Every year I make the pilgrimage to the wonder that is the Theakston’s Old Peculiar Crime Writing Festival. Held in July at the Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate, made famous as the hotel Agatha Christie disappeared to in 1926, the festival sees the great and the good from the world of crime writing take part in a weekend long ode to crime fiction. Readers mingle shoulder to shoulder with crime writing legends and would be authors try to get tips from their favourite authors. There is a wonderful, relaxed atmosphere to the weekend and if you haven’t been I’d encourage you to take the trip to North Yorkshire.
Guest speakers are kept under wraps until closer to the event but today I’m pleased to be able share with you the first confirmed guest speakers. Read on to find out more.
The Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival is thrilled to announce its 2020 Special Guests at the world’s largest and most prestigious crime fiction festival.
Crime writing royalty Martina Cole, Mark Billingham, Lisa Gardner, Kathy Reichs, Elly Griffiths, Mick Herron and Michael Connelly will be appearing as part of the killer line-up curated by this year’s Festival Programming Chair and Rebus author, Ian Rankin OBE.
From 23-26 July, Harrogate’s Old Swan Hotel will welcome over 100 world famous authors for a celebration of the crime genre like no other.
Returning for its 18th instalment, the award-winning Festival is established as a literary phenomenon, attracting an international audience to see the best in the business and the most exciting new talent as part of an unmissable programme of creative workshops, once in a lifetime talks and unique panels.
Joining fiction titan Ian Rankin at this year’s Festival will be No. 1 bestseller Martina Cole will be sharing the stories behind her iconic career as the undisputed Queen of Crime; Kathy Reichs will introduce A Conspiracy of Bones, the riveting new thriller featuring forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan; and Festival favourite Mark Billingham returns to Harrogate to celebrate 20 years of Tom Thorne, one of British crime fiction’s most iconic detectives.
Michael Connelly, the international phenomenon with over 74 million copies sold worldwide, touches down in the UK to share his latest unputdownable thriller featuring veteran reporter Jack McEvoy, Fair Warning; the master of psychological suspense Lisa Gardner will give the Harrogate audience an insight into the twists and turns of When You See Me; Elly Griffiths is set to reveal the secrets behind her much-loved Dr Ruth Galloway mystery series; and Mick Herron will mark ten years of his award-winning spy sensation Slough House and introduce his new novella set in the same world, The Catch.
The Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival forms part of the diverse year-round portfolio curated by the charitable organisation Harrogate International Festivals, delivered with the mission to bring immersive and moving cultural experiences to as many people as possible.
Ian Rankin, best-selling Rebus author, said:
“It is for good reason that Harrogate is so well loved by authors and audiences alike, and the pressure has been on to make sure that this year lives up to its stellar reputation! But working with the Harrogate team has been a joy and we’re incredibly proud of the celebration of crime writing we have in store. Beginning with the announcement of our incredible Special Guests, the countdown to this year’s legendary long weekend is well and truly on and I can’t wait unveil the rest in April.”
Sharon Canavar, CE of Harrogate International Festivals, said:
“Our mission at Harrogate International Festivals is to present the most unforgettable cultural experiences and year on year Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival continues to surpass all expectations. It has been a delight working with Ian Rankin and we’re thrilled that the 2020 Special Guest line-up reflects the absolute best in the crime-writing business – we look forward to revealing the full programme.”
Simon Theakston, Executive Director of Theakston, said:
“We are incredibly proud to be supporting the biggest and best crime writing festival in the world, right here in Harrogate – it is a truly unique opportunity to discover the secrets behind the genre’s greatest characters, listen to world-renowned authors and celebrate the wonderful world of crime writing. All this and the chance to enjoy a very satisfying glass of Old Peculier at the same time.”
Booking: Rover Tickets – including Weekend, Friday and Saturday – are now on sale, along with Weekend Break Packages. For more information and to book tickets, please call +44(0)1423 562 303 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.