The French city of Lyon is to host a major crime fiction festival over the Easter weekend – 29 March to 1 April. A whole range of authors from France and beyond will be descending on the city for the 9th annual Quais du Polar Crime Festival, along with up to 45,000 crime fiction fanatics. It must be the biggest crime fiction event we’ve ever come across!
This year’s guest list includes some huge names – Patricia Cornwell (pictured), Henning Mankell, PD James, Harlan Coben, Jeffrey Deaver, Gillian Flynn and Frank Tallis to name just a handful. Signings and panel sessions on various topics are guaranteed, and there will also be a focus on non-English crime fiction with writers such as Dolores Redondo (Spain), Zoran Drvenkar (Germany) and Carin Gerhardsen (Sweden) participating. Of course some of the stars of Gallic noir will be there too including Jean-Christophe Grangé, Elsa Marpeau, Franck Thilliez, Marcus Malte and Caryl Ferey.
Asian crime fiction is to be highlighted with Japanese author Ira Ishida, Chinese novelist Qiu Xiaolong, and French-Vietnamese writer Thanh-Van Tran-Nhut taking part in discussions that will also include Western authors based in the Far East.
There will be gongs going to the finest crime authors including festival’s own Readers Prize for best French crime novel chosen by a jury of 14, and awards for the best crime comic, the European Crime Fiction Prize, a Film Prize and the Agostino award for the best short story written by a member of the general public.
The event is set to take over the entire city, and there’s even going to be a Lyon-wide murder mystery with staged clues hidden here and there. Lyon could just be the city best suited to a crime fiction festival – it is home to the St Cyr National Police College of France, as well as Interpol’s HQ. You’ll be able to visit the police academy, attend exhibitions, play games and take your kids to a forensic arts-and-crafts project. The best news is: all of the events are free.
We will have a Crime Fiction Lover delegate on the ground there and will certainly be reporting back to you about the panel discussions, the atmosphere, authors and perhaps the food and wine as well. Visit the festival’s website here.