Derbyshire Crime Writing

I found this to be a very interesting video, presented by two crime writers whose work is set in Derbyshire, my home county in England.

Unfortunately there are some strange interruptions that cut the flow of the talk, and some apparent jumps that seem to repeat parts of what’s already been said.  It seems like someone made a mess of editing –  a topic will be interrupted and a new topic starts, but then later another jump seems to return the talk back to the previously interrupted topic.

But apart from those infrequent annoyances, there’s a lot of interesting content covering a variety of relevant topics, from writing, reading, history, landscape and folklore .

The Beautiful but Deadly North with Sarah Ward and Stephen Booth

Sarah Ward’s website:

Stephen Booth’s website:

2 thoughts on “Derbyshire Crime Writing

  1. That conversation really drew me into the authors’ interests. I was already a bit interested in Derbyshire, because you’ve told me it is largely built with stone that seems similar to a local area where I grew up (although we didn’t have caves and old mines to fall into, and we weren’t in the countryside at all… just a suburb [we traveled to and through and visited the countryside, though, and the country {the U.S.} generally].) The ambiance of my own neighborhood caught my imagination then. There was something that seemed deep about it — historical and natural and contemplative.

    I feel reading about these locations in the Peak District will turn out to be significantly different from the sense of place overall of my little group of merged towns. But of course places like these across the ocean are somewhat merged with us, or we with them, due to the background for much of what happened in developing locations elsewhere (here, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and so on) when our ancestors headed out. I like that these authors are aware of people reading for setting as much as plot or even more about character than plot. Now for getting a hold of a starting title.

    {Incidentally, I recently found someone with my family name (which is a rare name — in fact, while both my mother’s and father’s sides have distinctive names, I am meaning my dad’s name — hardly heard of at all as compared to my mom’s family name) died in WWI with the British infantry (Yorkshire). But people by that name had headed out from Czechoslovakia (what was at one, later, time Czechoslovakia, but the western part)… some to the Midwest (only two states I know of so far) and at least one person to England. Maybe only the one; the historical record didn’t know his birthday.}

    1. I like that these authors are aware of people reading for setting as much as plot or even more about character than plot. Now for getting a hold of a starting title.

      I’ve ordered Sara Ward’s first two books and Stephen Booth’s first (Black Dog). The Booth book topped a US best selling ebook list a few years ago according to the report here:

      I bought two of Booth’s books from a local charity shop but I don’t want to read them until I’ve had the chance to read his earlier books.

      Another “crime” writer who focuses heavily on setting and character is Phil Rickman. I read all of his earlier novels without thinking of him as writing crime fiction. He started out as a “horror” writer with work influenced by British myth. He then started an ongoing series of books featuring Merrily Watkins, a Church of England priest appointed as Diocesan exorcist – whose cases tend to overlap with the investigation of the local police. It’s only recently that I’ve realised Rickman was in fact writing crime fiction – even though I had been reading him for around 20 years.

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