Gŵyl Crime Cymru Festival 2023

Well, here’s an appropriate post for St David’s Day, as I rattle through what’s been going on over the past few months…

February saw the releases of the paperback of “Angels of Venice” and “Das Venezianische Grab” (“The Venetian Grave”, better known as “Venetian Gothic” – Birgit, my translator, tells me the original title wouldn’t translate very well).

And, indeed, March sees a cracking offer on the eBook of “Venetian Gothic”, available as a Kindle monthly deal for just 99p (only in the UK as far as I know…sorry, I really don’t have any control over these things.)

What else? Well, the next big event will be the hardback of “The Venetian Candidate” in July (and for those of you in Estonia, there should be an edition of “Vengeance in Venice” at some point). There are a few plans for events later in the year, but I’ll stay quiet on those for now.

However, the BIG news is that tickets are now available for this year’s live Gwyl Crime Cymru Festival in Aberystwyth. A lot of people have worked extraordinarily hard to make this happen, and I’m very proud to be involved. The programme is up, and the line-up of writers is exceptional.

I’m in conversation with Belinda Bauer and Louise Mumford on the Saturday morning, and then in the evening with Clare Mackintosh and Katherine Stansfield. But the whole weekend is going to be fantastic – hopefully I’ll see you there!


Oh, and somewhere along the way I even found time to do some writing, for next year’s Nathan Sutherland book.

What I’ve been reading

John Culshaw, Ring Resounding. A brilliantly entertaining account of recording the first complete studio recording of Wagner’s Ring with Georg Solti. Now, this isn’t a universally-loved recording (for what it’s worth, I’d say that it might have been overrated at the time but that’s no reason to underrate it now) but this is a wonderful book, full of stories about that extraordinary cast of singers and musicians.

Siegfried Kracauer, From Caligari to Hitler. An account of the history of German cinema up to WWII. Extremely informative and well-researched (if, admittedly, a little dry), this is one of the pivotal texts on early German cinema. Extraordinary to think it was written as long ago as 1946.

Shirley Jackson, We have always lived in the castle. How have I not read this before? This is fantastic! And if we ever get another cat to keep Mimi company, I think we’d have to call her Merricat…

What I’ve been watching

I like having Big Projects on the go. Back in 2020, musically, it was a complete re-listen of all the Bach cantatas. Last year it was an A-Z of Italian Progressive Rock. And this year I’m attempting to watch every film directed by Fritz Lang. Well, the Project failed at its first hurdle, as the first two silents are lost. Nevertheless, I’ve almost reached Metropolis having enjoyed some of the early minor works, and then the early masterpieces such as Destiny, Dr Mabuse, and the majestic Die Nibelungen. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again – no director has a better decade than Lang in the 1920s. I’ll be a little sad when we leave the silent era behind, even though I know there’s a lot of good stuff coming up in the Hollywood period.

What I’ve been listening to…

A Steely Dan relisten, from Can’t buy a thrill to Gaucho. Every time I listen to the Dan, I think I should listen to them a little more.

Quite a lot of Wagner, in particular Eugen Jochum’s recording of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg and his 1954 Lohengrin. Both exceptional.

And a recent discovery has been the film music of Gottfried Huppertz, and, in particular, his magnificent scores for Lang’s Nibelungen and Metropolis.

And I think that might be all for now. Hopefully I’ll be posting again early April with more news and the usual ramblings. In the meantime, cheers to all!

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