Crime Writers Festival looks at world of crime through plots, styles, films

New Delhi: The spotlight is set to shine on Agatha Christie, one of the world's best selling novelist at the second edition of the Crime Writer's Festival that begins in New Delhi on Friday.

A nod to the 'Queen of Crime Writing' is being given by British research chemist Kathryn Harkup through her book "A is for Arsenic", which celebrates the use of science in Christie's novels and among the highlight of the festival.

Christie used poison to kill her characters more often than any other murder method, with the poison itself being a central part of the novel.
Harkup is lined up in conversation with Dom Hastings, director of Scotland's International Crime Writing Festival.

The three-day event is an initiative of the Crime Writer's Forum for South Asia and co-produced by Oxford Bookstore and Siyahi is scheduled to be held at the Alliance Francaise and Oxford Bookstore here.

Writers and filmmakers who work on crime and thriller fiction from across the world examine the genre writing scene in India and abroad.
"While Scandanavians are renowned for their expertise on crime writing, I see that books on the genre from French and Israeli authors are gaining ground. The authors are very well known in Europe and more translations of their books into English could be a possible reason," says Mita Kapoor of Siyahi, which is co-producing the festival.

Authors Namita Gokhale and Kishwar Desai are Festival Directors. Among the international participants are Liad Shoham, a lawyer and leading Israeli crime fiction author who will be in conversation with Niharika Karanjawala to talk about his realistic depictions of Israel's criminal justice.

Leading French crime fiction writer Veronique Ovalde is lined up in conversation with Kishwar Desai.

Bengaluru-based Swedish writer Zac O'Yeah who had participated in the innagural edition of the festival last year is also attending this year. "There were so many authors that we wanted to bring in but had to make sure that the line up was balanced to give representation to both Indian and global authors," says Kapoor.

While Hindi pulp fiction great Surendra Mohan Pathak drew crowds last year, this year two other big names in Hindi crime fiction ---Amit Khan and Vivek Aggarwal have been invited.

Film director Sudhir Mishra is set to launch director and writer Piyush Jha's book "Raakshas: India's No 1 serial killer." "Last year we had a session on legendary Bengali detective Byomkesh Bakshi this year we have one that looks at crime in Bollywood by Sudhir Mishra," says Kapoor Some key participants at the festival include Avirook Sen, Deepak Yadav, Jerry Pinto, Karuna Nundy, Kishwar Desai, Ravi Subramanian, Sudhir Singh etc.

Organisers say the festival has gained momentum and is poised to become bigger by next year.

"We have received huge demand from Mumbai to host the festival there but right now our focus is Delhi. The festival also offers an opportunity to look at society, internalise and see how we can deal with crimes be it against women, or legal or white collar crimes etc," says Kapoor.

Investigation Discovery (ID) leading investigation, crime and-suspense network on television has tied up with the Festival to provide content support.

"We can expect to see people dressed up as criminals and sleuths and other characters during the festival," says Kapoor A quiz on crime writing, Qrious Qrimes, will be conducted by Quizcraft Global on January 17.

A package of films dealing with 'real life crime' hopes to give visitors to the festival a peek into the way in which crime-in-the-real has been fantasised by pop culture is being held today.

Gulzar's 'Achanak' (1973), based on the sensational 1959 Nanavati Case, William Friedkin's classic, "The French Connection (1971)" based on Robin Moore's real-life expose of drug trafficking between France and the US, "The Fifth Estate" (2013) based on the Julian Assange affair are among the films to be screened.

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