Crime in the Caves

Halloween is nearly upon us, and I took part in a spooky evening last Thursday, heading underground to Redcliffe Cliffs for Bristol Festival of Literature’s Crime in the Caves.

I’ve always wanted to venture into the caves, so this was too good an opportunity to miss. Everyone was told to bring stout shoes, their own chair, and a torch! It was a surreal and unforgettable experience, with a crowd of around 60 mystery fans crammed into the cave, deep beneath the city centre. I was there with top crime writers  C.L. Taylor, Sanjida Kay, Amy Fitzjohn and A.A Abbott, and opened the candlelit proceedings with a reading from Cry of the Innocents.

Ironically, the novel originally had a sequence set in the caves (which actually are man-made and therefore should really be called Redcliffe mines), but I cut it out in an early edit. Never mind. The Great Detective’s decision to visit Bristol seemed to go down well with the crowd. At least I think it did. The good thing about reading in the dark is that you can’t see people’s faces. I certainly found it far less intimidating than usual.

Reading in the dark! Photo courtesy of Sanjida

Then it was over to C.L for the heart-stopping first chapter of The Escape, while Sanjida chilled us to the core with excerpts from Bone by Bone and The Stolen Child.

Cally reads from The Escape. Photo courtesy Bristol Festival of Literature

Amy shared the opening of her second novel, Solomon’s Secrets, while A.A provided a suitably sinister finale with her short story Cuckoo and the Phoenix from A Hint of Crime.

Amy reads from Solomon’s Secrets. Photo courtesy Bristol Festival of Literature

Thank you to Pete Sutton and the Bristol Festival of Literature team for putting on such a fun, atmospheric event. I recommend heading down into the depths for Crime in the Caves next year!

Photo courtesy Bristol Festival of Literature

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