This time he ‘failed better’

Declan Burke is under the – erroneous – impression that he only won the Last Laugh Award at the Bristol CrimeFest because his wife told him not to come home without it. Or so he claims.

Jeffrey Deaver and Declan Burke at CrimeFest

The fact is that Declan deserves to win prizes for his writing, especially if it’s for his humour. It’s not bad at all. Absolute Zero Cool is a weird book, but a funny one, and very different from most other crime novels. I think I might even have voted for AZC this time.

He’s also trying to claim that his speech was bad, because he’d only prepared one for Elmore Leonard (whose prize he’d offered to pick up, thinking he was more likely to win). But others who were lucky enough to be in Bristol on Saturday night seem to say that it was a good speech, so maybe it’s another instance of that maddening modesty.

I had been intending to blog a general moan about me not having been there. But then when this great news came, I thought it’d be more fun to cover the good aspects of CrimeFest, and never mind that I didn’t make it. Peter Rozovsky was there again, and he has a lot of interesting posts on all that went on in Bristol.

As for me, I’ll keep trying.

24 responses to “This time he ‘failed better’

  1. I thank you kindly, ma’am. I was thinking of you on the way to Crimefest, as the last time I attended it coincided with you being there, and your birthday (possibly 29th), if memory serves. It would have been nice to see you again. Perhaps next year … Cheers, Dec

  2. I have to say that I think you should have been there, Bookwitch. We cannot rely on Peter R. for everything…

  3. No, I was 31. That was four years ago, which I think makes me 27 this year next week, in fact, for me and Seana. We are practically twins.
    Will have to prevent Peter R from going, because I suspect he and I will never coincide. Fate, or something.

  4. Well, I’ve met Peter, so I’m pretty sure that it isn’t a time/space problem. On the other hand, I’m not entirely sure Martin Edwards is real. Or living in this dimension anyway.

  5. Martin is real enough. The next time I won’t see him is at a bookshop barbecue event in July… (Still trying to work out how that will be possible, while leaving the stock intact.)

  6. Here are my plans for future Crimefests: I’m going.

  7. You are? Oh, I suppose we have to learn to get on if I ever make it back. Are you a nice person? (I’m not.)

  8. The consensus seems to be that I am one mean mofo. And Martin Edwards is, indeed, real.

  9. And he lives in our dimension, except during quizzes, when he communes with the Knowledge Gods.

  10. I’ll ask to be on Martin’s team, then.

    • He has traditionally won Criminal Mastermind (until he got kicked out for his success), and he was on the winning team in the pub quiz once. This year, though, I am told his team finished third, so maybe this version of Martin Edwards was not, in fact, the real one.

  11. You both are nice and not nice in similar proportions, so the chances you would get along are either excellent or nil.

    Martin Edwards, I’m pretty sure, is only nice, but he tries to make up for that handicap by, A.) being a lawyer, and B.) writing murder mysteries, so I guess he’d be okay.

  12. Having been impressed by Martin Edwards’ demeanor in previous Criminal Mastermind quizzes, I guessed that he would make a fine advocate in the courtroom. I asked him this year if in fact he was a barrister. Nope, he replied, a solicitor.

    So much for my theory.

  13. I still don’t really wholly grasp the differences, but I do remember that the difference was the answer to an Alfred Hitchcock solve it yourself mystery I read as a kid.

    • My normal hours are such that they can easily create the false impression that I am up all night. In fact, I am fond of sleep.

  14. I think one argues in court, and the other does all the work behind the scenes and hires the solicitor to argue the case. But a relative by marriage who practices law in London told me a few years ago that the distinction was breaking down.

    That Alfred Hitchcock mystery was obviously pitched at a British audience. The distinction does not exist in American law. Or Canadian, either.

  15. Hire the barrister to argue the case, that is.

  16. Yes, but they obligingly explained it to its American readership. Rumpole of the Bailey was also good at educating the American public. But it remains a bit mysterious.

  17. Definitely not me.

  18. You two have been at it all night, I see. Seana, you can’t possibly know if I’m nice or not. And if we hit Bristol at the same time, Peter and I will either get on, or not. And I like Martin because he proved to be a much better moderator than far too many others. And I’ll stop now before I insult anyone on a Sunday morning.

  19. My normal hours can easily create the false impression that I am up all night. In fact, I am fond of sleep..

  20. I’m on record calling Martin Edwards a “super moderator,” so you’ll get no quibble from me if you praise his moderation immoderately. And now, off for a bit more sleep.

  21. I know what I know, Bookwitch.

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