The group had enjoyed discussing a previous book last year and welcomed the opportunity to read another book in the series as well as meeting Imogen, who was also promoting her new book ‘The Paris Winter’.
It was great to have a crime author at the library as part of our Author event series as well as one whose novels are so different from the classic detective genre. From alchemy to anatomy Imogen Robertson’s imagination knows no bounds, particularly when it involves the 18th century.
Starting out as a children’s TV director, then winning the 2007 Daily Telegraph ‘Novel in a Year’ competition, Imogen now writes a book a year and had a demanding research schedule to keep her books original and historically accurate. Old Bailey Online is a favourite resource for finding inspiration about ever more rotten crimes. The good thing about historical amateur detectives is that they don’t have rules and regulations to stick to and this creates wonderful plotting potential.
The Paris Winter is a refreshing stand alone diversion from the world of the 18th Century to Paris, the Belle Epoque and the Great Flood of 1910. Whilst reading newspapers reporting the flood, Imogen saw an advert for a home for British governesses and shop workers who had fallen on hard times in Paris. This captured her imagination and ended up taking a prominent place in the plot of the novel. You too can read period newspapers online via the 24/7 Library – perhaps you’ll spot the same advert…
We really enjoyed hearing Imogen talk about the craft of being an author and how her characters become real to her – so much so that she worries about what they are up to and feels sad if she has to kill someone off! We also talked about Imogen’s plans for the future: Crowther and Westerman is set to continue at full speed with number 5 on the way.
There are lots of copies of all Imogen’s books in Westminster libraries so do immerse yourself in some historical and colourful crime.
The next author in the series is SJ Bolton, who will be with us on Monday 22 April to discuss her latest book ‘Like this, forever’.