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Podcast Preview: Caitlin Davies on the history of female detectives and writing historical crime

Today, we're excited to start sharing some of the people coming to Medway River Lit in November! Later this month, we'll be launching a podcast, where we'll be talking to some of the writers in advance of their visit to the festival, we'll also be featuring them here in this blog.


Photo of the author Caitlin Davies
Caitlin Davies, author of 'Private Inquiries'

CAITLIN DAVIES is a novelist, non-fiction writer, teacher and award-winning journalist. She is the author of six novels, including the historical crime novel The Ghost of Lily Painter, and seven non-fiction books, including Bad Girls: The Rebels and Renegades of Holloway Prison, nominated for the Orwell Prize for Political Writing (2019). Caitlin lives in Kent, where she works as a Royal Literary Fund Fellow in the NHS. She is also a trained Private Investigator.


Caitlin will be talking about her fascinating book Private Inquiries: The Secret History of Female Sleuths: "it's a history of female private eyes from around the 1850s up until today. And it's looking at about a dozen women in particular, how they became private detectives, what crimes they solved and their general struggles along the way."


‘Private Inquiries is a must-read – a riveting mythbuster, with its revelations of the real histories of women PIs’ Val McDermid


In the course of researching and writing the book, Caitlin also qualified as a Private Investigator! "... in the UK there's no set route. Anyone who wants to be a private detective can. You can set up shop tomorrow, there are a few courses out there. So I thought, oh, OK, well, I'll sign up and do one of these courses."


Caitlin will also be running a Masterclass on Writing Historical Crime Fiction, on how to create a sense of atmosphere and place. And finding the sources that are out there that can help you create that world, then learning how you can use them. Booking for Masterclasses will open when we announce the full line-up.


You can hear our interview with Caitlin later this month when we launch The River Is Lit podcast, which will be available from the Wordsmithery Soundcloud page. And come and hear her talking about Private Inquiries in November at Medway River Lit.


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