At the Scene of the Crime Thriller Awards 2014

Orion’s Jemima Forrester joins crime fiction’s high fliers at the Specsavers Crime Thriller Awards 2014.

People think publishing is glamorous; full of parties, dinners and wine-fuelled lunches that last all afternoon. Well, it might once have been like that, but it’s certainly not been the case for the five or so years I’ve worked in the industry! Lunch ‘al desko’ and the odd coffee catch-up are about as far as it stretches these days.

So being invited to a glitzy (or ‘ritzy’ as Robert Harris so perfectly put it), star-studded TV award ceremony where I had to put on actual heels and hunt through my wardrobe for my one cocktail dress was pretty much the highlight of . . . well, at least the month!

So it was that on Friday night we from Team Orion donned our party frocks, dusted off our bow ties and headed over to Grosvenor House on Park Lane. We were greeted with camera crews and press, all eagerly trying to get photos of Keeley Hawes or Mark Gatiss without us walking into the shot.

The presenting was just about pulled off by Bradley Walsh who did, to be fair, have me laughing out loud several times.

Glass-encased daggers were awarded to the great and good of the crime world, both film and TV, with Wiley Cash scooping the coveted Gold Dagger, Ray Celestin the John Creasey – debut – Dagger, and a TV programme I hadn’t even heard of (Happy Valley?) coming up trumps in several categories. I came away feeling I needed to catch up on a lot of box sets!

Obviously the highlight of the night was Denise Mina – crime-writing superstar and, quite frankly, the best hair in the business – being inaugurated into the exclusive Hall of Fame. She was only pipped to the post for the best acceptance speech (in my opinion) by Keeley Hawes, who berated ITV for leaving the Best Actress Award until last as she really needed a wee. Excellent.

Also inducted into the Hall of Fame were Robert Harris (one of my all-time favourite authors) and, hilariously, Midsomer Murders. Well, you can’t beat a TV show which includes death by relish, and where you know you have to be six or seven bodies deep before the killer can be unmasked.

So there you have it. Another year, another excellent evening’s entertainment. Next year I’ll try and make it into a camera shot!

Hall of Famer Denise Mina’s latest novel The Red Road is published by Orion and is available now.