Crime Fiction Glitterati Ready to Reconvene in Harrogate

Crime Fiction Glitterati Ready to Reconvene in Harrogate rankin

By Sarah Morgan

Fancy venturing out into the sunshine to rub shoulders (in a safe, socially distanced manner, of course) with the glitterati of the crime fiction scene?

If the answer is yes, then you’re in luck because after a year’s lockdown-enforced hiatus, the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival is heading back to its spiritual home at The Old Swan Hotel in Harrogate on July 22nd for a three-night stay.

Genre legend Ian Rankin, creator of the Inspector Rebus novels, is the man taking charge of the proceedings.

“After a year of once-in-a-lifetime challenges, I couldn’t be more excited to stage this celebration of all things crime!” smiles Ian. “With the announcement of our special guests, the countdown is officially on to this year’s festival and I’m looking forward to unveiling what else we have in store!”

So, who can we expect to see lurking in the corridors (and chatting happily, of course) at the venue where Agatha Christie was found following her famous disappearance almost a century ago?

TV producer and presenter Richard Osman will be in town to promote the second instalment in his record-breaking Thursday Murder Club series, joined by such luminaries as espionage expert Mick Herron, author of the highly acclaimed Slough House series, while mystery maestro Elly Griffiths discusses her latest Ruth Galloway whodunnit and fan favourite, Vera and Shetland author Ann Cleeves, also makes a welcome return visit.

“Innovative and unique”

Plus, no trip to the festival would be the same without veterans Mark Billingham and his pal Val McDermid, the renowned ‘Queen of Crime’. He will be talking about his Tom Thorn prequel Cry Baby, while she’ll be introducing her now traditional New Blood panel, in which she showcases the most dynamic debut authors.

Plus, there’s a chance to see domestic noir experts Clare Mackintosh and CL Taylor in conversation, while the entire event is set to get under way with the unveiling of the winner of the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year.

“The Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival is a lynch-pin in the publishing calendar – an annual pilgrimage for crime fiction aficionados – and we are thrilled to reveal the first taste of this year’s unmissable programme,” says Sharon Canavar, Chief Executive of Harrogate International Festivals. “Harrogate International Festivals has long pioneered innovative and unique cultural experiences, and over the course of the past year we have shown great flexibility and creativity to continue with this mission.

“The team will, of course, carefully monitor developments to Government rules and regulations as we look forward to our return to the legendary Old Swan Hotel in July.”

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