A look back at CSI Portsmouth 2014 and forward to CSI Portsmouth 2016 were crime fiction meets crime fact

The sixth CSI Portsmouth where crime fiction meets crime fact will be held on Saturday 5 March 2016 at the Pyramids Centre, Clarence Esplanade, Southsea.  Tickets go on sale on 4 January and before then here's a look back at CSI Portsmouth 2014. You can also read what happened at CSI Portsmouth 2013, CSI Portsmouth 2012, CSI Portsmouth 2011 and view the details of the first CSI Portsmouth in 2010).

CSI Portsmouth is part of Portsmouth BookFest, organised by Portsmouth City Council Library Service. It brings together top selling crime authors, police and forensic experts for a one day entertaining and informative debate on crime fiction and crime fact.

Over 100 people packed into The Princess Royal Gallery at the National Museum of the Royal Navy in the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard on Saturday 8 November 2014 to hear two panel debates on crime fiction versus crime fact at the fifth annual CSI Portsmouth.

On the morning panel I joined forces with my fellow crime writer M.C. Beaton and with crime experts Dr Katherine Brown, a Forensic Entomologist at the Institute of Criminal Justice Studies, University of Portsmouth and Terrence Napier, Footwear Mark Examiner, with Hampshire Police.


Pauline Rowson, M.C. Beaton, Dr Katherine Brown, a Forensic Entomologist,Terrence Napier, Footwear Mark Examiner,  Hampshire Police


M.C Beaton is the author of the Hamish Macbeth novels and the Agatha Raisin series.  She is the most borrowed British adult fiction author in UK libraries with over a million borrowings in the last year. She answered questions about the inspiration behind her crime novels, her characters and how she researches them.

My crime novels are set in the Solent and feature the flawed and rugged DI Andy Horton.  They have been hailed in the UK and the USA as the 'Best of British Crime Fiction,' and have been translated into several languages. While the first in my new crime series to feature a new hero former Royal Marine Commando, Special Boat Services Officer Art Marvik, Silent Running,  was published in March 2015 with the twelfth in the DI Andy Horton series, Fatal Catch published in September 2015.

Pauline Rowson and M C Beaton

 Dr Katherine Brown, a Forensic Entomologist and Senior Lecturer in Forensic Science at the Institute of Criminal Justice Studies at the University of Portsmouth, talked the audience through the various stages of the development of flies and maggots in the decomposition of a human body, not for the faint-hearted,  while Terrence Napier, Footwear Mark Examiner for Hampshire Police Scientific Services, explained how prints are taken at a crime scene and how they are analysed in the lab.


Dr Katherine Brown, Forensic Entomologist and Terrence Napier, Hampshire Police

 This was followed by questions from the audience, a book signing and the chance for individuals to chat to the panel guests.

Also at CSI Portsmouth were the Hampshire Police Fingerprint bureau, a mock up crime scene provided by students on the Forensic Science Course at South Downs College and a forensic entomology display by the Institute of Criminal Justice Studies, University of Portsmouth. The Hayling Island Bookshop were on hand to sell the authors books.


The afternoon audience at CSI Portsmouth 2014 were entertained with tales of drug busting, intelligence gathering and covert source recruitment.  The afternoon panel comprised of crime authors Jessie Keane and Hilary Bonner with crime experts, Sergeant Roger Wood and DI Mandy Horsburgh of Operation Fortress, Hampshire Police.


Pauline Rowson, Jessie Keane, Sergeant Roger Wood, DI Mandy Horsburgh and Hilary Bonner


Jessie Keane talked about her gangland crime novels featuring Annie Carter, head of a London gang family and how her background has influenced her writing. While Hilary Bonner, a former Fleet Street journalist and show business editor of three national newspapers and assistant editor of one, spoke about her keen interest in creating psychological thrillers drawn from real life events.

The afternoon panel at CSI Portsmouth 2014

Sergeant Roger Wood spoke about aspects of intelligence gathering and monitoring suspects in regards to counter terrorism and the recruitment of covert sources of intelligence and cyber crime.

Jessie Keane and Sergeant Roger Wood at CSI Portsmouth 2014


DI Mandy Horsburgh, who works within Operation Fortress, one of the biggest, most significant stand-alone projects ever to be launched by the Hampshire Constabulary, with its own 31-strong dedicated investigation and enforcement team, spoke about how they tackle the most serious violent drug-related crimes alongside organized criminal groups.

The panel debate was followed by questions from the audience, a book signing and the chance for individuals to chat to the panel guests.

Chatting to the panel at CSI Portsmouth 2014


CSI Portsmouth 2016 is on Saturday 5 March 2016. Tickets on sale from 4 January 2016


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