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BOOKMARK 2014 off to a flying start

28th Jun 2014

BOOKMARK 2014 got off to a flying start with its launch event in the Royal Hotel in Blairgowrie on Friday 27th June. An appreciative audience was there to get a first glimpse of this year's packed programme and to 'meet the author'.

Christine Findlay and Gillian Galbraith in conversation

Christine Findlay and Gillian Galbraith in conversation

Having revealed the programme's exciting secrets, the theme of which is PLACE, BOOKMARK Chair, Christine Findlay, introduced the afternoon's guest speaker, crime writer Gillian Galbraith, and both settled down to a lively discussion of Gillian's work. 

Gillian's fictional detective Alice Rice, heroine of four novels so far, was already well-known to the audience. But as Christine probed, they got to know her even better, with Gillian describing how she had arrived at the character. She admitted that Rice was certainly not a typical detective, not being the sort of person who knuckles down to authority or fits into a hierarchical structure; just as well, Gillian pointed out, as she is working in what is still a male-dominated culture.

After a reading from Dying in the Light, the third in the Alice Rice series, the discussion moved on to Gillian's latest book, The Good Priest, which features Father Vincent Ross, a Catholic priest turned amateur sleuth. Comparing the writing of the Father Ross book to her previous ones, Gillian described it as like 'a sorbet to clean the palate' after the police procedural series. While acknowledging the greater difficulty of getting under the skin of a male character – and a Catholic priest at that – she relished the scope it gave her for both psychological exploration and narrative action.  

The discussion concluded with a reading from The Good Priest, in which we met Father Ross at home, alone, with a glass of wine to his lips, a cat named Satan on his knee and a talent show on television. In just a couple of pages Father Ross sprang to vivid life. 

Earlier Gillian had talked of how she had gravitated towards crime novels because it was easier for the novice writer than the literary genre. With The Good Priest it seems as if she may have begun to bridge that gap. 


“I didn‘t wait to be invited back, I invited myself, in fact that‘s why I wrote another book”

BOOKMARK is better than most because it is superbly well organised, you look after me so well and because you, as a community, are so interested in books. I feel you actually want to hear what I have to say It‘s a marvellous event.  I will be back again if I can think of another book to write.

Martin Bell

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