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Murder, Mystery, Suspense, and it all happens in Puerto de la Cruz 

Agatha Christie Festival 4th – 10th November 2019- Writing Competition

This might strike you as an odd event for Puerto to host, however, Agatha was an early tourist to the island, she stayed at Hotel Taoro in February 1927, and used La Paz as a setting for a short story which featured in The Mysterious Mr. Quin series.  Reason enough then, and this year’s festival, the 7th; they are held biannually, promises to be bigger and better. This year there is a writing competition, your chance to become a sleuth, but more on that later. First a sneak peek, ahead of the programme launch on 24th October 2019, of some of the festival events.

Students from Universidad Europea de Canarias in la Orotava will be providing social media coverage throughout the event, will be hosting a themed guided walk throughout Puerto in costume and in English, and will be designing alternative covers for Agatha Christie featured novels which will be on display in the Municipal Library.

Invited guests are once again Dr. John Curran, author and renowned expert on Agatha Christie, and will be joined by Andrew Wilson, journalist and author, who has published 3 novels in a series of novels featuring Agatha as an amateur detective. The second of which, ‘A different kind of evil’ is set in Puerto de la Cruz and covers the time she spent here. So fiction intermixed with a hint of fact.

Talks in Castillo San Felipe (in English) will be presented by both John Curran and Andrew Wilson, covering all aspects of Agatha Christie’s life. Ken Fisher, the English Library president, will provide a talk (in English) about Miss Marple films. Ramón Michan will talk (in Spanish) about a Tenerife Mystery.  Talks will be followed by showing of films (in English) based on Agatha Christie novels.

Andrew Wilson and John Curran  will run a ‘Book Club’  talking about 2 books , ‘5 Little Pigs’ and ‘A Murder is Announced’ , a Poirot and a Marple. The book club will be held in the English Library. There is no written evidence that Agatha Christie visited the library during her visit, but then she was known to use aliases, so who knows? The English library has a good range of her novels which will be on display throughout the festival week.

Policia Nacional will be hosting an event, although I can’t say what it entails as investigations are ongoing and the official statement at the moment is ‘No comment’.

There will be a Book Swap in operation at the Municipal Market.  Take a book you have already read and replace it with one you haven’t. Book Drops will also take place; books will be left around the town on benches.  If you come across one and it is not to your taste you could always take it to the market and swap it for something more suitable.

Andrew Wilson will be doing a ‘Walk and Talk’ around Puerto, inspired by his novel, ‘A Different Kind of Evil.’

Ramón Michan, whose walks are always popular, will provide a guided walk,  in English, and then again in Spanish.

Eduardo Zalba of Lhorsa Rutas is providing two guided walks, a Poison Route and a Night Walk, both of which are in Spanish.

Jardin Botanico has ‘open doors’ on the Sunday. Even if plants aren’t your thing, there is always a quiet corner where you can read a good book; perhaps an Agatha Christie mystery would be appropriate.

Activities for teenagers will be provided in Casa de Juventud and there is to be a theatre workshop for children on the Saturday morning

A painting competition will take place on Saturday morning, the location of which will remain a mystery at the moment.

Concerts, a charity dinner, a brunch, surfing, there is a lot more going on, all of which will be revealed nearer the time in the official programme or on the dedicated fb page Festival International Agatha Christie. Therefore my list is not ex-haustive, however, it is ex-hausting me, so enough of all this preamble, let’s get to the main event, and the reason for this article, the launching of the Agatha Christie Writing Competition, the details of which are as follows:  

As part of this year’s festival we are offering would be detectives the opportunity to help solve a mystery, one which is worthy of Poirot or Miss Marple.
Late one afternoon a man was discovered slumped on a bench in Plaza del Charco. Passersby had assumed he was simply taking a siesta in the shade, out of the mid afternoon sun, but unfor-tunately that was not the case. Local authorities have con-firmed he didn’t die of natural causes and are treating the death as suspicious.
Your assignment is to provide the who, the why, and the how. You must prepare a story or a statement naming the victim, suggest a motive, surmise how his untimely demise occurred, and identify a suspect.
There are rewards for your efforts, kindly donated by the following.
1st prize:  2 nights at Hotel Atlantic Mirage, Puerto de la Cruz, for 2 persons half board.
2nd prize: 2 nights at Hotel Diamante Suites, Puerto de la Cruz, for 2 persons half board.
3rd prize:  A free ticket to the Spa at Hotel Sol Costa Atlantis, Puerto de la Cruz, for 2. (All prize winners and their guests need be 16 or over)
There are a few rules, all of which should be adhered to:
All entrants should be 16 or over.
All entries should be written in English.
No entry should exceed 1500 words.
All entries need to be emailed to info@citpuerto.com by midnight on 31st October 2019.
Only one entry will be accepted from any email address.
Entries must be accom-panied by your name and full contact details.
Judges decisions are final. Winners will be notified and announced during the festival.
Now all you need is a bit of inspiration to get you writing. I am sure there are some of you are already thinking that 1500 words is not enough, I did wonder, but have just tried it, as an experiment, and knocked out a story in 541 words, but then I am a man of few words. Besides, I am mindful of the people who have to read them. Hang on, I’ve just had a thought, I might be one of them!
Lastly, I must thank the team at Tenerife News for letting me promote this event, it is not the sort of thing I usually write, but then a month without my moaning can’t be a bad thing.