• The Dark Room

Blending Fact and Fiction – A Panel Discussion on Historical Crime Fiction

11 February 2021

Event details

Date: 11 February 2021
Venue: online
Location: online
Organiser: Luke Deckard
Fee: £6.00 for non CWA Members, free for members
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Event description

Thu, February 11, 2021 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM GMT

Have you ever considered the crime writer as a historian? What about the detective as an archaeologist and or the historian as a detective?

In this panel discussion, Dr Emma Darwin (This Is Not A Book About Charles Darwin, A Secret Alchemy), author Alex Reeve (The Butcher of Berner Street, The Anarchists’ Club), & Luke Deckard (writer & PhD researcher on crime fiction) discuss historical crime fiction. They will explore the author’s role as a historian and detective and the detective’s role as historian and archaeologist. Plus, the genre’s responsibilities to historical accuracy or not, the importance of research, and how the genre blends fact with fiction to examine a unique moment in time, and more!

They will be joined by authors James Benmore (Dodger) and Bonnie MacBird (Art in the Blood, The Devil’s Due) to learn why they chose to write historical crime featuring Dickens’ Dodger and Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes.

There will be time for an audience q&a with the panellists.

The event takes place at 7:30 pm on Feb 11, 2021, via Zoom. We have limited spaces, so book your ticket asap.


Alex Reeve is a University lecturer and lives in Oxfordshire with his wife and two sons. His debut novel The House of Half Moon Street introduces the titular character, Leo Stanhope. Alex’s Stanhope novels are a thrilling and well-received Victorian era mystery series. Alex’s debut was shortlisted for the Crime Writers’ Association Historical Dagger and more. His latest novel, The Butcher of Berner Street, is available now.

Dr Emma Darwin was, until recently, an Associate Lecturer in Creative Writing with the Open University and has taught workshops and course in writing from Aberyswyth to Zurich. Emma’s debut novel, The Mathematics of Love was simultaneously listed for the Commonwealth Writers’ Best First Book, and the Romantic Novelist’s Association Book of the Year. Emma’s second novel, A Secret Alchemy is a Sunday Times Bestseller and The Times top 50 in paperback. Emma’s latest book, This is Not a Book About Charles Darwin is out now.

Luke Deckard is a crime writer and CWA London co-Convenor. Luke is finishing his creative writing PhD at Kingston University on historical crime fiction where he has taught creative writing workshops. Luke was a co-editor on Noir From the Bar and a 2020 Bloody Scotland Pitch Perfect finalist.

James Benmore studied literature at the Open University and has since completed an MSt in Creative Writing at Oxford University. He won the AM Heath prize in 2010 for best work of fiction by a writer graduating from Kellogg College. His short stories have been published in various anthologies. He lives in London.

Bonnie MacBird: Art in the Blood, her first novel, written in the style of Arthur Conan Doyle and featuring Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson, was published in 2015 by HarperCollins and released in 17 languages worldwide to critical acclaim. It is the first in her series and was followed by Unquiet Spirits in 2017 and The Devil’s Due, due out in October of 2019. The Three Locks is in work for 2020. She is also the original writer of the science fiction film Tron.

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