MURDEROUSLY FASCINATING - APRIL 6 - 4.39PM - 2019
Val McDermid - Sheldonian Theatre - 2.00pm
She has, it appears, many titles…
‘Queen of Crime’
‘Queen of Tartan Noir’
And, most enjoyably perhaps, ‘Gobby Shop Steward of Crime’.
But whatever prefix she prefers, there’s no question she was fascinating, funny and, unlike her novels, surprisingly warm and personable.
An alumni of St Hilda’s College, Oxford, where she was the first student to be admitted from a Scottish state school (she grew up in Fife), her first impression of the city was, she now admits, one of “profound cultural shock. For a start, no-one could understand what I said. Plus I realised I had to learn to speak English as well as get used to vegetables because where I came from, there were only three…”.
Having sold more than 15 million books, she is perhaps best known for her ‘Wire in The Blood’ series, featuring clinical psychologist Tony Hill and DCI Carol Jordan, which was adapted for television and starred Robson Green and Emma Hardy (she has incidentally, also written a children’s picture book ‘My Granny is A Pirate’).
During the early Eighties of course, English crime novels tended to revolve around English country villages but McDermid’s more brutal style soon found an eager audience, and especially so her ‘Wire in The Blood’ series which featured psychopath Jacko Vance, who was based on real-life TV celebrity Jimmy Saville (having once interviewed him for a newspaper, he had left her “deeply uneasy”, yet despite the obvious similarities between Saville and Vance, she assumes he never twigged because “Jacko was handsome and charming and I assume Saville didn’t recognise himself in that description.”
FOR YOUNGSTERS (AND THE CHILD IN ALL OF US) - CHAPTER TWO - MARCH 14 - 4.30PM - 2020
FOR YOUNGSTERS (AND THE CHILD IN ALL OF US) - MARCH 13 - 12.26PM - 2020
ACCESSIBLY CHILLED, ACCESSIBLY PRACTICAL - MARCH 8 - 7.59PM - 2020
THE TWO ‘A’S OF A GREAT FESTIVAL - MARCH 7 - 2.19PM - 2020
CHAPTER ONE… MARCH 1 - 7.10PM - 2020
BRILLIANTLY BEWILDERING - APRIL 7 - 4.59PM - 2019
WELL, WE CERTAINLY WEREN’T SHORT-CHANGED - APRIL 6 - 9.05pm - 2019