Here we are – in July – doing our thing at the Penzance Literary Festival. From the left: Charlie Cochrane, Carol Westron, Eileen Robertson, and me. Our fifth dame, Joan Moules, couldn’t make it this time.
We had a great time and the audience joined in enthusiastically, asking lots of questions and laughing in all the right places! Carol is an excellent question master and keeps us in line most of the time, though it’s a bit like herding cats.
Besides the usual questions: why do we write cosy crime? what’s with all the humour when we’re tackling serious themes? Carol often quizzes us on which fictitious sleuth we’d like to introduce to our own protagonists. After a genteel display of lust when three of us settled on Supt Christopher Foyle (as played by Michael Kitchen), Carol won’t let us choose him any more, so I opted for Margery Allingham’s long, lean, bespectacled detective, Albert Campion; Charlie chose Montagu Egg, Dorothy Sayers’ less well-known detective; Eileen wanted C.J.Sanson’s Shardlake, and Carol picked Gervase Fen (Edmund Crispin).
We love being Deadly Dames so if you’re setting up a literary festival and would like a lively panel discussion about writing traditional mysteries – just get in touch! Penzance was a long way from our Hampshire homes but we dragged some of the husbands along and turned it into a short break. We’ll happily consider travelling – as long as it promises to be fun!
And this is what I’m doing at the moment – actually writing a novel!