BookPub X Noir At The Bar

BookPub joins noir at the bar and guest authors for book readings, gossip and cocktails…

It felt like a Friday night but this night was an ‘In-Out’ kind of night. The chilled wine freshly poured, the pen poised on the notepad and the phone displayed itself in the Zoom meeting, ready and waiting. Virtual Noir at the Bar (VNATB) is an online weekly event where crime and mystery writers conduct a live reading of their latest works. The event was intended to be a physical event but turned into virtual, due to the pandemic, a task many people are having to tackle. It is hosted by Vic Watson, our kind of Geordie girl, creative writer and tutor by day and VNATB host by night. Vic laughed about having Noir At the Bar (NATB) down the pub on Blood Brothers Podcast but she said “it’s not easy” being a host, especially when someone gets you hammered at the after party (shifting tones to Rob Parker). VNATB invites writers whether you are best selling, award winning, novice, amateurs or pro to share their work on the worst day of the week (Hump Day) around 7:30pm. This is good in a way to break up the week but it’s not nice being hungover on a Thursday, thanks! Each reading is around 10 minutes followed by a Q&A in between. There are also chances to win prizes but we do warn you, be ready to spend money! BookPub ordered like six books, eagerly wanting to read all of them! This bunch is hilarious, wild, courageous, supportive. It is literally the highlight of the week!

Noir at the bar guest authors…

Vic Watson

Vic Watson has so much energy and banter which makes her perfect for hostess. She runs workshops within the local community and has a copy writing business whilst juggling being a mother, writer and host. You get to see all these sides to her as a host which is really inviting, especially if you are first time attendee. One of the guests couldn’t make the Zoom call so Vic stepped in last minute. As a first time guest on the broadcast, it was nice to be introduced to her work. It felt like a true introduction to the group.

Chris McDonald

Host of The Blood Brothers Podcast and author of A Wash of Black, Chris McDonald is currently based in Manchester. He got his inspiration for his current debut from his night feed. Sounds bad but some times you brain has be inactive to be action, we get it!

A Wash Of Black is based on DI Erika Piper who just retuned to work after suffering from a fatal heart attack. When a body is found mutilated on a Manchester ice rink, she recalls the crime scene replicated a scene from a blockbuster film she starred in years ago. Her battles with the media storm and the killer tests her personal strength which she must find in herself to unveil the mystery murderer. Chris said in an interview, if anyone is to play Erika, it would have to be Emily Blunt!

The novel has been awarded praise by Rob Parker and TM Logan as “addictive, clever, chilling and entertaining”. His second novel based on DI Piper called Whisper In The Dark will be released in November 2020.

Theresa Talbot

Theresa Talbot is a Glaswegian writer and broadcaster who presents the podcast The Tartan Noir Show with a special guest every show. The show features guests like writers, celebrity fans or journalists and special previews of releases, news or hot topics. Her chatty, positive and friendly personality reflects in all her work and interviews. She held a fantastic interview with Peter May (Lockdown) on her podcast recently. When appearing on NATB, she was already stitching the audience up as she was sat in her PJS. The funny thing was that we all were with a glass of something. Her reading of The Quiet Ones (Oonagh O’Neil – Book 3) which was inspired by travels with a taxi driver who recognised her. The driver was the victim of the original whistleblowing scandal (The Celtic Boys, if anyone wants to do background research). All of her books have been based on real life stories. This inspired her to write about the power some men can hold especially if they already have status. She read the prologue and it sounded fascinating. We are new to the Talbot collection so downloaded The Lost Children and will build up to the latest book.

Jean Rafferty

She was formerly an award winning journalist whos first two pieces of work was nominated for Literary Prizes. The works she read out last week was called Four Deeds Will Rise. The book is about Satanist ritual abuse inspired by the Orkney satanic child abuse allegations in the 90s. She leads the novel through the eyes of an investigative journalist, victim of the allegations, meeting another survivor. After talking with Jean briefly on Twitter, she had mentioned it taken a lot of research in order to write this. It has been a struggle to gain publishers trust in releasing it because of the deep, controversial and sheer depravity it entails. When listening to the story, it for sure shows the emotional courage it took Jean to write it. Also, it shows that people will look the other way not being aware of the events and how organised they can be. One very big warning is that it is very graphic and hard to listen to let alone read but it is interesting to learn the insight to what Jean has learned behind it. BookPub will eventually try this but when the frame of mind is geared up for it. If anyone has read it and would like to give us their insight to post on the blog, please feel free!

International crime writers join forces to support NHS with new Crime Anthology called ‘Noir At the Bar’ . It features shorts from best-sellers authors including Neil Broadfoot, Roz Watkins, Sharon Bolton and Zoe Sharp. Newcastle-Upon-Tyne based literary group, Noir at the Bar, has brought together some of the best crime writers from across the globe, to publish a collection of short, fictional crime.

Noir from the Bar Press Release

Dave Sivers

Dave is a Buckinghamshire based author who is well known for his Archer and Baines series. We are sure he has many stories from his bouncer days! However, his 21 year (and counting) passion of writing over came this career where he co-founded the ‘Beacon Lit Festival’. He has recently published a novel called In Ink is a ‘serial killer chiller’. The first book of DI Nathan Quarrel series. Quarrel investigates a murder linked to a pack of Tarot cards. The first one left on his victim was: The Fool. After finding another body, he is handed another card. This motivates DI Quarrel’s curiosity to investigate the mysterious murderer and the connection between the victims. Throughout Siver’s reading, we gather a glimpse of abduction, pain and fear. He mentioned Stormzy playing in the back ground during one of the moments in his book. This was very impressive as he has made his characters relevant, current and realistic. There was slight humour in the way his characters spoke in the book but Sivers has been complemented for his well written characters throughout his whole a career. His local followers have praised him for the attention to detail and look forwards to what DI Nathan Quarrel can bring to the table.

