‘an intriguing read . . . keeps the reader guessing . . . a lot to enjoy in this romp through the Cambridge Commons . . . a strong sense of place and a narrative style that is both energetic and engaging.’ [Dead Letters]

- Margaret Murphy, SHERLOCK

A Matter of Life and Death

I had a very enjoyable day yesterday at Authors North Summer Social, which was held at the Thackray Museum in Leeds. The day wasn’t without its stresses as I managed at Sheffield Station to get onto the train to Grimsby instead of Leeds. Luckily I realised in time and was able to get off at Meadowhall, the next stop along, and get a train to Leeds from there and I still arrived in good time. As well as a pleasant lunch – always a draw when you work at home AND do most of the cooking – there was an excellent speaker, Sue Armstrong, who was talking about her new book, A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH: INSIDE THE HIDDEN WORLD OF THE PATHOLOGIST, a series of interviews with, as it says on the cover, ‘some of the world’s most eminent and pioneering pathologists.’ This isn’t all CSI stuff. There are a few forensic pathologists in there, but many more that specialise in the diagnosis of disease, in identifying new diseases, and other areas. Her talk was fascinating, and I bought a copy of her book. I keep picking it up and reading bits and then have to stop myself just settling down and reading it right through. If you are interested in learning more, go to, where you can sample some of the interviews on line.
Author’s North is part of the Society of Authors and – much as I enjoy getting together with other crime-writers at CWA meetings – there is a special flavour to S of A meetings. Over the years, I have chatted to an extraordinary range of writers and yesterday was no exception. I happened to sit next to John Cunliffe and his wife Sylvia. At what other gathering would one find oneself swapping stories about editors with the creator of Postman Pat?


  1. djskrimiblog
    June 24, 2011

    From pathology to Postman Pat? I can see you have had an adventurous day, and it is always useful to get new information about pathology. My summer holidays began today so instead of teaching Shakespeare, I could research death by drowning 😉

  2. Christine
    June 28, 2011

    What jolly times we crime-writers have. This reminds me of a trip to Sweden that I made with my husband some years ago. He was doing research for a book on Asplund, an architect who designed the famous Woodland cemetery in Stockholm and others. So I was able to say that I had spent my summer holidays touring the crematoria of southern Sweden!


Leave a Reply