Monday, 12 April 2010

Crime and Abergavenny







Back in 1997, Mike Ashley invited me to contribute a Sherlock Holmes story to The Mammoth Book of New Sherlock Holmes Adventures. The idea was to find inspiration in the cases that Dr Watson mentions in passing, and I chose as my source a fleeting reference to ‘the Abergavenny Murders’. However, my story (which I enjoyed writing so much that it prompted me to write several other Sherlockian pastiches over the years) was not set in Abergavenny – in fact, I used Abergavenny as a surname.

This was partly because I’d never been to Abergavenny and didn’t have any idea what the town is like. This past week-end, I finally had the chance to visit the place, because it was the setting for the CWA conference from Friday to Sunday. Each day was blessed with gorgeous weather in South Wales, and the conference was hugely enjoyable. And I must say how much I liked Abergavenny and its environs. Quite delightful.

The conference kicked off on Friday afternoon with a reception at Abergavenny Castle, hosted by the Mayor. The photos were taken at the reception. In his interesting speech, the Mayor made reference to a notable crime writer of the past who was born in Abergavenny, some of whose books were successfully filmed. Quiz question - any idea who this might be?

On Saturday, we looked round the Museum which is in the Castle grounds. There was no mention of the crime writer that I could find, but plenty of coverage of a notable writer of macabre stories who was born not too far away. I’ll reveal both writers' names in forthcoming blog posts!


9 comments:

Margot Kinberg said...

Martin - Thanks for sharing those lovely 'photos. It sounds as though you had a marvelous time, too. I'm happy for you : ).

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Looks like a gorgeous place! And peaceful...not a murderous place at all! But what's lurking below the surface?... :)

Elizabeth
Mystery Writing is Murder

crimeficreader said...

That'll be Ethel Lina White of Hitchcock's The Lady Vanishes fame?

Glad you had a good time in Abergavenny. A favourite place of mine. I love the market. And the Food Festival, from which I returned with books!

Ann Elle Altman said...

I loved the photos and I would love to read the Sherlock Holmes story that you're writing.

ann

Martin Edwards said...

Yes, it was a lovely place, all the better for perfect weather.
Crimefic, well done! We went to the market, which was impressive.

Minnie said...

Interesting; no idea of the identity of the mystery mystery writer, although (Lancs born) Phil Rickman set one of his early novels in/around Abergavenny, based on the terrible massacre of Welsh leaders that took place at the castle under the orders of Wm de Braose in the 12th century.
Lovely photo of The Blorenge ...

Martin Edwards said...

Minnie - Phil led one of the excursions from the conference, in fact, and I think he lives quite near.

vegetableduck said...

Martin, is White's family home still standing? She came from a wealthy business family, evidently.

Martin Edwards said...

The Mayor mentioned that the house she was born in is now a butcher's shop, but I didn't manage to trace it!