Ann Cleeves – some tea, cake and murder!


Well what a superb month October is turning out to be for #AllThingsBookish! Last week, we had Michael J Malone launching his awesome #ASuitableLie, coming up this week I finally “persuaded” Waterstones Argyle St to bring my hero Steven Dunne North of the Border to appear with the brilliant Mason Cross and Sabine Durrant! Today though, #Chapterinmylife was on a #BlogMission at Hillhead Library in Byres Road to partake in some tea, cake and MURDER with Ann Cleeves launching her 7th book in the #Shetland series, Cold Earth!



What a perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon! The event was a part of the #ByresRoadBookFestival which took place at the end of September and this was the last on the Scottish leg of Ann’s tour to promote Cold Earth. (For anyone who hasn’t read the Shetland series then what on earth are you waiting for – it brings the Shetland islands to life in the midst of the pages – I have never visited but reading Ann’s books I feel as though I have been there so many times!)

The afternoon kicked off with the library hall transformed into a Shetland Sunday Tea – a community event held across the islands, which Ann advised all visitors they really must attend – tea, cakes and lots of juicy gossip she promised!


Cakes and coffee provided by #VintageTeaRoom and I can vouch for their tastiness #yumm!

Ann duly kicked off the event telling the audience about her journey into writing and what inspired the Shetland series. 40 years ago she dropped out of University and by sheer chance ended up working as an assistant cook in the Fair Isle, an Island half way between Orkney and Shetland. It was here she met her husband, a keen birdwatcher, and on a return visit to the Island on a cold, frosty morning patiently watching him watching birds that the inspiration for Raven Black came – watching the Ravens play in the pure white snow with a backdrop of a late rising sun, Ann thought – what if the Ravens were in that crisp white snow and there was blood…


Ann told us how she spent time on the island talking to the local police about procedures for suspicious deaths and how investigations would be carried out when all too often the Shetlands become cut off from the mainland due to weather conditions – it is this attention to small detail that brings the stories to life and engage the reader; the enclosed community and vast open landscape (there are very few trees on Shetland) provide a perfect backdrop for murder – digging into family secrets and beyond the open landscape provides perfect fodder for the dark tales that make up Ann’s Shetland series.

The audience were also treated to a reading from Ann’s new book, A Cold Earth and oh yes it is a #mustread (the 8th book is going to be the last in the Shetland series, Ann told us and few gasps were given as she told us she hasn’t yet made up her mind if she is going to kill off Jimmy Perez!!!!!)


But no book launch would be complete without a bit of #authorstalking from yours truly would it?! So I took my chance to have a chat with the lovely lady that is Ann Cleeves; such a soft spoken lady, it is hard to beleive the darkness that flows from her pen when she places it on paper. She doesn’t plot ahead, when she starts a book she is as much in the dark as to what will happen as the reader is and that’s the way she likes it! She likes to go on a voyage of discovery as she writes and I’d say it works very well for her!

Finished off the day with a wee trip to the #HillheadBookClub – the original library now turned into a bar/restaurant with a shabby/chic feel about it – where me and mammy had some lunch and of course I done a wee bit of #bookpromotion for the brilliant Alan Jones and Graham Smith (who says I’m not always thinking about you guys!)


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