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30 minutes
First broadcast:
Sunday 19 September 2010

Mariella Frostrup is joined by the award-winning crime novelist Val McDermid to discuss her latest book, Trick of the Dark. McDermid is best known for her Tony Hill series of thrillers, which were adapted for television as Wire In The Blood. She talks to Mariella about her ongoing love affair with writing crime and why she invented the category of Tartan Noir to describe her books.

Also on the programme, the writer behind The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency, Alexander McCall Smith, shares his insights into the art of writing prolifically. Mariella finds out how McCall Smith, like other prolific novelists, is able to continue producing a book a year - something many writers feel clashes with the artistry of fiction writing.

Plus, as Pakistan continues to reel from the damage created by flood waters, how are the country's writers responding? Two of Pakistan's new generation of novelists, Kamila Shamsie and Daniyal Mueenudeen, join Mariella to discuss, and to shed light on the renaissance that Pakistani writing is undergoing.

Producer: Sally Spurring.


2 items

    Mariella Frostrup talks to the award-winning crime writer Val McDermid about her new book.


    The writer behind The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency, Alexander McCall Smith, shares his insights into the art of writing prolifically.

  • Book List

    Sibling Rivalry

    Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
    Publisher: Penguin

    Trespass by Rose Tremain
    Publisher: Vintage

    How Novels Work by John Mullen
    Publisher: Oxford University Press

    Sunjeev Sahota

    Ours are the Streets by Sunjeev Sahota
    Publisher: Picador

    Open Book Highlights of 2010

    Parrot and Olivier in America by Peter Carey
    Publisher: Knopf

    Luka and the Fire of Life by Salman Rushdie
    Publisher: Random House

    The Finkler Question by Howard Jacobson
    Publisher: Bloomsbury

    The Complete Wreck (A Series of Unfortunate Events, Books 1-13) by Lemony Snicket
    Publisher: HarperCollins

    Georgiana: Duchess of Devonshire by Amanda Foreman
    Publisher: Modern Library

    The Snow Goose by Paul Gallico
    Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers


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