Saturday, 04 December 2021

County town’s also crime fiction capital

County town’s also crime fiction capital

FANS of crime fiction are being invited to enjoy a weekend devoted to their favourite literary genre.

The event, which is being hosted by St Hilda’s College, Oxford, is now in its 28th year and is running from August 13 to 15.

In response to the covid pandemic, the organisers have decided to host the proceedings online for the second year in a row.

Programme director Triona Adams said: “With a simple link you will be able to join us, live, from wherever you are.

“Our theme this year is Oxford: the capital of crime fiction. Down these mean cobbled streets have walked far more than just Morse.

“Join us on a journey through the Oxford of Charles I, Peter Wimsey, Inspector Morse and even Shakespeare himself — a spired city of lofty ideals and grave motives, of high tables and low intentions.”

Speakers lined up for the weekend include the author and journalist Lucy Atkins, who will be talking about the ghosts of Oxford.

Philip Gooden will be discussing the career of the author, sportsman and spy John Cecil Masterman, who was dubbed “the king of the double-cross” on account of his role in running double agents during the Second World War.

Slow Horses author Mick Herron will be taking his audience through an A to Z of Oxford crime with a focus on “larcenous letters”.

Carolyn Kirby will give a talk titled “Nightmared Spires: finding the Gothic in Oxford novels”.

And “Tartan noir” author Val McDermid will discuss the “daft, donnish and delightful” detective fiction of Edmund Crispin.

The weekend is being chaired by Alison Joseph, Jake Kerridge and Sarah Hilary.

Tickets cost £45 or £10 for students. For more information and to book, visit

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