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I am teaching two great writing courses this year. The first, at the start of May, is at the lovely Villa Stari Mlin on the Montenegro coast, details here:

And then at the end of September I'll be back at Villa Pia in the mountains of Umbria for my sixth year running:

My next appearance is at the Words on the Water festival in Cumbria at the end of March, when I will be talking about the joys and perils of travel writing.

Meanwhile, the sequel to my novel Fest is being published by Severn House/Canongate at the end of June. Cruising to Murder is set on a luxury cruise off the west coast of Africa and features a wealthy and cosmopolitan cast - why on earth should they want to do away with each other? Severn House have also bought Fest. Under the new title of The Festival Murders it will be available as an ebook in April and a new paperback next year, along with Cruising to Murder . I am currently working on a third whodunnit.

Here are some of the things critics said about Fest:

Thriller of the Week: 'A marvellous set of unsavoury suspects... good, nasty fun with a ring of truth' MAIL ON SUNDAY

' A wicked send-up of literary festivals... a crime novel with a cute concept' INDEPENDENT

'Raunchy goings-on at fictional festival Mold on Wold... a rollicking read' EVENING STANDARD

'And don't miss Fest ... an old-fashioned murder mystery with ...neatly disguised clues ... and a satisfyingly unexpected culprit' LITERARY REVIEW

'A very engaging literary romp' SYDNEY MORNING HERALD

'This has been quite the year for thinly disguised literary romans--clef, with Mark McCrum's novel causing gossip in literary circles' INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY

Fest was also chosen for the Independent on Sunday's 'Alternative Booker Longlist' in July.

There are other nice reviews by readers on Amazon and Goodreads.

All my other titles (see Books section for extracts) are available on Amazon for as little as 0.01p in some cases.

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