Scene of the crime

Theak­ston Old Pe­culier Crime Writ­ing Fes­ti­val have an­nounced their full lineup for this year and there is plenty to look for­ward to for fans of the genre.

Yorkshire Post - Culture & The Guide - - 4/STAGE -

The full pro­gramme for this year’s Theak­ston Old Pe­culier Crime Writ­ing Fes­ti­val was re­vealed this week and tick­ets have now gone on sale.

Along­side four days of spe­cial guests and panel events, the fes­ti­val has an­nounced a ma­jor cel­e­bra­tion of Agatha Christie. A new ex­hi­bi­tion will ex­plore con­nec­tions be­tween her writ­ing, life and pub­lish­ing ca­reer us­ing rare pho­tographs and doc­u­ments from both the Agatha Christie and Collins ar­chives in a visually led out­door dis­play.

The ex­hi­bi­tion, part of HarperCollins’ 200th an­niver­sary, will be dis­played at the Fes­ti­val venue, the Old Swan Ho­tel, where Christie was found af­ter her fa­mous dis­ap­pear­ance in 1926.

“The ghost of Agatha Christie clearly haunts the Old Swan

Ho­tel,” says the fes­ti­val’s pro­gram­ming chair Elly Grif­fiths, au­thor of the Dr Ruth Gal­loway crime se­ries. “Nowhere is the genre she de­voted her life to so en­thu­si­as­ti­cally cel­e­brated than at the Theak­ston Old Pe­culier Crime Writ­ing Fes­ti­val – the big­gest event de­voted to crime fic­tion in Europe, if not the world.”

Spe­cial Guests are Den­nis Le­hane, Lee Child, Ian Rankin, Peter May, Stu­art MacBride, Joseph Fin­der, Arne Dahl, Kathy Re­ichs, Brenda Blethyn, Robson Green and James Run­cie. “2017 prom­ises a re­mark­able Fes­ti­val as we mark 30 years of Re­bus with Ian Rankin, 20 years since Lee Child in­tro­duced us to Jack Reacher, and 15 years since

Den­nis Le­hane re­leased Shut­ter Is­land,” says Si­mon Theak­ston, Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor of T&R Theak­stons and ti­tle spon­sor. “I can think of no bet­ter place than our Fes­ti­val – amongst read­ers, au­thors, and friends – to raise a glass of Theak­ston’s beer to these giants of the genre.” The open­ing night fea­tures the crime writ­ing equiv­a­lent of the Os­cars, the Theak­stons Old Pe­culier Crime Novel of the Year Award.

TV pan­els will fo­cus on ITV’s Vera, fea­tur­ing au­thor Ann Cleeves and ac­tress Brenda Blethyn, and ITV’s Grantch­ester, with writer James Run­cie and ac­tor Robson Green. Val McDermid’s an­nual New Blood panel, one of the most an­tic­i­pated events in pub­lish­ing, fea­tures four hand-picked de­buts. 2017’s de­buts are Fiona Cum­mins, Jane Harper, Joseph Knox and Kris­ten Le­pi­onka.

The fes­ti­val will also serve up its usual help­ing of heated debate. From dig­ging into the past to skirt­ing the su­per­nat­u­ral, panel au­thors in­clude Chris Brook­myre, Mick Her­ron, Ali­fair Burke,

Denise Mina, Belinda Bauer and Graeme Macrae Bur­net, who was short­listed for the 2016 Man Booker Prize. There will also be a panel ex­plor­ing re­boots of iconic crime char­ac­ters, from Poirot to Sher­lock, with au­thors So­phie Hannah, Ruth Ware and Stella Duffy. Elly Grif­fiths de­liv­ers a spe­cial au­thor din­ner mur­der mys­tery, Dig­ging up the Past, with help from Fran­cis Pryor of Time Team fame. There’ll also be a Gra­ham Norton style Late Night Event with BBC’s Point­less star, Richard Os­man, fea­tur­ing au­thors Lee Child, Val McDermid and

Mark Billing­ham.

The event is one of the most im­por­tant in the crime pub­lish­ing cal­en­dar. Agents, pub­lish­ers, pub­li­cists, read­ers and au­thors at­tend from all over the world.

Theak­ston Old Pe­culier Crime Writ­ing Fes­ti­val, the Old Swan Ho­tel, Har­ro­gate, July 20-23, 2017. Box of­fice 01423 562 303 www.har­ro­gatein­ter­na­tion­alfes­ti­vals.com. Tick­ets are now on sale.

PICTURE: AN­GUS MCBEAN/AGATHA CHRISTIE AR­CHIVE

CRIME QUEEN: Agatha Christie.

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