‘Since the days of the Regency, when prostitutes and pickpockets worked the promenades, and smugglers the coves and bays, the seaside has always had a seedy underbelly.
And the English seaside can rightfully claim to be the birthplace of the English detective novel. It was in between examining nautical malingerers and Senior Service retirees at his medical practice in Southsea, Portsmouth that Arthur Conan Doyle wrote “A Study in Scarlet” – the tale that in 1887 bequeathed Sherlock Holmes to the world. Nearly a quarter of a century later, in Torquay, a 20-year-old Agatha Christie, recovering from a bout of influenza and bored with eking out the hours at home assembling jigsaws, created the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot.
Award-winning authors Travis Elborough and Cathi Unsworth both grew up on the coast – respectively Worthing and Great Yarmouth. Together they will chart the seamier waters of the English seaside, ranging from Patrick Hamilton to Harold Pinter and from Graham Greene to Quadrophenia, and reading from their own works.
Cathi is the author of six pop-cultural crime fiction novels, including the brilliant Weirdo an unforgettable slice of eastern gothic set in a fictional Norfolk resort in the 1980s, and the co-author of Defying Gravity, the life and times of punk icon Jordan.
Travis is the author of Wish You Were Here: England on Sea and Through the Looking Glasses. He hails from a family who ran a pioneering pirate-themed restaurant in Cornwall and was born in Shoreham-By-Sea and raised in Worthing.
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