Catching up on one of the best crime writing festivals in the world, we were lucky enough to go to Iceland Noir icelandnoir.weebly.com in November 2022. We should have been there the year before, but illness and passport office incompetence postponed the trip, so we were delighted to be back in our favourite country with so many friends for the festival.
This post will be mostly photos, as I think they best catch the essence of this quirky and brilliant event, which has started to stretch its icy fingers beyond just crime fiction and into other areas of literary excellence. As a small country with a population equal to a small city in the UK, the Icelanders punch significantly above their weight across literature, the arts and music.
Authors with truly global appeal often converge on Reykjavik for the festival, which is now corralled brilliantly under the direction of Hattie Adam-Smith, with a board that includes Yrsa Sigurdardottir and Ragnar Jonasson. As well as authors, the festival also now includes film and TV panels and must be a bucket list trip for any true fan of Nordic Noir. Main venues were the cosy and welcoming club Kjarvalsstofa, which boasts panoramic views over the city, and the beautiful Frikirkjan, next to the famous Pond.
Our faves, apart from all of our brilliant Icelandic friends, included Trevor Wood, Claire Mackintosh, Kevin Wignall, Karin Salavaggio, Abir Muhkerjee, Carolyn Jess Cooke, Louise Mangos, Davey Fennell, Kamilla Einarsdottir, and my fellow authors from Team Orenda Eve Smith, Will Carver, Eva Bjorg Aegisdottir, Sarah Sultoon, Michael J Malone, Helen Fitzgerald and Lila Sigurdardottir. My wonderful publisher Karen Sullivan from Orenda Books and the fab blogger Abby Endler from Instabook sensation Crime by the Book, as well as agent David Headley, and crime fiction addict Dr Jacky Collins, hosted excellent panels.
We even got invited to the President's home by his wife, author Eliza Reid, and took a trip to Nobel Prize winning Icelandic author Halldor Laxness home where we were hosted by his lovely grand-daughter Audur Jonsdottir. Seeing the swirl of northern lights ghosting over the centre of the city made for a weekend we'll never forget. Roll on November 2023, when the line-up already announced includes Louise Penny and Dan Brown.