Review: Murder, Mystery and Martinis

As we approached Stanley Park’s Art Deco Café, strains of tuneful singing filled the midsummer air, as Rosie Harrison and Tom Kincaig performed. Inside, a hubbub of chatter gave me the first clue…This event was a sell-out.

Clue two was the appearance of altBlackpool’s own Clancy Mason. Why was she dressed in white socks and a short kilt, and brandishing a magnifying glass? I deduced it immediately; here was Nancy Drew brought to life.  Or should that be Clancy Drew?

The scene was set for a gala night of fun as Wordpool 2014 launched in grand style. We had best-selling crime writers Ann Cleeves and Peter Robinson as guests, a fun quiz with dastardly tough questions, a competition for the best detective costume, (won by the aforementioned Clancy), flavoursome canapes and unforgettable cocktails.

First off was a classic martini, complete with olive, followed in due course by the cocktail invented by one or our altBlackpool Twitter followers. Alison Baker won two tickets for the event with her entry – a Strawberry Daiquickly – which went down very well, I might add.

The main part of the night was a brilliant Q&A session with Ann and Peter, admirably handled by Michelle Hayward. Among the gems revealed during the hour-long conversation, we learned that the pair don’t plot their books out before writing (gasp!) and that once they are in full flow they write every day. I was fascinated with Peter’s take on his creation, DCI Banks – he admitted that the pair share a love of music and beer, while Ann had the audience in stitches as she recounted the dangers of agreeing to offer a character name up for charity auction. The time flew by and it was clear that everyone was having a whale of a time.

After getting my books signed by Ann and Peter, my guest and I reluctantly left the cultured surroundings of the Café and took a late evening stroll through the park. The evening had certainly lived up to its billing, with mystery and martinis hitting the spot. I’m just happy that no murders were committed!

Images courtesy of C J Griffiths Photography

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