Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival – 2022 Line-Up

Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival logo 2022

By Sarah Morgan

Brace yourselves crime fiction fans – the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival is on its way!

Those interested in attending should keep Thursday, July 21 to Sunday, July 24 clear in their diaries, because they’re not going to want to miss out on the treats on offer.

As ever, it will take place at Harrogate’s Old Swan hotel, where Agatha Christie famously stayed during her infamous disappearance during 1926. It’s a fittingly atmospheric venue for the must-see event for everyone who loves losing themselves in dastardly acts and derring-do.

This year, Denise Mina – twice winner of the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year award – takes charge of proceedings, and she’s lined up a remarkable set of guests.

“After keeping it secret for such a long time, it is incredibly exciting to finally reveal the full line-up for this year’s Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival,” says Mina. “It is such an honour to chair the festival, and we are proud to have curated a programme which features crime fiction legends and impressive newcomers, psychological thriller sleuths and cosy crime masterminds, so there is something for everyone this July!”

Crime fiction titans such as Ann Cleeves, Lynda La Plante, Adele Parks, Michael Connolly, Mick Herron, Sophie Hannah, Elly Griffiths, Tess Gerritsen and Abir Mukherjee will take centre stage to discuss their work and latest projects in a series of fascinating interviews and discussions.

Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival – 2022 Line-Up

Festival Chair Denise Mina, Lynda La Plante and Mick Herron are all appearing in 2022

“Amazing breadth of crime fiction”

Plucky newcomers to the genre, including Rev Richard Coles and Rosemary Shrager, are also set to appear.

Regular visitors Val McDermid and Mark Billingham take charge of the now traditional late-night Saturday quiz, which will take place after the second murder-mystery-themed author dinner of the weekend – the first is on Friday evening.

Val also chairs her regular New Blood panel, introducing debut authors who are sure to be producing bestsellers for years to come.

The festival begins with the writing workshop known as Creative Thursday, in which wannabe writers get tips and tuition from the likes of NJ Cooper, Kate Mosse and the aforementioned Billingham, before the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel Awards take over at 8pm.

The whole shebang goes out on a high on Sunday following appearances by Prime Suspect and Widows creator La Plante and Charlie Higson, who discusses his varied career – which includes penning the novel The Enemy and the Young Bond books – with Steph McGovern.

“Denise has done a wonderful job curating a line-up which demonstrates the amazing breadth of crime fiction writing and points to an exciting future for the genre,” remarks Sharon Canovar, chief executive of Harrogate International Festivals. “We can’t wait to hear all these brilliant speakers take to the stage and share their insights, stories and predictions of what lies ahead for crime fiction and thriller writing!”

Classic weekend break packages are on sale now. Individual tickets, weekend and day rovers will go on sale on Friday, April 29, at 10am. For more information on the festival and to book tickets, please call +44 (0)1423 562 303, email or visit


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