Exhibition | A Question of Guilt : A Crime Writer’s Collection

It was my birthday on Sunday and I wanted to see the current exhibition, A Question of Guilt : A Crime Writer’s Collection at Russell Cotes.  It sounded fun :

‘A Question of Guilt: A Crime Writer’s Collection’ features the private collection of crime writer Frances Fyfield, and asks the audience to look at each painting without prejudice, considering it through the eyes of a storyteller and imagine the character and motives of the person portrayed. The audience is invited to meet victims, charlatans, detectives, murderers, witnesses as well as mere onlookers.

Award-winning crime writer, Frances Fyfield, has written 24 novels featuring accidental murder, dental horrors, art theft, family feuds and other atrocities, leading to books of visual scenes which also emphasise the essential goodness of human nature.

In the meantime, she has been an assiduous collector of oil paintings, portraits and drawings by British artists, from 1890 to 1950. Based around her eclectic private collection of Bloomsbury/ British Modernist Art, including many anonymous painters, this exhibition is a show case for British twentieth century art, but it is also styled as a ‘Who dunnit’.

Each painting has its own potential story, while each character or scene may play a part in a wider story. Fyfield has written the captions for the exhibition, inviting the audience to become the detective too. So visitors are invited to come along, either to see fine British paintings from the Fyfield and Russell-Cotes Collection in their own right, or step back in time to an apparently gentler age of calling cards, cocktails, intrigue, fine hats and enmity. They can don their Sherlock Holmes style deer-stalkers and imagine themselves either Upstairs or Downstairs at a party that may go horribly wrong.

Pete and Alfie did indeed don their Sherlock Holmes style deer-stalkers

A Question of Guilt A Crime Writer's Collection

A Question of Guilt A Crime Writer's Collection


Whilst I wasn’t exactly dressed for cocktails I did borrow a hat to get into role.


A Question of Guilt A Crime Writer's Collection

With two crimes to solve, we were ready to read the clues and figure out ‘whodunnit.’

A Question of Guilt A Crime Writer's Collection

The artwork and artifacts are interesting and the captions were witty.

A Question of Guilt A Crime Writer's Collection

We thought the second clue in the study was VERY creative and made us chuckle.

A booklet for the crime of the missing diamonds is great for children (as well as adults!) with a code breaker, clues and wordsearch to help find the culprit.

A Question of Guilt A Crime Writer's Collection

Did we guess whodunnit?  YES!  and had great fun doing it.  Highly recommended by the Goodwin family.

If you’re local or visiting the area (the exhibition is running until 15th April) you MUST check it out.  There’s no extra charge on top of the entry fee to the house (very reasonable at £6).  If you haven’t visited before do check out the plethora of art and artifacts while you’re there.  You can get an idea of what you’ll see from my blog post last May.

We finished off with a walk along the cliffs.  A perfect day 🙂

A Question of Guilt A Crime Writer's Collection


Check out Frances Fyfield’s crime novels on Amazon.

Frances Fyfield website


Married with two sons in their early 20’s, I love my day job as an Inclusion Lead. I am passionate about early help, expressed not only in my setting but also as a member of Bournemouth’s Early Help Operational Board. It’s an honour to be working alongside others to instigate change and growth.

I’m also passionate about my love of reading, being out in nature and creating with crochet.

I’ve been blogging for seven years at Jera’s Jamboree.


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