The CSI Effect: Kate Bendelow talks about forensics and how you can join the next Crime Fiction Masterclass

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Today Kate Bendelow, who is a servicing CSI and teaches the sections on forensics and pathology in the hugely popular Crime Fiction Masterclass, is taking the reins here at the CTG blog to talk about the CSI effect…

“As a serving crime scene investigator of 16 years, I have experienced a lot of issues brought on by the CSI effect. When I first started with the police I was employed as a SOCO (scenes of crime officer) and still refer to myself as such. The unfortunate introduction of ‘that’ awful American programme, led instrumentally to us being rebranded as CSIs as this became the acronym the public began to recognise. As a result, I have been asked at scenes why I am using the wrong torch, (it wasn’t like the ones the actors use on the telly) and why I wasn’t considering searching for traces of fibre at a burglary scene (useless without a suspect’s clothing to compare to and the cost implication of comparison would not be in the public’s interest). Whist frustrating enough in the day-to-day, its worrying that such misconceptions may influence a jury.

By providing writers of page and screen with advice on procedure and highlighting the most popular misconceptions, it gives them the opportunity to write with accuracy and authenticity. In turn, I hope this addresses the misconceptions brought on by the CSI effect and stops people like me throwing things at the television when I see things like detectives trampling through a crimes scene without so much as a pair of nitrile gloves on. I also like sharing anecdotes and talking about office culture to give people an insight into what my job is really like. From the tedious and mundane to the shocking, disturbing and downright hilarious.”

Want to learn more? Here’s how…

The acclaimed Crime Fiction Masterclass is coming to Cambridge! Whether you are a crime writer or just a fan, this is for you.

After a number of successful stints for The Guardian, as well as events in Manchester, Brighton, Swanwick Writers’ Summer School, Morecambe & Vice and the Harrogate International Crime Fiction Festival, four experts in their fields bring their unrivalled knowledge and experience to Cambridge.

Featuring bestselling author and tutor Erin Kelly, ex-senior detective, bestselling author and adviser to Peter James, Graham Bartlett, serving CSI and author of The Real CSI, Kate Bendelow, and bestselling author and practising criminal lawyer Neil White, the day-long masterclass will give you the inside track on how murders are really solved to vastly improve your crime writing.

The masterclass will inform, entertain and inspire you. Book direct at https://crimefictionmasterclasscambridge.eventbrite.co.uk

 

CTG does THRILLERFEST!

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I’m super excited to be attending ITW THRILLERFEST in New York for the very first time this week!

Watch out for lots of Thrillerfest related tweets in my twitter feed and, if you’re at Thrillerfest, do come along to the Thriller Award Nominees panel – HARDCOVER, PAPERBACK OR E-BOOK? – at 8am on Friday, where I’ll be answering Panel Master Anthony Franze’s questions alongside Christine Bell, Walt Gregg, Jeff Gunhus, Sheena Kamal, Alan McDermott & Rysa Walker.

I’ll also be at the ITW THRILLER AWARDS on Saturday night as DEEP DOWN DEAD (Lori Anderson book one) is a nominee for the Best First Novel award – so wish me luck!

Thrillerfest runs from 10 – 14 July and the whole schedule looks amazing with 2018 ThrillerMaster George R.R. Martin, 2018 Silver Bullet Award recipient James Rollins, 2017 ThrillerMaster Lee Child, 2017 Silver Bullet Award recipient Lisa Gardner, and 2018 Spotlight Guest Megan Abbott, and MANY more authors

 Hop over to the Thrillerfest website to find out more: http://thrillerfest.com

Submit your questions for #MyLittlePodcast and you could #win a copy of my new book @TrapezeBooks

 

True Crime Addict?

Aspiring crime writer?

Love reading crime fiction?

In a few weeks I’ll be hosting a series of podcasts talking all things crime fiction and looking into the facts behind the fiction with a bunch of experts including online behaviour specialist academic Dr Chris Carter, former MET police officer, Rob, the best selling crime writer Angela Clarke and fabulous blogger and reviewer Emma Mitchell.

We’re almost ready to go – but first we need YOUR questions!

So fill out the form using the link below, and if your question is picked you’ll be in with a chance to win a copy of my new book MY LITTLE EYE.

Submit your questions for the  podcast now at:

MLE FINAL

THREE GREAT NEW CRIME BOOKS: IT’S #CRIMEOCLOCK! WITH SUSI HOLLIDAY, CORRIE JACKSON AND JENNY BLACKHURST

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Fantastic crime novel alert! Out in paperback today are three fantastic new crime thrillers from Susi Holliday, Corrie Jackson and Jenny Blackhurst.

