CANCELLED – The Murder Squad: Writing Workshops & In Conversation

This event has been cancelled. The Box Office team will be in contact with all customers in due course. Please read the latest statement on our news page.

A celebration of The Murder Squad’s 20th Anniversary featuring authors Ann Cleeves, Martin Edwards, Kate Ellis, Margaret Murphy / Ashley Dyer, Chris Simms and Cath Staincliffe.

The Murder Squad Workshop: The Scene of the Crime, 2:30pm & 4pm
The Murder Squad Workshop: The Golden Age of Murder, 2:30pm & 4pm
In Conversation: Ann Cleeves & The Murder Squad, 7pm

1 Workshop – £8.50
2 Workshops – £15
In Conversation & 2 Workshops – £22
In Conversation – £10
Discounts will automatically apply at checkout

The Murder Squad Workshops

The Scene of the Crime, 2:30pm & 4pm (Studio)
CSI fans! Join crime writing duo Ashley Dyer for a rare opportunity to try your hand at crime scene processing. Use your insights to write realistic crime scenes in your stories! Former Crime Scene Manager and forensics adviser, Helen Pepper will lead the practical exercises and award-winning author, Margaret Murphy—the ‘writing arm’ of Ashley Dyer—will guide you in turning your experiences into authentic creative writing.
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The Golden Age of Murder, 2:30pm & 4pm (Theatre Bar)
Do you love classic crime? Join Martin Edwards, award-winning author of Gallows Court and President of the legendary Detection Club, for a fresh look at vintage detective stories. Martin, who is consultant to the bestselling British Library’s Crime Classics, will talk about famous and obscure books of the past as well as the new wave of 21st century mysteries in the classic vein. Whether you want to write yourself or to find out more about your favourites, you’ll enjoy an insight into crime writing methods with an advance preview of the Detection Club’s new book on the craft of crime writing, Howdunit.
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In Conversation

Ann Cleeves & The Murder Squad, Thursday 26 March, 7pm (Studio)
Authors in conversation to celebrate 20 years of the Murder Squad crime writers’ collaborative. Featuring best-selling and award-winning novelists including Ann Cleeves, whose books have been adapted for television in ITV’s Vera series.
Attending Authors:
Ann Cleeves, Martin Edwards, Kate Ellis, Margaret Murphy / Ashley Dyer, Chris Simms and Cath Staincliffe. Full bios below.
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About The Authors: Murder Squad Bios & Books

Ann Cleeves

Books: The paperback of The Long Call will be out by March, so I’ll go with that.

Ann Cleeves is the award-winning author of the Vera and Shetland series, both successfully adapted for television.  Her latest novel, The Long Call, introduces a new character, Matthew Venn, and made it into the Times and the New York Times best-seller lists.

Ann Cleeves. Image credit David Hirst.

Martin Edwards

Books: My latest paperback is Gallows Court but Mortmain Hall is due to be published in hardback on 2 April and of course I’d like to promote that one too if possible.

Martin Edwards’ recent novel, Gallows Court, was nominated for both the 2019 eDunnit award for best crime novel and the CWA Historical Dagger. The sequel, Mortmain Hall, is published in April 2020. Martin was recently honoured with the CWA Dagger in the Library for his body of work and has received the Edgar, Agatha, H.R.F. Keating and Poirot awards, two Macavity awards, and the CWA Short Story Dagger. He is consultant to the British Library’s Crime Classics and President of the Detection Club. He has published eighteen novels including the Harry Devlin series and the Lake District Mysteries, nine non-fiction books, sixty short stories, and edited forty anthologies.

Martin Edwards

Kate Ellis

Books: Dead Man’s Lane and The Boy Who Lived With The Dead (The Burial Circle will be out by then but only in hardback).

Kate Ellis was born in Liverpool and studied drama in Manchester. Described by The Times as ‘a beguiling author who interweaves past and present’ she has written twenty-four novels featuring black archaeology graduate, DI Wesley Peterson and five crime novels with a supernatural twist featuring DI Joe Plantagenet. Twice shortlisted for the CWA Short Story Dagger, Kate and was awarded the CWA Dagger in the Library in 2019. Her latest Wesley Peterson novel is The Burial Circle. The second novel in a new trilogy set in northwest England in the aftermath of the WWI, The Boy Who Lived with the Dead, is now available in paperback.

Kate Ellis

Margaret Murphy / Ashley Dyer

Books: Latest novel: The Cutting Room (William Morrow/HarperCollins, hbk). Splinter in the Blood, first in the Carver & Lake series, is now out in paperback (Corsair/Little, Brown)]

Ashley Dyer is the penname of Margaret Murphy, consulting with forensics expert and Vera and Shetland adviser, Helen Pepper. Margaret Murphy wrote nine psychological novels under her own name and a trilogy of forensic thrillers as A.D. Garrett, before morphing into Ashley Dyer to begin a new series of serial killer thrillers set in Liverpool and featuring detectives Greg Carver and Ruth Lake. The founder of Murder Squad, she is a former RLF Writing Fellow, a past Chair of the CWA, has been shortlisted for both the “First Blood” critics award and the CWA Dagger in the Library, and is a Short Story Dagger winner.

Margaret Murphy (aka Ashley Dyer)

Chris Simms

Books: Latest novel: the paperback of Marked Men (Severn House / Canongate) comes out on 28 Feb 2020. And there’s the paperback of the one before, Loose Tongues, which is already out.

Chris Simms has worked in airports, nightclubs and telesales centres. He now lives near Manchester, with his wife, four children and a scruffy little lurcher. Along with nominations for the Theakston’s Crime Novel of the Year award and Crime Writers’ Association Dagger awards (for his novels and short stories), Chris was selected by Waterstone’s as one of their ‘25 Authors For The Future’. According to The Bookseller, he writes with ‘intelligence and subtlety’. Alongside writing novels, Chris edits Case Files, an online magazine that profiles forthcoming work from members of the Crime Writers’ Association.

Chris Simms

Cath Staincliffe

Books: The Girl in the Green Dress and Fear of Falling.

Cath Staincliffe is an award-winning novelist, radio playwright and creator of ITV’s hit series Blue Murder. Cath also writes the Scott & Bailey tie-in books. She has been shortlisted for the CWA New Blood Dagger, for the Dagger in the Library twice and won the Short Story Dagger in 2012. Cath’s latest titles are The Girl in the Green Dress, an investigation into the murder of a transgender teenager on her prom night, and Fear of Falling, a story of female friendship and the challenges of adopting a child who has had a traumatic early life.

Cath Staincliffe. Image credit ©


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