The Yorkshire town of Harrogate is going to be hit by a four-day crime wave from Thursday 19 July. No, they’re not staging their own mini version of last summer’s riots. Rather, Thursday sees the return of the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival along with its Crime Novel of the Year Award.
Let’s talk about that first. The shortlist for this year’s award includes the following books:
Where the Bodies are Buried by Stephen Brookmyre
Black Flowers by Steve Mosby
Before I Go To Sleep by SJ Watson
Now You See Me by SJ Bolton
The End of the Wasp Season by Denise Mina
The Burning Soul by John Connolly
Apart from lashings of that deep, dark Theakston’s ale, the festival will boast plenty of highlights. Special guests will include Jo Nesbo, Harlan Coben, John Connolly, Peter James, Kate Mosse, Ian Rankin and Peter Robinson. Mark Billingham, novelist and creator of TV’s Thorne, is chair of the programming committee and attendees will see plenty of him at the event.
There will be all kinds of panel discussions too. The validity of digital publishing will be debated in Wanted for Murder: The eBook, and in Writing for Your Life former intelligence agents and investigative journalists will be discussing what it’s like to write about real matters of life and death. Crime in Another Dimension will look at genre crossovers with sci-fi and urban fantasy, and there’s also going to be a special event around the Golden Globe-winning TV programme Luther.
A fantastic session to catch will be New Blood, in which Val McDermid’s favourite up-and-coming authors will be introduced to the audience. They include Elizabeth Haynes, David Mark, Oliver Harris and Kate Rhodes. In all, over 60 authors will be speaking at the festival in some capacity, and many more will be attending.
Tickets for many of the individual events are still available priced between £9.50 and £12, however day and weekend passes are now sold out. Click here to visit the festival website and order tickets. The festival has been running since 2003.
If you’re going, drop us a note in the comments below and tell us what you’re most looking forward to. If not, we’d love to know which book you’re going to vote for as Crime Novel of the Year (see above).