Author Val McDermid hopes Scotland's first ever crime-writing festival proves to be a big enough success to become an annual event.
Fans of the genre have gathered in Stirling this weekend for the Bloody Scotland event, which has attracted a host of top names.
As well as McDermid, the likes of Ian Rankin, Denise Mina and Christopher Brookmyre are among more than 50 best-selling authors appearing over three days.
McDermid would like to see the festival become a regular occurrence in the crime enthusiasts' calendar.
She said: "I would hope so. We will have to see how many people turn out. That's the proof of the pudding - actually getting bums on seats and entertaining them so much that they want to come back next year. With other festivals, people come back year after year because it's exciting. You have to make it exciting for the audience, otherwise it's just a bunch of writers saying: 'Hey, aren't we clever'."
The brainchild of writers Lin Anderson and Alex Gray, the festival opened on Friday with a keynote address from Rebus creator Rankin.
There will also be meet the author events, a dinner and drama performance to mark the 125th anniversary of the publication of the first Sherlock Holmes story and crime fans will have the chance to pitch their own ideas to a panel of agents and publishers.
This year saw the 10th anniversary of the popular Harrogate crime-writing festival and, due to the popularity in recent years of Scottish crime fiction - dubbed 'Tartan Noir' - McDermid believes now is the perfect time for Scots to have their own festival.
The Fife-born writer - whose new book The Vanishing Point was published this week - said: "I think the time is definitely right. You could quite comfortably fill up an entire festival for a week, not just a weekend, just using Scottish writers doing crime fiction.There is certainly enough of us and enough big names in the Scottish cohort of crime writers for it to be an attractive proposition for audiences."
The festival will culminate with the announcement of the Scottish Crime Book of the Year winner. Six works have been shortlisted for the £3,000 prize.