Anyone who has read Martin Edwards’ magnificent The Golden Age of Murder (and that would include most Golden Age crime fans) is very familiar with the Detection Club: a loose grouping of crime writers founded in 1930 by – among others – Agatha Christie, Dorothy L Sayers, GK Chesterton and Ronald Knox.
It has continued to this day as a friendly club devoted to crime fiction. And this year, to my enormous delight, the President of the Club, who just happens to be that same Martin Edwards, invited me to be a guest at their summer dinner. I accepted really quickly (in case he changed his mind) and in my response didn’t even try to be cool about it. I said: ‘If teenage me, discovering Agatha Christie in Liverpool and dreaming of a glamorous life down south, had ever thought I would one day be going to a Detection Club dinner at the Garrick Club - well, that young woman would have been very happy indeed...’
So this week I attended the dinner. At the Garrick Club – as one of my friends said (yes of course I boasted to all of them) ‘The Garrick Club is a bit like Timbuktu and Shangri-La - is it a real place or not?’
It is real, and stunning. It is ‘a private members’ Club situated in the heart of London’s West End and Theatreland’, founded in 1831. We were in a private room, 18 of us seated around one big table. The food was magnificent, the company even better. I made friends with crime writer Michael Jecks, below:
Who has featured glancingly on the blog before, - this from my entry on boy bishops:
He can expect to be featured again...
And also met several other writers, including Anne Granger and Kate Charles.
Portrait of Henry Irving
Of course the proceedings of the Detection Club must be secret, but I can tell you that I had the best night, enjoyed myself hugely.
Since I first started blogging, one of the things that most struck me is what a lovely bunch crime writers are – always collegial and friendly and welcoming. This was the apotheosis of that. I had a wonderful time, and would like to thank Martin and the rest of the Detection Club for having me.
Links to various crime writers via the labels below. The photos were taken by me, and up to my usual standard: for which apologies.