Some London-based crime fiction & crime-related events coming up in June…

Fancy a break from the tennis?  Or the rain?  (The two so often arrive together here.)

London Review Bookshop World Literature Weekend, taking place 17-19 June, is the only UK festival to specialise in literature in translation.  On the crime front there are two events that may be of interest:

Crime Fiction: Reading Scars – Behind crime fiction's gripping narratives, there often lies a more incisive portrayal of a society than can be found in more obvious commentaries; and it offers a way to confront ideas of good and evil in a shades-of-grey world, where simple moral certainties aren't so easy to find. Karin Alvtegen's psychological crime thrillers include Missing, which in 2001 won the Glass Key, the premier Nordic crime writing award, and Shadow and Betrayal. Håkan Nesser is also a Glass Key winner; his latest book to be translated into English is The Inspector and Silence, starring his detective Van Veeteren. The event will be chaired by Jakob Stourgaard-Nielson, Lecturer in Scandinavian Literature at UCL.

For Catalonia: Place of a Language, three very different writers come together to talk about how a besieged language can offer refuge, and how place, history and identity are knitted into that language. One of the authors taking part in this event is Teresa Solana, the award-winning author of two comic noirs, Not So Perfect Crime and A Short Cut to Paradise. Solana writes in Catalan and translates them into Spanish, and her novels are a blend of humour, merciless satire and detective thriller. Joining Solana on the panel is Ramon Llull Prize-winning novelist Najat El Hatchmi and Carles Casajuana, author and Ambassador of Spain to the UK. Barcelona-based literary translator Peter Bush is chair. This event takes place Friday 17 June at 2pm in the Stevenson Room at the British Museum.

Here’s a link and here’s the programme to download. Download WLW 2011 Final Programme [email]

NHMCrimeScene 
Moving on, after hours on Friday 24 June, you could join in with an investigation at the National History Museum at 1900 where a body has been found in the museum’s garden.  The NHM says:

Its identity is unknown and the killer remains at large.  We need your help.  Join us to put your detective skills to the test as a crime scene officer.  At this unique, immersive evening event, you'll meet 3 of the Museum's forensic experts.  Learn how they use their knowledge to assist the police and solve crimes.  Find out tricks of their trade so that you can comb the crime scene, collect the evidence and process the clues.  Then take your evidence to trial where real barristers, police officers and a judge will demonstrate just how important forensic evidence is to a verdict.

Highlights include:

  • collecting insect evidence in the garden crime scene with scientists Martin Hall and Cameron Richards, and 100s of live maggots
  • fingerprint collection and identification workshop
  • victim identification masterclass in the Attenborough Studio with Heather Bonney – learn how to identify sex, age and height by studying skeletal remains
  • a mock court case in the Museum's Flett theatre.

That is surely a most unusual way to unwind on a Friday evening.  What a cracker!  Follow the link for more details and booking.