Two local books have been produced for the Shetland Noir crime festival, and will be launched next weekend.
Local crime writer Marsali Taylor will be releasing her novel, Footsteps in the Dew.
Taylor has gone back into the past, to 1150. When Rannveig finds boastful Patrekr dead in her father’s longhouse one summer morning, she knows her sister’s suitor, Eilifr, is not guilty – and she is willing to declare his innocence in front of Earl Rognvaldr the kirk-builder at the Ting.
Then there is a second death, and soon danger threatens Rannveig’s father and her lively brother and sisters.
“This short novel started out as a short story for Shetland Life, and grew into a serial,” Taylor said.
“The key characters are a family who live at Underhoull, Unst, particularly Rannveig, the oldest daughter, who’s mother to her lively brother and sisters.
“I wanted to show what life might have been like then, including the feasts and traditions, and I was determined to weave the romantic poet Earl Rognvaldr into the story.
“He’s a wonderful character, and the historical events of around then help to shape the story.”
Footsteps in the Dew has been produced in a special limited edition of only 150 copies, with a special Shetland Noir cover.
After the success of Wirds from the Wastside, the Westside Writers have also produced a new anthology, Wastside Noir.
To get them in the mood, group members spent a weekend at Belmont House, reflecting on all things noir, and several of the resulting pieces are set there.
The mix of short stories, poems and images in English and dialect includes poems of time and transience, a true-life murder case, the dark side of marriage, Death’s apprentice, murderous feelings evoked over an allotment, an invasion of small furry creatures, sinister bikers, murder in a boathouse, a bored small boy getting into trouble, and a sticky end for Fred the praying mantis.
Contributing writers are: Kate Ali, Robin Ditchburn, Doug Forrest, Barbara Fraser, Beth Fullerton, Nat Hall, Claire Hurst, Peter Hurst, Debbie Nicolson, Mathew Nicolson, June Ross-Smith and Marsali Taylor.
Westside Writers chairman, Doug Forrest, said: “It is truly wonderful to see even just a tiny fraction of all the brilliant writing produced by the Westside Writers’ Group brought together in this way. And for it to be part of Shetland Noir in the process just adds to the joy.”
Wastside Noir and Footsteps in the Dew will both be on sale at the ‘Shetland Welcome’ evening event in the library on 12th November, and from then on at shops and venues including The Shetland Times Bookshop.