Crime Festival Selects its ‘New Blood’ for 2021

Crime Festival Selects its 'New Blood' for 2021 val

By Sarah Morgan

The Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival heads back to Harrogate next month. One of its highlights is always the New Blood panel, in which Queen of Crime Val McDermid (above) showcases four writers she expects to become the genre’s ’next big thing’.

This year, the event takes place on Saturday, July 24, and the lucky quartet Val has selected have been revealed: Greg Buchanan, Lara Thompson, Patricia Marques and Anna Bailey. They will follow in the footsteps of other debut novelists to have featured on the panel who have since gone on to establish themselves in the crime genre, including SJ Watson, Stuart MacBride, Abir Mukherjee and Belinda Bauer.

“Murder and mayhem – on page and on screen – have become our staple diet during the past year-and-a-half of lockdowns,” says McDermid.”

Crime Festival Selects its 'New Blood' for 2021 marques

Patricia Marques’ ‘The Colours of Death’ is one of four ‘New Blood’ selections

“Stellar guests”

It’s with genuine pleasure that I invite these four extraordinarily talented authors to join me to discuss not just their unique stories and styles but also what makes a good crime novel great and why do we turn to this genre in times of trouble?”

As ever, the festival takes place at The Old Swan Hotel, where Agatha Christie stayed during her infamous disappearance in 1926, and the New Blood panel is just one of many must-see events across the weekend of July 22-25.

Rebus author Ian Rankin is this year’s curator and has lined up such stellar guests as Richard Osman, Mick Herron, Ann Cleeves, Mark Billingham and Elly Griffiths, among others.

If the New Blood foursome end up only half as successful as those luminaries, they’ll have had very successful careers indeed.

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