Headlining the festival this summer are heavyweights Jo Nesbo, Harlan Coben, John Connolly, Kate Mosse, Peter Robinson, Peter James and Ian Rankin. Each year the festival is chaired by a different high-profile crime writer, and this year popular British author Mark Billingham, creator of D.I. Tom Thorne, takes the helm.
Billingham said: “In just ten years, the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate has become the biggest and best of its kind in the world and it’s an honour to be chairing the Programming Committee once again. I’m confident that we’ve handpicked a programme this year that will rival anything seen at the festival before. Big names? Of course. But this festival has always been about introducing crime fiction lovers to the very best of the newer talent on offer too, and we’ve got plenty from all over the world. Whether you like your crime fiction cosy as crumpets or dark as a bloodstain in the shadows, at this year’s festival there will be something for everyone!
Other highlights include a dedicated look at award-winning BBC TV series Luther (including insights into the new series) with author/screenwriter Neil Cross, journalist Miranda Sawyer and cast and crew; Swedish superstar Camilla Lackberg discussing the art of translation; Creative Thursday – a master class in writing crime fiction; Dragons’ Pen, where punters get a chance to pitch their would-be bestsellers to a panel of professionals; and Val McDermid revealing the most exciting emerging crime authors in her New Blood panel.
With four days packed with events, and over 80 authors in attendance, the festival will also serve up its usual helping of heated debate including: whether we are currently in a golden age of crime fiction; an author’s moral responsibility when writing in the genre; why women are the biggest consumers of crime fiction; plus former intelligence agents, investigative journalists and criminal prosecutors discuss putting top secrets into print.
The annual Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year will also be announced on the opening night of the festival, Thursday 19 July.
Simon Theakston, Executive Director of T&R Theakston, said: “I am hugely proud of our association with Harrogate’s world-class crime fiction festival. This year’s line-up is a fantastic mix of household names and brand new talent and, for this tenth festival, we look forward to giving both writers and ticket-holders a warm welcome and catching up on all the latest crime writing gossip over a pint of Old Peculier ale!”
The annual Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival started in 2003 and is held at The Old Swan Hotel in the beautiful spa town of Harrogate. Ranked one of the top three literary festivals in the UK by The Guardian, featuring in The Independent’s ‘The 50 Best Festivals’, and with fans including broadcaster Mark Lawson, the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival is a must for both dedicated crime fiction fans and newcomers to the genre.