I guess everybody has their secret passions in life. Without giving away too much I can probably reveal that two of mine are Scotland and crime fiction. What a welcome surprise to find both of them combined at Bloody Scotland on a September weekend in Stirling and me being at the right place at the right time! I got tickets for most of the events I fancied, I chose 3 with authors I had read including Val McDermid, Alanna Knight and Caro Ramsay.
So on a nice and sunny Saturday afternoon I set out to walk the historic streets of Stirling soaking up the atmosphere and the town seemed to be prepared… you could see white lines on the pavement to mark dead bodies and even the Castle ran special guided tours focusing on the more gory stories from the Castle´s past. Before I knew it was time to join the queue for my first event in the Albert Hall ‘The Great, the Good and the Gory’ with Stuart McBride and Val McDermid. I enjoyed an hour listening to both of them sharing stories with each other and the audience not necessarily related to the theme but never the less very entertaining. I happily left with a signed copy looking forward to more events on the next day.
On Sunday the weather was playing Jekyll and Hyde with constant change between sunshine and showers so it felt very fitting to listen to Alanna Knight and David Ashton discussing the life and work of Robert Louis Stevenson. But the highlight for me surely had to be the Killer Cookbook presented by Caro Ramsay with support from Lin Anderson, Alex, Gray, Craig Robertson, Catriona McPherson and Gordon Brown (not the politician in case you wonder). Obviously Health&Safety didn´t trust crime writers to handle knifes and other cooking utensils so they sadly weren´t allowed to cook. To keep the audience happy we were served Martini and Tequila cocktails instead and also nibbles of scones, flapjacks and cranachan. Copies of the Killer Cookbook were sold too to raise money for the Million for a Morgue Campaign commented by a voice from the audience: We´re dying to get in!
Thumbs up for Bloody Scotland from me, a perfect end to another brilliant holiday in Scotland!