We are in the Lemon Tree Theatre awaiting the opening event of Granite Noir, Aberdeen’s weekend-long inaugural crime writing festival. Stuart MacBride, author of the Logan McRae series, set in the Granite City, shares a joke concerning Amazon star ratings as he introduces authors Denzil Meyrick and Kate London, both ex-police officers now using their experience to write bestselling crime fiction.
Perched on a leather sofa together on stage, Meyrick and London at first seem at odds. London is earnest, razor sharp, animated, keenly discussing issues facing a modern police service, whilst reluctantly sharing titbits of time spent serving the Metropolitan force. In contrast, Meyrick is relaxed, self-deprecating, as he freely recollects time spent enjoying the odd beer whilst on duty serving Strathclyde, during the less formal policing days of the 1980s.
Soon they settle in, because for all Meyrick’s modest quips, he’s a prolific writer, a talent to be reckoned with. As D A Meyrick he wrote as a freelance journalist for print and radio. His debut novel, Whisky in Small Glasses, published by Ringwood in 2012, reached #2 in the UK Kindle store (when republished by Polygon) and was quickly followed by The Last Witness, Dark Suits and Sad Songs and The Rat Stone Serenade. All of Meyrick’s DCI Daley series have gone on to become Scottish Crime bestsellers. His fifth DCI Daley novel Well of the Winds will be published this coming April by Polygon books.
Meyrick chats easily with London, a graduate from Cambridge University who moved to Paris where she trained in theatre before joining the Metropolitan Police Service in 2006.
Like all police officers she started in uniform, working for two years on a response team, and then moved into the CID. She qualified as a detective constable then went on attachment with the police nationale in France, where she recalls wine and beer being available to purchase in the staff canteen. London finished her policing career working as part of the Metropolitan Police Service’s Homicide Command, resigning to complete her first novel, Post Mortem.
When asked whether she now misses policing, London is diplomatic in her reply, sharing that she misses the camaraderie but not the long hours. Instead she enjoys her latest hobby of cold-water swimming and is kept busy writing, along with promoting her second novel, Death Message which due out in April.
It falls to MacBride to round off what is a fun, quirky, informative start to Aberdeen’s Granite Noir.