I am ashamed to admit I have never read an Andrew Taylor book, but I did watch the superb Roth Trilogy on television and have his novel Bleeding Heart Square perched on my TBR mountain.
I missed the first few minutes of the interview conducted by Peter Gutteridge and arrived just as Andrew was discussing Bleeding Heart Square, whether Fascism could have taken a firm hold in Britain during the early 1930s, and the present danger we face today in the local and European elections which take place in a few days time. The agendas of some of the extremist parties standing for election in other EU countries such as Hungary, Slovakia and Romania are a warning that Fascism is not dead. Andrew and Peter spoke about the Roth trilogy, and the Lydmouth series. They also discussed Edgar Allan Poe [who was educated in England from 1815-1820] and his novel The American Boy, which had brought Andrew a second Crime Writer's Association Ellis Peters Historical Award as well as a Richard and Judy bookclub recommendation.
Andrew Taylor seemed a quiet studious man and perhaps was not comfortable when the Richard and Judy book club put The American Boy into the best seller list. He felt people treated him slightly differently and perhaps they expected a more outgoing personality.
I was fairly exhausted by this stage of the convention so I may have got the wrong impression, but after listening to Andrew I will definitely read Bleeding Heart Square as soon as I can.
The only reason I have not read The American Boy yet is that the paperback version has a very small print font, and the publishers did not think about us older folk who need large fonts.
This was the last event that I attended at the very enjoyable Crime Fest 2009. If I am able I would definitely go again in 2010, but not attempt to drive between Bath and Bristol, which can now take over an hour as opposed to the 15 minutes when I lived in Bristol.
I realised just how long ago it had been since I was a student in Bristol when a new bendy bus drove past our B&B in Bath and another guest [going to a 30 year reunion at Bath University] read on the side "last bus to the university 3.00 am".
He spluttered "Today's students are spoilt, in my day the last bus was at 11.30 pm."
I raged "In my day it was last 'sedan chair' at 6.30 pm, and we only had bread and dripping to eat".
OK, a slight exaggeration, but the last bus was about 6.30 pm , and after that we walked home.
I will be posting a few more photographs taken at Crime Fest over the next couple of weeks.