Having recently appeared in the York Theatre Royal’s “Blood in the Ballroom” murder mystery event, I think it’s time to review some of my favourite crime and mystery books, starting with Read Regional author Helen Cadbury.

I’m particularly interested in seeing how authors develop their story to create a puzzle that readers want to solve, as over the last ten weeks the cast of Blood in the Ballroom created our own characters and defined how we were related to each other (our planning tool looked like a spider’s web!) We wrote the script under the direction of Michael Lambourne, an actor with a very fine moustache last seen in York in The Great Gatsby and The Railway Children (which if you missed its sell out performances last summer, you can watch at your local cinema this Easter Monday!)

If you want a good laugh, theatre photographer James Drury took our mugshots with possible murder weapons ranging from a large heavy book – guess who? – to a dinosaur bone and a rubber chicken… As the theatre run has now finished I can tell you that it wasn’t me, but I convinced a fair few of the audience that I might be a murderer. Result!

Unfortunately, the other result of my theatrical goings on is that I’ve caught a really bad cold, and lost my voice over the course of the last performance (Wed 16th March). That feels like all the more reason to have a quiet weekend catching up on some good books!

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