Mystery Fest

MysteryFest with Charlie Cochrane, Jeff Dowson, Mia Emilie, Donna Fletcher Crow, Dot Marshall Gent, Christine Hammacott, Becky Milne, Barbara Nadel, Linda Regan, Sally Spedding, Linda Stratmann, Peter Tickler, Len Tyler, Carol Westron and Debbie Young.

The Third Annual Mystery Fest Day Conference has fifteen speakers, including our Guest of Honour, award winning author L.C. Tyler in conversation with successful actress and author Linda Regan; Professor Becky Milne talking about Police Interviewing – the Reality; two exciting author panels discussing Belief and Superstition in Crime Fiction and how authors choose ‘The Right Place to Kill’, plus three short talks on crime fiction topics. Hayling Island Books will be on hand to sell books by all the authors present. With a light lunch included, at £15 this day is incredible value in every way.

Saturday 7th March, 10am-4.45pm, Third Floor Portsmouth Central Library , £15 includes a light lunch of sandwiches and soft drinks

Charlie Cochrane’s mystery series include the Edwardian era Cambridge Fellows and the contemporary Lindenshaw Mysteries. Multi-published, she has titles with Carina, Riptide, Endeavour, and Bold Strokes, among others.

A member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, Mystery People and International Thriller Writers Inc, Charlie appears with The Deadly Dames.

Jeff Dowson is a screenwriter turned crime novelist. Credits include arts documentaries, drama series and TV films. His Bristol set crime thrillers feature private eye Jack Shepherd.  The 5th book in the series, titled Leading the Blind, will be published Spring 2020. Jeff is a member of BAFTA and the CWA.

Mia Emilie is an independent crime fiction author and lecturer. She was recently awarded her doctorate focussing on detective fiction, from University of Exeter. She is working on co-organising the sixth International Agatha Christie Conference to be held in 2020. Her historical crime novel, A Hidden Life, was published under her pen name Mia Emilie, in September 2019. A Hidden Life is the first in a trilogy and Mia is currently working on the second instalment, Unhistoric Acts, to be published in Summer 2020.

Donna Fletcher Crow, Novelist of British History, was born, raised, and still lives in the Boise Valley in Idaho, in the northwest corner of the States. She is a former English teacher and a lifelong Anglophile. She has authored some 50 books, primarily novels, dealing with various aspects of British history, especially Christian history. She and her husband of 56 years have 4 children and 15 grandchildren (including 6 who are English). She enjoys frequent research trips to the UK and tries never to write about a place she hasn’t visited.

Christine Hammacott writes psychological suspense. Any one of us can become the unwitting victim of a crime but how we cope with it is what is explored in Christine’s work, where characters are forced to confront situations they have no idea how to deal with. Her first novel The Taste of Ash is set in Portsmouth and she is currently working on a second set in the New Forest, which she frequently uses as an excuse to slink off for ‘writing’ weekends away from the family.

Dot Marshall-Gent worked in the emergency services for twenty years before teaching secondary English in London and Kent.  She is a singer-songwriter, writes poetry and non-fiction, and enjoys reviewing books for Mystery People.

Becky Milne is a Professor of Forensic Psychology at the Institute of Criminal Justice Studies at the University of Portsmouth. The main focus of her work over the past twenty years concerns the examination of police interviewing and investigation. Jointly with practitioners, she has helped to develop procedures that improve the quality of interviews of witnesses, victims, intelligence sources, and suspects of crime across many countries. She is also the Director of the Centre of Forensic Interviewing. She was given the Tom Williamson award for her outstanding achievements in the field of investigative interviewing by NPCC in April 2009.

Barbara Nadel writes two crime fiction series – the Ikmen novels set in Istanbul and the Hakim and Arnold books set in East London. Both are contemporary. In 2005 Barbara won the CWA Silver Dagger for her Ikmen book ‘Deadly Web’. She lives in Essex with her husband and is entirely owned by cats. @BarbaraNadel


Linda Regan is a successful actress. She also hosts TV shows, and has been writing since she was a child. Fifteen years ago she decided to take an MA in creative writing. She chose Portsmouth as her husband grew up there and they both love the city. Since gaining her MA she has had eight police procedural crime novels published, all to high acclaim. Her latest is The Terror Within.

Sally Spedding: ‘Wringland’ (2001) set in the haunted fens, is the first of Sally’s fifteen crime thrillers. In a seven-book deal with Sharpe Books, ‘The Nighthawk is out now. Also, ‘Bloodlines, ‘Death Knell and ‘Downfall.’  A CWA, Mystery People and Crime Cymru member, she spends part of each year in the inspiring Eastern Pyrenees.

Linda Stratmann writes two Victorian crime fiction series with female sleuths, Frances Doughty who solves murders in Bayswater, and diminutive Mina Scarletti in Brighton who exposes fraudulent spirit mediums who extort money from the vulnerable bereaved. Linda also writes non-fiction and is currently Chair of the Crime Writers’ Association.

Peter Tickler has six published crime novels under his belt, all set in and around the city of Oxford. He has been praised both for the authenticity of the Oxford location (‘a wonderful gift of creating geographically factual settings for his fictional characters’ – Oxford Times) as well as the pace of his stories (‘deliciously thrilling and wildly unpredictable’ – Oxford Today). He has seen two of his scripts made into short films and most recently created and staged an extremely popular Murder Mystery Event. Twitter: @ptickler

L C Tyler writes two crime series: the Herring Mysteries and a historical series featuring seventeenth century lawyer and spy, John Grey. He is a former chair of the Crime Writers Association and has won the Goldsboro Last Laugh Award (twice) and the CWA Short Story Dagger.

Carol Westron writes two contemporary detective series and Victorian murder mysteries, all situated in the south of England. Her recent stand-alone novel is called This Game of Ghosts. She writes articles on The Golden Age and is a member of Mystery People, ALLi, SWWJ and the Deadly Dames.

Debbie Young writes warm, witty cosy mystery novels set in the Cotswolds where she has lived for nearly 30 years. Her Sophie Sayers Village Mysteries series begins with Best Murder in Show, and her new Staffroom at St Bride’s series with Secrets at St Bride’s – A School Story for Grown-Ups.