To celebrate, Susi, Corrie and Jenny are doing a live Twitter Q&A today – Thursday 16th November – from 6pm to 7pm – you can ask them anything using the hashtag #crimeoclock

And, in addition, you can win all three books by taking part in the giveaway on my Stephanie Marland Facebook page. Just like my page and let me know in the comments when you prefer to read – what time of day is crime o’clock for you? Click HERE to follow a link to the competition.

Here’s some more about the books and their authors:

THE DEATHS OF DECEMBER by SUSI HOLLIDAY

Here’s the blurb: “It looks like a regular advent calendar. Until DC Becky Greene starts opening doors… and discovers a crime scene behind almost every one. The police hope it’s a prank. Because if it isn’t, a murderer has just surfaced – someone who’s been killing for twenty years. But why now? And why has he sent it to this police station? As the country relaxes into festive cheer, Greene and DS Eddie Carmine must race against time to catch the killer. Because there are four doors left, and four murders will fill them… It’s shaping up to be a deadly little Christmas.”

Three fun facts about Susi Holliday:

What was your favourite snack while writing this book? Chocolate oranges (that’s a fruit, right?)

What’s your favourite drink to celebrate on publication night? Prosecco (with a blood-dripping raspberry in it)

Describe your book in three words: Dark Christmassy murders.

THE PERFECT VICTIM by CORRIE JACKSON

Here’s the blurb: “Charlie and Emily Swift are the Instagram-perfect couple: gorgeous, successful and in love. But then Charlie is named as the prime suspect in a gruesome murder and Emily’s world falls apart. Desperate for answers, she turns to Charlie’s troubled best friend, London Herald journalist, Sophie Kent. Sophie knows police have the wrong man – she trusts Charlie with her life. Then Charlie flees. Sophie puts her reputation on the line to clear his name. But as she’s drawn deeper into Charlie and Emily’s unraveling marriage, she realizes that there is nothing perfect about the Swifts. As she begins to question Charlie’s innocence, something happens that blows the investigation – and their friendship – apart. Now Sophie isn’t just fighting for justice, she’s fighting for her life.”

Three fun facts about Corrie Jackson:

What was your favourite snack while writing this book? Lindt chocolate balls (don’t ask – I started writing it eight weeks after my daughter was born. I needed an incentive)

What’s your favourite drink to celebrate on publication night? Gin, preferably via intravenous drip

Describe your book in three words: Pants-wettingly creepy (I know that’s officially two. And that ‘wettingly’ isn’t a real world but JUST READ THE BOOK)

THE FOSTER CHILD by JENNY BLACKHURST

What the blurb says: “When child psychologist Imogen Reid takes on the case of 11-year-old Ellie Atkinson, she refuses to listen to warnings that the girl is dangerous. Ellie was the only survivor of a fire that killed her family, Imogen is convinced she’s just a sad and angry child struggling to cope with her loss. But Ellie’s foster parents and teachers are starting to fear her. When she gets upset, bad things seem to happen. And as Imogen gets closer to Ellie, she may be putting herself in danger…”

Three fun facts about Jenny Blackhurst:

What was your favourite snack while writing this book? Mature cheddar and caramelized onion chutney toasties

What’s your favourite drink to celebrate on publication night? Hot chocolate and marshmallows (yes, I am that rock n roll)

Describe your book in three words: Chilling, evil, disturbing

To find out more about these three brilliant new releases, link on the book titles below to check them out on Amazon:

THE DEATHS OF DECEMBER

THE PERFECT VICTIM

THE FOSTER CHILD

CTG’s Confessions from Bouchercon 2017: Toronto “Passport to Murder”

 

For the last six days the Bouchercon festival hotel – the glorious Sheraton Toronto – has been my home. It’s been a whirlwind of a week starting with a visit to Niagara Falls and ending with the launch of Scottish crime writer Gordon Brown’s latest thriller – Falling Too.

I’ve met some fantastic people, fought jet lag and hangovers, and eaten a lot of veggie burgers. Here are some of my highlights:

