And so the final day! What a weekend! And what a way to close!
11am ALL ABOARD THE MYSTERY TRAIN! MEET M.G. LEONARD (AGES 7+)
Chaired by Janet Smyth
M. G. Leonard is an award-winning, bestselling writer whose books have been translated into over forty languages, and a TV series based on her Beetle Boy trilogy is in development.
Together with co-writer Sam Sedgman, she launched the Adventures on Trains series in 2020, which first found Harrison Beck and his travel-writer uncle visiting the Highlands in pursuit of a jewel thief. The newest in the series, Murder on the Safari Star, finds the crime-solving duo making the journey of a lifetime on a safari train from Pretoria to Victoria Falls. Seeing Africa’s amazing wild animals from the sumptuous comfort of a luxurious steam train would be exciting enough, but when a passenger is found murdered in a locked compartment, it’s up to Hal, along with his new friend Winston and his pet Mongoose Chipo, to solve the mystery.
12 noon CRIMINAL PORTRAITS: A CLOSER LOOK (WEBINAR) WITH PHIL ASTLEY
Mugshots are a fascinating snapshot of social history, conveying an immediate glimpse of the personality, appearance and vulnerability, or otherwise, of the subject in front of the camera. They prompt many questions: what crime had the person committed? Was it their first offence? Where were they originally from? Where in Aberdeen did they live following their release?
The “Criminal Portraits” blog started in February 2020 following the public interest in a Granite Noir exhibition which had featured a number of such photographs from the “Register of Returned Convicts for Aberdeen” held by Aberdeen City & Aberdeenshire Archives. The author, City Archivist Phil Astley, wanted to dig deeper into the backgrounds of these criminals using contemporary newspaper reports, census data and other records that could add proverbial colour to the sepia prints.
For Granite Noir 2021, join Phil online for a webinar which will take an even closer look at a selection of these criminal portraits and the Victorian Aberdeen of which they were a part.
2pm STRANGER THAN FICTION? BEHIND THE SCENES AT THE STORYTELLER AND CRIME NOIR WITH ISLA TRAQUAIR AND CANDICE GAINES
Chaired by Theresa Talbot
True crime podcasts have captured the public’s imagination, but how are they made? Join international television host, producer, and journalist Isla Traquair, of The Storyteller, and Candice Gaines, of Crime Noir, as they reveal how they do what they do, and why!
We’ll be asking how they choose which cases to delve into, and what kind of research is involved. We’ll examine how they turn all that information into a compelling narrative, and why they chose the podcast format to connect with audiences.
The Storyteller: For her second series, Violent Delights, Isla Traquair returned to north east Scotland to uncover the dark truths of one of the most sensational cases in recorded criminal history. This is the story of prominent, wealthy “flying farmer” Maxwell Garvie, whose decomposing body was found months after he went missing, hidden in a secret tunnel. Garvie’s wife and two others went on trial for his murder. But what really happened?
Crime Noir: Candice Gaines, who has a degree in forensic science, created her podcast in 2019 to spotlight media neglect in covering crimes committed against the black community. Since its inception, Crime Noir, with its focus on under-reported or forgotten crimes, has seen its audience grow and grow, and earned praise for pushing the boundaries of culture and questioning the status quo.
4pm VENGEFUL HEARTS WITH STINA JACKSON, EVA BJORG AEGISDOTTIR, AND LESLEY KARA
Chaired by Alex Clark
Some of our most enduring stories centre around revenge — and many of the most memorable quotes! Some say it’s a “dish best eaten cold,” or that “living well is the best revenge.” Others advise, “Don’t get mad, get even.” Thackery said revenge might be wicked, but it’s natural. Mary Higgins Clark said, “When someone is mean to me, I just make them a victim in my next book.” Join our panel of writers as they discuss the allure — and dangers — of revenge, and explain how they’ve explored this in their work.
