After going to so many places across the country to Author events and book festivals, I thought it was about time we went to a local festival for Northernreaders, at one of our local towns.
I think that this event has been going for about nine years, and is organised in conjunction with New Writing North. The local independent bookshop, the wonderful Cogito Books in Hexham
supplied books for the signing of by the authors, and still have (as of last night) a good stock of signed books for nearly all the speakers. It was a really well organised event, using the Queen’s Hall, the Abbey and for two days, a Yurt! I managed to get everywhere I wanted to be in a wheelchair, which is no mean feat for this sort of thing. I went to several events, and I’ll try and mention at least a few.
Susan and I kicked off with our first event in The Abbey, which was the Roman (and British Civil War) author, Lindsey Davis. She is mainly known as the writer of the Falco novels about a sort of private detective in the Roman Empire. I had picked up one or two of her books in places like Housesteads Roman fort shop, but not really read one.
I found a copy of Three Hands in the Fountain, which is set in Rome and features some murder, family relationships and at least one very funny punch up in a Roman street.
This is not the first in the series, but I soon found my way round the city and worked out Falco’s family, friends and enemies. It is an exciting book, a funny book, and one I really enjoyed. It is not great literature, or an academic tome, and the language seems almost modern, but nevertheless it is a worthwhile entertainment.
Davis herself is not an historian in the academic sense, but she comes over as someone who actually enjoys writing her books, feels for her characters and does concern herself with getting the details right (even a Roman /Eutruscan cheesegrater). She speaks warmly of her fans of twenty books about Falco, as well as her new series about his adopted daughter. She has also written about the Civil War in two books; one huge which has a long time scale, and one for the Quick Reads project about a single incident.
I really enjoyed the session, was impressed by Lindsey Davis as a speaker, and was impressed by the one book that I have read in the two series. I am looking forward to reading some more over the next few months. Another series to collect!