Today the European Economic and Social Committee held one of its summer ‘literary lunches’. The theme this year is the crime novel and the guest author today was Simon Lelic. Simon read excerpts from two of his three novels, Rupture and The Child Who, before taking questions from the audience. Of course, I was there as SG, but I also had my notebook out. Simon explained the concern, explored in these novels, as to why atrocities occur (a shooting incident at a school and a child who murders another child respectively) and his dissatisfaction with simply labelling people, or children, as ‘monsters’. His books, therefore, could be better described as ‘Why dunnits?’ rather than ‘Who dunnits?’ I was interested to learn that Simon does any necessary research after he has got the first draft out of the way. He feels research risks getting in the way of the writing. Simon was introduced by EESC member Richard Adams and the British Council’s Robin Davies. The EESC has always enjoyed a good relationship with the British Council and no doubt that will continue. Still, we were sad to learn that Robin is moving on (to Bangladesh, as it happens) and we wish him well.