Stina Jackson’s The Silver Road was an international bestseller and won the Best Swedish Crime Novel Award of 2018. Her new book, The Last Snow, is set in a forgotten corner of Lapland in northernmost Sweden, finds Liv Bjornlund living in derelict house with her teenage son and ageing father. They’re the subject of gossip — why has Liv stayed by domineering father’s side? Is he really sitting on a fortune? He’s made enemies over the years, and someone wants back what is rightfully theirs — and they’ll stop at nothing to get it.
Eva Bjorg Aegisdottir’s The Creak on the Stairs was a #1 bestseller in her native Iceland, and won the Blackbird Award for new Icelandic crime writers. It’s a claustrophobic and chilling debut thriller that begins when the body of a woman is discovered at a lighthouse in the Icelandic town of Akranes. It’s soon clear she was no stranger to the area. Chief Investigating Officer Elma undertakes an uneasy investigation that uncovers shocking secrets from the past — bringing to light a host of long-hidden crimes that shake the entire community.
Both Lesley Kara’s debut, The Rumour, and its follow up, Who Did You Tell, were Sunday Times bestsellers. The Rumour was a Kindle No.1 bestseller, and sold over 350,000 copies globally. Lesley co-hosts the podcast In Suspense, dedicated to crime fiction and psychological noir. In The Dare she tells the story of Lizzie, who lost her best friend when they were teens, in what she believes was a terrible accident — though she has no memory of the event. Alice’s family always suspected Lizzie was responsible for the girl’s death, and twelve years on, she’s about to discover that someone’s been planning the perfect revenge.
6pm GOING VIRAL; PETER MAY, IN CONVERSATION WITH BRYAN BURNETT
Bestselling Scottish author Peter May has seen his career encompass successes and setbacks, both as the author of award-winning novels and the force behind popular television programmes. Now, having sold more than 4.5M books worldwide, he’s at the forefront of international crime writing. He’ll tell Granite Noir about his fascinating career, and the two recent books whose stories pivot on the timely theme of how humanity behaves in times of tremendous upheaval.
Lockdown is set against the background of a deadly influenza pandemic. Written in 2005, the novel was rejected by publishers as being unrealistic. During the COVID-19 pandemic this prescient book was finally published.
May’s upcoming (March 2021) novel, The Night Gate, is a dual narrative tracking murders that occur more than 70 years apart in Paris. This high octane thriller plays out against the backdrop of real events in 1940s Occupied France, and in contemporary France, poised to return to COVID lockdown in the autumn of 2020. At the heart of both crimes is DaVinci’s enigmatic, unforgettable Mona Lisa.
8pm HIGH STAKES CONSPIRACIES; IN CONVERSATION WITH DAVID BALDACCI
Chaired by Lee Randall
Granite Noir is excited to welcome American author David Baldacci — a global #1 bestselling author, and one of the world’s favourite storytellers — for his first appearance at the festival. His books are published in over 45 languages and in more than 80 countries, with 150 million copies sold worldwide, and have been adapted for films and television. His established links to government sources give his books added authenticity. With his wife, he’s the cofounder of the Wish You Well Foundation, a non-profit organisation dedicated to supporting literacy efforts across America.
He talks to festival programmer Lee Randall about his life and work, and delves into the conclusion of his thrilling Atlee Pine trilogy, featuring a unique FBI agent on a personal mission of discovery. In Daylight, Pine teams up with her old friend John Puller, chasing fresh clues about the disappearance of her twin sister, Mercy. Their pursuit pulls back layers of deceit, lies and cover-ups that strike at the very heart of global democracy.
Murder at the Museum: Locked Door Online Escape Friday 19th – Sunday 21st; click on image above for more details
For further information on the full Granite Noir programme please click here.
This event is free to view with no booking required. Simply visit granitenoir.com, sit back and watch!
We’re pleased to bring Granite Noir 2021 to you free of charge. Please consider making an optional donation to support Aberdeen Performing Arts, Granite Noir and culture in the North-east of Scotland.
Be in with a chance to win a festival pass for Granite Noir 2022 by signing up to our Granite Noir mailing list. Be sure to check the tickbox “I would like to sign up for Granite Noir”.