Reading Museum and Town Hall
Thursday 10 November – Sunday 13 November 2011


Full details are below…

09:30 am

Police EyeWitness
 9.30-10.30am, Waterhouse Room, Reading Museum and Town Hall,


How do Police Officers interview witnesses and suspects to get to the truth? Is it possible to tell if someone is lying? What questions should be used?

Find out in this lively and engaging presentation on the most sophisticated and effective  interviewing techniques with Simon Williams.  Simon is a former Police Officer with 30 years experience of using and coaching others in effective interviewing.



BROUGHT IN FOR QUESTIONING: Adrian Magson and David Headley
Getting published in Crime Writing
11am-12 noon, Waterhouse Room, Reading Museum and Town Hall,


What better way to find out how to get published in crime fiction than by listening to two experts who have years of experience of the industry. 

Adrian Magson is the author of the Harry Tate and Lucas Rocco crime novels. He has been writing for over 30 years, contributes to Writing Magazine, teaches creative writing and was shortlisted for the CWA Debut Dagger in 2001.

David Headley is Adrian’s agent and also the co-founder of Goldsboro Books, an independent bookseller based in Central London.


Crime and Society: Panel Event

12noon-1.15pm, Victoria Hall, Reading Museum and Town Hall,


Crime and Society are inextricably linked. How is crime, fact and fiction, influenced by the society in which it occurs? How much do authors draw on and try to reflect the “real” world when writing crime fiction? Come and listen to our expert panellists as they debate these issues.

N.J Cooper is a crime writer, broadcaster, reviewer and feature writer. Denise Mina writes crime and graphic novels and before becoming a writer she taught criminology and criminal law. Ronnie Thompson, an ex-prison officer, is the author of Screwed – the film adaptation was released in June this year - Banged Up and Knifer. David Wilson, Professor of Criminology at the Centre for Criminal Justice Policy and Research at UCE, is one of the UK's best-known and most innovative criminologists.

The panel will be chaired by Dreda Say Mitchell, writer, broadcaster, education advisor and author of five novels including Gangster Girls and Hit Girls.



Alison Weir: Traitors of the Tower
2-3pm, Victoria Hall, Reading Museum and Town Hall,


More than four hundred years ago, seven people - five of them women - were beheaded in the Tower of London. Three had been queens of England. The others were found guilty of treason. Why were such important people put to death? Alison Weir's gripping talk focuses on their stories: from the former friend betrayed by a man set on being king, to the young girl killed after just nine days on the throne. 

Alison Weir is a historian and bestselling fiction and non-fiction author well known for bringing the past to life in her biographies and novels.



Alex McBride and Razor Smith with N.J Cooper
Defending the Guilty: Two Sides of the Criminal Justice System
3.30-4.30pm, Victoria Hall, Reading Museum and Town Hall,


How do we ensure that the guilty are convicted and the innocent walk free?

Alex McBride is a criminal barrister and author of Defending the Guilty; truth and lies in the criminal court. He has some hair-raising tales revealing that justice rarely operates in quite the way we expect. Noel “Razor” Smith is an ex-gun wielding bank robber who spent many years in prison. His latest book A Rusty Gun, charts his journey from criminality to straight citizen.

Alex and Noel will discuss their different experiences of the criminal justice system with author N.J Cooper.



TV Detectives: Panel Event
5-6.15pm, Victoria Hall, Reading Museum and Town Hall,


TV, film and radio adaptations of crime fiction are massively popular and can bring books to huge audiences. Our panel have a range of experiences of bringing the page to the screen and vice versa. Find out about the joys and pitfalls of having work adapted and the privileges and responsibilities of writing books based on well loved TV shows.

M.C Beaton’s phenomenally popular Agatha Raisin and Hamish Macbeth books have been adapted for radio and television respectively.  . M R Hall, the author of three bestselling novels including CWA Gold Dagger nominee The Coroner, has also been a screen writer and producer for Kavanagh QC, Judge John Deed and Dalziel and Pascoe. David Hewson’s Costa contemporary crime series is now in development for a series of TV movies in Rome. He has also been commissioned to write the novels of the BAFTA award winning Danish TV Crime drama series The Killing. James Gurbutts is one half of First Frost writing duo James Henry who have authored the gripping prequel to R.D. Wingfield's unforgettable Jack Frost series.

Chairing the panel is Simon Brett, writer of the Charles Paris, Mrs Pargeter and Fethering series of crime novels who has also written and produced for TV and Radio.



Mark Billingham and Stuart MacBride

7-8pm, Victoria Hall, Reading Museum and Town Hall,


This will be a real treat. Mark Billingham has become a firm favourite at the festival combining his background in stand up comedy with talking about his crime writing to great effect. Stuart MacBride is one of Scotland’s finest crime writers who skilfully combines dark humour and gritty plotlines in his bestselling Logan Macrae series.


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Event sponsors

Reading Borough Council

Reading LibraryReading Town Hall Museum

Reading Post