Holly Seddon

BookPub are pleased to announce that she had told us before anyone else her new book The Wanted will be released on 28th August 2020. We were almost grabbing our tissues on this one! Marianne’s husband Greg is knocked off his bike and killed on the way to work. Numb with grief, Marianne consoles herself by scouring Greg’s laptop, finding comfort in reading his old emails and tracing his footsteps across the web. Until one day, she discovers that he had been accessing the dark web.

Her book Try Not To Breathe and Don’t Close Your Eyes were both exceptionally captivating and full of surprises. The way she intertwined the sisters in Don’t Close Your Eyes where we witnessed the impact of their childhood made you not want to put the book down. We can’t wait to give her a review for the new release in August and we are proud of her for doing the first NATB reading so well! A fact we did not know before is that alongside fellow author Gillian McAllister, Holly co-hosts the popular Honest Authors Podcast.

Gillian McAllister

Her new book, How To Disappear, will be published in 9th July 2020 and will be posted on our new releases next month. Her works have been translated into eleven languages and she has been resembled to writing style of Jodi Picoult, wow! How to Disappear is a thriller based on the witness protection programme. The main character’s witnesses the murder of a homeless man by a premier league footballer. Unfortunately, the media gets involved so the mother and daughter is moved into witness protection to protect the daughter.

After listening to the prologue, you want to know more! The creative description makes you fill chilled from feeling as though your with the character. McAllister includes the relevant sources of media stories and platforms as though the storm is already brewing. It was a very short excerpt from the book but you gather from the personality of the character that she does not want to be cooped up in witness protection. It is one that will be worth putting on the list when released!

Lizzy Barber

Lizzy Barber is the winner of 2017 Daily Mail First Crime Novel Competition where she received an advance from Penguin Random House Publishers. She mentioned in an interview that Jacqueline Wilson was her idol (we’ve all been there, lizzy!) and that creativity runs in the family. Her first novel is called My Name is Anna and we have added this to our TBR list!

BookPub were struck by the reading of her latest novel that she is currently writing. There has been no publish date confirmed but she kindly read an extract from it. From what we gather, the story line is about a professor watching his students go about their day. His ways of irritation and materialism annoy him. There was an event that had happened and the professor was there but the reader does not know what happened. He is also forced to be apart of the teacher social life by going to pubs and social gatherings but is fed up of the way people behave and talk. Everything annoys him but yet he knows everything about Florence… Barber nit picks at the little annoyances the professor has on people. She has created so much relative content in what the younger generation likes, gossip subjects and habits. It’s like she has taken herself back into her student days but front he teacher perspective and twisted it, oh so much! Then there is the subtle intelligent subjects, words drops and language mixed in which makes the professor seem so realistic and intelligible. It makes us miss the annual trips to Sicily!

Phoebe Locke

Among the backdrop of heat, poverty and terrorism, The July Girls is set in Brixton. Ten year old Addie suspects Jessie (her older sister) who is withholding information about her father, especially when he came home covered in blood on the same night a young woman goes missing. The trouble is, a girl also went missing on the same day last year. Locke has been credited for her intense, realistic and thrilling novel. She read a short passage from the beginning of the book where Addie is sat there worrying where her sister and father. It has been downloaded to read so will be reviewed when completed.

Danny Marshall

Born and raised in Halifax, Danny was selected winner of the “New Writing” category in the Northern Crime competition (2016). In 2018, he won a Northern Writers Award for his novel Anthrax Island which was signed with an agent in 2019! His writing style of Fernie was described similar to authors Michael Crichton and Richard Laymon.

Danny kindly read us the first story he was going to submit for the anthology. It was inspired by the 80s slashers, stereo typical screaming horror themes. The victim tried to escape a morbid killer through a house which he had personally rated it “R” with a little swearing and violence called I Survived. It was everything he said it would be. You could tell that he added essence of himself in the story (putting the jeans on, pub visits and talking about next door on holiday) so the character had a sense of authenticity in personality and realism. BookPub have an ARC of Anthrax Island. A review will feature on our Hub soon!

Noir At The Bar is hosted every week at 7:30pm (ish). BookPub will be joining on Wednesday, if anyone would like to join us. This weeks readers will include Christie Newport, Gareth Rubin, Emily Koch, Robin Morgan-Bentley, M.W Craven, Andrea Carter, Mason Cross, Daisy Waugh, Nina Manning and Holly Watt. Another post will follow regarding the in’s and outs of the meeting if you can’t catch up but if your really into noir it will be worth trying to get into. Support NATB today by purchasing their anthology from a variety of wonderful authors!

Enjoy a Blood Bath Cocktail!


  • 100ml pomegranate juice
  • 50ml vodka
  • Dash of raspberry syrup
  • Dash of lemon juice

WANTED: Bloggers!

As a pub is seen as a come and go place. We wanted to allow people to have opportunities to post their thoughts with us. We are looking for bookstagram people who do not own a blog, who would be interested in posting their reviews on this site. They will have full reign over their… Read more “WANTED: Bloggers!”

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