I am reading about the festival of the crime novel which is on in Barcelona from February 1st to 9th. According to the article in the Vanguardia, the thriller genre is going through another golden age; sales of books are high and there are very popular and successful adaptations for film and TV.
I began thinking about all the TV and crime series that were part of my childhood and youth - starting with Dixon of Dock Green, and going on through Z-Cars, Prime Suspect, Inspector Dalgliesh, Miss Marple, Morse, Cracker, Rebus, Sherlock, The Killing and so on.
Is it a particularly British/American fascination? There don't seem to be equivalents on Catalan TV. In fact I don't notice there being any series that are so addictive and popular that everyone stays in to watch them. Is that something to do with the weather - that there is always something more interesting to do outdoors and less need to snuggle down on the sofa?
But of course there are also the Nordic writers and programmes.
When I first arrived in Barcelona three years ago everyone in the metro was reading the Larsson Millenium books. And the VG article had an interview with someone new to me called Unni Lindell whose recent book Muerte Blanca is the third of a series of novels which have also been adapted for TV. She describes how there was one condition for the making of the series, that the dog Birka who is the constant companion of the policewoman Marian Dalhe, has to be played by the real dog Birka owned by a friend of Unni.
As part of the festival they have also organised a competition to see what are the best locations for crime in the city of Barcelona. You can sent in your ideas to this twitter account #raconsbcnegra