As part of Love Reading UK and the CWA’s collaboration for National Crime Reading Month, Liz Robinson interviews the CWA’s very own Barry Forshaw. Barry, who hosts the CWA Dagger Awards evening – don’t miss it this year on 1 July! – also writes on crime fiction and film for the Financial Times and is a contributor to the ezine Crime Time. (But who knew he’d once been an illustrator for girls comics Spellbound and Jackie???). Read the full interview here.
The CRA: Please tell us a little about yourself and the books you write.
I have been a writer for almost 50 years, the first 30 as a scriptwriter, then writing children’s books, and – since 2016 – writing historical crime fiction for adults. My current series are The Museum Mysteries novels, set in late Victorian times (1895), where our two heroes – Daniel Wilson, a former detective Inspector with Scotland Yard, now a private investigator, and his partner, Abigail Fenton, a world-renowned archaeologist specialising in ancient Egypt – investigate murders in famous museums. To date there have been four books: Murder at the Fitzwilliam, Murder at the British Museum, Murder at the Ashmolean, and Murder at the Manchester Museum. The fifth, Murder at the Natural History Museum, will be published this August.
The CRA: Tell us about what you are doing during lockdown/while social distancing?
Staying at home, writing a new crime novel, gardening (my wife & I grow our own organic vegetables), reading, doing jigsaws.
The CRA: How does the above differ from your usual routine?
We usually do a weekly shop – but now we shop online. We usually see our grandchildren regularly, but now we talk to them on the phone. We haven’t left our home for almost three weeks.
The CRA: Tell us about your most recent/forthcoming book.
Murder at the Natural History Museum (due out in August) features a sub-plot involving Oscar Wilde (at this time in prison), as well as the Dinosaur Wars, and a power struggle at the Natural History Museum – in addition to the murders.
The CRA: Why will it appeal to lovers of crime fiction?
So far the readership has welcomed my two heroes, Daniel Wilson and Abigail Fenton – with a particular positive response to the character of Abigail, so I’m hoping they will respond with the same enjoyment to their adventures in this one, especially as both are exposed to serious danger. And H G Wells also figures.
The CRA: What CWA member writers are you reading during NCRM?
Edward Marston’s Railway Detective series.
The CRA: What one thing are you planning to do once lockdown is over?
Looking forward to seeing our grandchildren again.
You can find out more about Jim Eldridge and his books on the CRA website.