Fowl Play

“Crate time!”

The pups marched off to the kitchen. I slipped the bolts into place and two disgruntled thugs glared at me from inside their cages. As I turned to leave tin food bowls were dragged ominously along the bars. We were going out for the evening and the pups were not amused.

Stirling’s Albert Hall is the main venue for “Bloody Scotland”, Scotland’s International Crime Writing Festival. The photograph shows the queue for the on-stage performance of the double act of Christopher Brookmyre and Mark Billingham. Somebody’s overrunning and the queue is getting restless. The organisers are lucky it’s a dry night otherwise they’d find themselves the subject of next year’s best sellers.


On the front of the building (see photo) a ticker tape advertising display promotes forthcoming acts. A non-descript “Britain’s Got Talent” winner, T-Rex and Johnny Cash tribute acts and, quite amazingly, Herman’s Hermits! Stirling is most definitely the place to come to see the forgotten, the dead, the must be nearly dead and, counting this weekend’s festival, the horribly murdered!
Messrs Brookmyre and Billingham produced a riotous performance of smut and bad language. The discovery of a, still warm, take-away cooked chicken in the toilet of Border’s Bookshop in Glasgow’s Buchanan Street proved to be one of the more bizarre of the evening’s anecdotes, For the benefit of the more squeamish amongst us I will describe the chicken as having been “interfered with”. Mr Brookmyre’s description was rather more basic. But the crux of the story didn’t centre on the questionable habits of the chicken molester but rather on the fact that, in a bookshop stuffed full of celebrity cookery books, he had not seen fit to buy a raw chicken and cook it in the privacy of his own home for whatever purpose he had in mind. This, Mr Brookmyre deemed, was a rather sad reflection on Scotland’s woeful culinary habits,

You had to feel sorry for the poor sod who’s mobile phone went off during one of Brookmyre’s wee speeches. Nothing was said, the speaker continuing as if nothing had happened. A couple of minutes later The author was about to read out readers’ comments

“which” he muttered, “I’ll do once I shove that mobile phone up your arse!”

This was met with uproarious one-handed applause as a now fearful audience checked their own mobile phones with their other hand.


16 thoughts on “Fowl Play

    • It was a superb evening out Helen. I’ve long been a fan of Christopher Brookmyre. He writes under Chris Brookmyre (crime thrillers) and Christopher Brookmyre…totally off the wall Scottish fiction. I would suggest if you like this blog then Brookmyre’s books will appeal. He’s just a wee bit better at it than me πŸ˜† .

      (PS he uses a lot more sweary words than I do 😯 πŸ˜€ )

          • I’ve ordered a batch of his books from Better World Books U.K.
            I don;t know if you’ve come across them but they sell ex library books and use the proceeds to support literacy campaigns.
            I’ve given up ordering from their U.S, arm as the books never arrive…but so far this Dunfermline based bunch have managed to ship every order to Costa Rica – clearly not sipping the blood red wine until after working hours.

            So in about a fortnight’s time I’ll be blessing you for the ntroduction to a new author and so will all the people to whom the books will then be passed.

    • When I read Brookmyre I realise how far “behind the game” I am. πŸ˜† He’s a good performer on stage as well though I have to admit that Mark Billingham, with whom he shared the stage, is a top notch performer. Still to read one of Billingham’s books.

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