Scotland has a new book festival as eleven crime writers prepare to sail ‘doon the watter’ to the isle of Bute.
It may sound like the plot of an Agatha Christie novel but hopefully there won’t be death on the Clyde this August as the first Bute Noir takes place in Rothesay.
Chris Brookmyre, Alex Gray and Craig Robertson top the bill for the inaugural festival which takes place from Friday August 5 to Saturday August 6. The authors will be appearing in three venues in the Victorian seaside resort – Rothesay Library, Bute Museum and the Print Point bookshop.
The event is the brainchild of Robertson and Print Point owner Karen Latto after the author did a talk on the island last November during Book Week Scotland. He enjoyed his visit enough to suggest other crime writers might like to make the trip. The seed of an idea for a festival was sown but it was not until earlier this summer that it got near to becoming a reality.
‘I said that Rothesay would be a great venue for a mini festival and Karen was very keen on the idea,’ Robertson remembers. ‘I’m not sure how serious I was about it but when I went down to breakfast the next morning in the Victoria Hotel, the receptionist told me how much she was looking forward to the crime festival!
‘I still didn’t really think anything would happen but Karen kept on at me. She wouldn’t let it go and eventually talked me into doing it. Thankfully, authors liked the idea and were very keen to go. Bestsellers like Chris and Alex said yes and suddenly we had a festival on our hands.
‘We’ve had huge help and support from Bute Museum, Rothesay Library and Argyll & Bute Council. We couldn’t have done it without them.’
Also appearing at Bute Noir will be leading Scots authors Caro Ramsay, Alanna Knight, Michael J Malone, GJ Brown, Myra Duffy and Douglas Skelton, plus bestsellers American Alexandra Sokoloff and Luca Veste from Liverpool.
‘It’s great to be bringing something like this to Bute,’ Robertson added. ‘We hope everyone on the island will embrace it and make it the success we hope for. If it works, we’re planning to make it an annual event and get the top authors in the business over to Rothesay.’
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