CrimeFest 2014 rocked Bristol last weekend and I had a great time meeting crime writers, readers, reviewers, agents and publishing folk!

In the first of my CrimeFest posts, I share the books that tempted me into buying at CrimeFest and why they are crime must-haves.


The Axeman’s Jazz – Ray Celestin
New Orleans, 1919. The birth of jazz, the advent of prohibition, Mafia, racial tension and a man putting axes in people’s heads. Based on a TRUE STORY.

The Beauty of Murder – AK Benedict
Time-travelling serial killer in Cambridge – who could resist?

The Big Over Easy – Jasper Fforde
I’m late to this party, but as a Thursday Next fan, I had to try this out. First in the Nursery Crimes series, this book asks the question: did Humpty Dumpty fall or was he pushed?

Desecration – J.F. Penn
From bestselling indie author, this London-based mystery delves into the supernatural, pairing a police detective with a clairvoyant. Joanna Penn also writes excellent books for authors on self-publishing and marketing.

Defending Elton – TJ Cooke
I was fortunate enough to have a personal pitch from Tim and it goes like this: A defense lawyer represents the man he framed for murder. Dealing with the shadowy grey areas of the UK legal system and numerous social injustices, with a dash of humour!

Kitty Peck and the Music Hall Murders – Kate Griffin
Nominated for the CWA Historical Dagger, the heroine is a 17-year-old trapeze artist in Limehouse at the end of the 19th century.

First on my to-read list is Kitty Peck. Did you bring home a haul from CrimeFest? What must-have book have you recently grabbed? Share in the comments!


  • Stella Hayes

    So sad I couldn’t make Crimefest this year – sounds like you had a fab time.
    I’ve recently read ‘The Axeman’s Jazz’. Starts off with a bang and atmospheric throughout. Also TJ Cooke’s ‘Defending Elton’ is such an inventive crime fiction read.

    • I’m really looking forward to The Axeman’s Jazz, because New Orleans 1919 sounds fascinating even before you add a serial killer to the mix! Defending Elton is at the other end of the spectrum – the setting is entirely familiar but the concept so intriguing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.