Crime fiction heroes head to Harrogate

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Left to right: Jane Gregory, David Shelley, Val McDermid, Martyn Waites and NJ CooperFriday 19 July will see some of the world’s finest crime authors heading to Harrogate for the 2013 Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival. With three days of live interviews and panel discussions planned, the bill includes Ian Rankin, Ruth Rendell, Kate Atkinson, Lee Child and many others.

The festivities will include the announcement of who has won the Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year award, and the shortlist was announced today. All but one of the books have been reviewed here on Crime Fiction Lover. The shortlist includes:

Rush of Blood by Mark Billingham

Safe House by Chris Ewan

The Lewis Man by Peter May

Gods and Beasts by Denise Mina

Stolen Souls by Stuart Neville

A Dark Redemption by Stav Sherez

shortlist2013Val McDermid chaired the programming committee this year (main photo) and has invited more than 80 authors and crime fiction experts in total. Ann Cleeves will be on hand to discuss her Vera Stanhope novel series, which has been turned into the television programme Vera. Alongside her, the show’s star Brenda Blethyn will be talking about what she’s brought to the crime-solving character for TV. There will be two events to celebrate 60 years of James Bond – a panel discussion consisting of authors who are Bond fans, and a dinner in tribute to the character and his creator Ian Fleming.

Other highlights to look out for include a panel discussion about the rise of German crime fiction. Entitled Dead in Deutschland, it’ll see crime fiction critic Barry Forshaw discussing the matter with Jan Costin Wagner, Sebastian Fitzek, Nele Neuhaus and Jussi Adler-Olsen. There will also be panels on Victorian crime fiction, and on crime writing south of the Equator. Val McDermid will be introducing the New Blood panel this year, which includes Derek B Miller, Anya Lipska, Malcolm McKay and Collette McBeth.

Thursday 18 July – the day before the festival proper starts – sees a day of workshops for would-be crime authors. Full Weekend Rover tickets for the festival are sold out, as are tickets for Saturday 20 July, however you can still get access to the event on Friday 19 July for £85. The festival website also includes details on hotels in the area.

crimewritersEven if you can’t make it to Harrogate this year, you can still get a taste of the event. Yesterday, the festival launched an ebook anthology entitled Crime Writers: A Decade of Crime. It’s selling for £4.99 and includes short stories by six top crime authors: Harlan Coben, Mark Billingham, PD James, Ann Cleeves, Steve Mosby and Val McDermid. You’ll also be able to find a report from the event here on Crime Fiction Lover. You can read Stav Sherez’s rundown on Harrogate 2012 here – it’s one of our most popular articles of the last 12 months.

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