Your favourite British crime series or thriller on TV?
I feel a bit of a fraud answering these questions as my television viewing is completely random – I can never manage to commit to a series, crime or otherwise. I have only the haziest idea about what’s on when (and no idea at all of how to record stuff) so I tend to find myself looking at whatever anyone else happens to be watching at the point when I collapse onto the sofa. I did enjoy Cracker, though, and I liked Morse, although I never really managed to figure out what was going on (beyond the fact that if Morse fancied someone, she was bound to turn out to be the killer). I also quite enjoy Midsomer Murders because it’s so completely implausible, and I love the fact that you can always work out who the killer is before Barnaby does because he/she will be played by the most famous actor in the cast whose character hasn’t already snuffed it. Poirot and Marple are good too, although I don’t think anyone’s been a patch on Joan Hickson.
Favourite US crime series or thriller on TV?
Cagney & Lacey was brilliant and I used to like Hill Street Blues as well. As to the rest… I haven’t even got round to watching The Sopranos, never mind The Wire.
Columbo, because he’s so splendidly crumpled – and he has a basset hound, which makes him just about perfect.
If one of your novels were filmed, who would you cast to be the hero?
That’s tricky. The people I can imagine playing DI Stratton (Albert Finney, Alan Bates, etc) are either too old or no longer with us – I’m sure that there are plenty of others who’d be suitable (and the right sort of age) but nobody springs to mind.
What do you watch with a guilty conscience (or what’s your guilty pleasure)?
Least favourite cop show/thriller?
Not sure I’m discriminating enough to answer this question!
Marple/Poirot or Sherlock Holmes?
Probably Poirot, although I enjoyed watching Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes (I can see that Jeremy Brett is probably better, but he always looks as if someone on the set has just farted).
Wallander – BBC or the Swedish version?
Oh, dear. I haven’t watched either – the ‘gloom factor’ put me off…
US or British television crime dramas?
British ones (but this is probably due to my inertia).
Your favourite crime/thriller writers?
Agatha Christie, Patricia Highsmith, Ruth Rendell/Barbara Vine, David Peace, Horace McCoy, Eoin McNamee, James Ellory (pre-The Cold Six Thousand), Andrew Taylor… and many, many more.
Which crime novel have you read recently that really knocked you out?
Recently, I’ve loved Rubbernecker by Belinda Bauer, Hard Twisted by C. Joseph Greaves and A Stranger in My Grave by Margaret Millar.
Favourite crime movie or thriller? The Italian Job (original version), Rififi, The League of Gentlemen, Les Diaboliques and Twelve Angry Men.
You’ve been framed for murder. Which fictional detective/sleuth would you want to call up?Hercule Poirot or Sherlock Holmes (I’d have to toss a coin).
• Laura Wilson‘s latest novel is A Willing Victim, which was shortlisted for the 2012 Ellis Peters Award for Best Historical Crime Novel. This powerful and disturbing story begins on a dank November day in 1956, when DI Ted Stratton is called to a murder scene – a loner has been stabbed in his Soho lodgings.