Authors solve the puzzle of how to write crime fiction

WHODUNNIT? From left to right, Conor Kelly, Amanda Pearson and their tutor, Helen Gittings, investigate a mock crime scene. Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (133027-6)
WHODUNNIT? From left to right, Conor Kelly, Amanda Pearson and their tutor, Helen Gittings, investigate a mock crime scene. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (133027-6)
Driftwood Festival organiser Paul Cobb  Picture: Malcolm Wells (142242-6774C)

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ARE fungi still used to kill people? How easy is it to detect their poison in the victim’s blood?

They were two questions asked at Saturday’s CSI Portsmouth panel session, run as part of the city’s Bookfest, at the National Museum of the Royal Navy.

A packed house listened to acclaimed crime authors Pauline Rowson and Kerry Wilkinson, who were joined on the top table by forensic toxicologist Dr Alex Allen and DC Mick Ellis, from Hampshire Constabulary.

CSI Portsmouth has been part of Bookfest – run by Portsmouth’s Library Service to recognise the city’s literary heritage and promote literacy – since 2010.

It was set up by Ms Rowson, whose crime novels are set in the south.

She said: ‘I found people are very fascinated by real crime, as well as the fictional aspect.’

Visitors were able to have their fingerprint turned into a keyring, and examine a crime scene set up by South Downs College forensic science students.