Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Murder Squad

Back in the year 2000, I received a phone call one day from my friend and fellow crime writer Margaret Murphy. She was experiencing a feeling that many, many writers will identify with. She was writing good books, and earning good reviews. But she hadn't broken through. Her profile was, she felt, relatively low. And she wanted to do something about it, by teaming up with a group of fellow writers in a similar position. Was I interested? You bet I was. Margaret's a very efficient person, and she soon recruited six colleagues - the result was that we formed Murder Squad.

We started doing events together - often just two or three of us, occasionally more. We travelled around the country to promote our books and each other, and great friendships were formed. We have produced three short story anthologies and even a CD. We even featured on TV's Inside Out programme, and the producer's idea of filming me wandering around underneath Runcorn Bridge even gave me the idea for a key scene in Waterloo Sunset. It's been a lot of fun.

Seventeen years on, Murder Squad is still going strong. So it's lasted much longer than the Beatles! There have been personnel changes, but not many. Sadly, our friend Stuart Pawson died, while Chaz Brenchley and John Baker no longer write crime fiction. But we have been joined by Chris Simms and Kate Ellis. Occasionally all six of us get together - the above photo was taken at Carlisle Crime Festival last year.

Now we're having a bit of a relaunch,and as part of that, we've revamped our website. Do take a look at it, and if you don't know them already, do take a look at the excellent books written by my fellow squaddies. I suspect many of you will already know Ann Cleeves' books, but you'll also enjoy the work of Cath, Kate, Chris, and Margaret (or should I call her A.D. Garrett? Or indeed Ashley Dyer!) You'll be glad you did, just as I'm very glad that Margaret called me all those years ago. .


A.D. Garrett said...

This is so lovely, Martin! The Squad has been a constant, and the Squaddies a pleasure to work with all these years. I value the friendships and I'm proud to be associated with such a talented band of writers. Margaret (under my AD Garrett guise ;).

Martin Edwards said...

Likewise, Margaret. We owe you a lot for having such a great idea and then doing the difficult bit - carrying it through.