the names of two Crime Cymru friends who had made the list  - Alis Hawkins in two categories and Matt Johnson in the true crime award, along with my new publishers, Joffe in the crime publisher of the year category. Bets were being taken on what would be served at the dinner - predictably it was chicken. The food was good and the company excellent and afterwards Elly Griffiths - a Brighton local - gave us a whistle stop tour of her local area. I learned things, saw old friends and made a few new ones. The proceeding finished at lunch time on Sunday. As I refuse to travel by train on a Sunday if it can possibly be avoided I stayed on until the following day, doing day-at-the -seaside things - fish and chips, ice-cream, a wander in the Lanes when I heroically avoided the vintage jewelers. 

I took some pictures - the pier, the pavilion. It's a very long time since I was in Brighton. It was very busy and very much a seaside town with lots going on. Last time I was at a CWA Conference - in Torquay - I used the town as one of the locations for the book I was just finishing - Masquerade on the Riviera - which is currently a nominee for the Romantic Thriller of the Year. There are no current plans for a book set in Brighton, but you never know.


  1. Great to hear how you got on in Brighton, Evonne. I'm glad you had a brilliant time. And I share your views on Sunday rail travel!

  2. It very good - and the rail travel on Thursday, when I arrived in London on the way was well up to Sunday travel - an hour late in Paddington. But I have claimed Delay Repay ...