  1. Niagara Falls with the lovely Karin Salvalaggio and Jacques Filippi. If you get the chance to go definitely take the Maid of the Mist tour – you get very wet but it’s so worth it.
  2. Speed Dating breakfast – partnering up with the lovely Margaret Mizushima and meeting over 150 readers in two hours over breakfast. It was an early start (7.30am!!) but so worth it.
  3. Debut breakfast – another 7.30am start but again very worth it to meet all the other debut authors and readers (plus getting to eat the best lemon and poppyseed bread ever!).
  4. Talking about how I mess with Lori on the ‘My Poor Puppet’ panel with fab moderator Prof Dean Jobb, and awesome crime writers Steve Burrows, Blake Crouch, Karen Dionne, and Matthew Fitzsimmons.
  5. Being one of the debut authors on the ‘New Kids in Town’ panel with the dynamic Eric Beetner as moderator and fellow debuts Matt Goldmann, Kristen Lepionka, Jennifer Soosar, and Mary Torjussen.
  6. Hanging out in Quinn’s Bar with fellow UK crime writers William Shaw, Mark Billingham, Mark Edwards, and Guy Bolton.
  7. Dinner at Little Anthony’s with Team Orenda.
  8. Grabbing coffee and cookies with the brilliant NYC blogger Abby Crime by the Book.
  9. The whole Bouchercon vibe.
  10. Celebrating Gordon Brown’s latest book – Falling Too – in Quinn’s.

CTG HITS THE ROAD: STEPH BROADRIBB TALKS DEEP DOWN DEAD (AND MORE!)

 

I’m thrilled to have been invited to speak on panels at a whole bunch of fabulous crime writing events and festivals this year. While some of the details are still being finalised, I thought I’d give you a heads up on where I’ll be heading between now and May.

Hopefully see you there …

 

6 FEBRUARY at 6.30pm – FIRST MONDAY CRIME at BROWNS, THE JUDGE’S COURT, LONDON

Panel with M.R. Hall, David Young, Sheena Kamal and Steph Broadribb, chaired by Barry Forshaw

Details: https://www.goldsborobooks.com/event/february-first-monday/

 

28 FEBRUARY at 6.30pm – INTERNATIONAL CRIME FICTION EVENT at WATERSTONES LIVERPOOL 1

Orenda Books Roadshow with Kati Hiekkapelto, Michael J. Malone, Antti Tuomainen, Louise Beech, Steph Broadribb, Matt Johnson and Matt Wesolowski

Details: https://www.waterstones.com/events/join-us-for-an-evening-of-international-crime-fiction-writing-with-the-orenda-roadshow/liverpool

 

11 MARCH at 8.15pm – AYE WRITE, GLASGOW

3 Slices of Crime panel with SJI Holliday, Russel McLean and Steph Broadribb chaired by Gordon Brown

Details: http://www.ayewrite.com/Pages/default.aspx

 

25 MARCH – DEAL NOIR, KENT

Panel details tbc

Details: https://dealnoir.wordpress.com/

 

29/30 APRIL – NEWCASTLE NOIR FESTIVAL

Panel details tbc

Details: http://newcastlenoir.blogspot.co.uk/

 

18-21 MAY – CRIMEFEST, BRISTOL

Panel details tbc

Details: http://www.crimefest.com/

 

 

CTG EXCLUSIVE: NIGHT MARKET by DANIEL PEMBREY LAUNCHES & ‘Mirakel van Amsterdam’ GIN #GIVEAWAY

 

After a cracking start to the week at a super fun speakeasy event downstairs in The Vault at Milroy’s of Soho we’re on an alcohol theme here at CTG HQ.

On Tuesday night, Daniel Pembrey, Rod Reynolds, Michael Grothaus and me chatted about ‘Spirits in Noir Fiction’, moderated by expert noirist Barry Forshaw. There was bookish conversation, whiskey cocktails (I can recommend the Smoking Gun) and the fabulous folks from South Ken Books created a pop-up bookstore around one of the fireplaces! [Hop over to the lovely Joy Kluver’s blog here to read a full write-up from the event]

At the event, Daniel Pembrey talked about his new book NIGHT MARKET which is out in e-book today. This is the sequel to the fabulous THE HARBOUR MASTER and Detective Henk van der Pol is hitting the Dutch gin. As you may already know, Henk likes to have a beer and a gin chaser; it’s sometimes called a kopstoot in Amsterdam (headbutt), or a duikboot in Flanders (submarine).

You can buy NIGHT MARKET on Kindle here

THE COMPETITION: To toast the launch of this Harbour Master sequel, Daniel is giving away a bottle of Mirakel van Amsterdam – single old grain, Henk’s favourite, and originating from centuries-old independent Amsterdam distillery Van Wees. Trust me, this is a bottle you want in your drinks cabinet – though don’t have it within too easy reach if you want to keep temptation at bay! (I believe the seal is unbroken.)

TO ENTER: email Daniel, danielpembrey@gmail.com, saying where you found the first occurrence of Henk ordering a beer-with-gin-chaser in Night Market

The winner will be picked on 5th February.

Good luck!

 

[Please note the winner needs to provide a UK address for shipment and to be aged over 18 years]