Christmas has come early for crime fiction lovers as the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival has given a glimpse of its 2017 line-up.
Accommodation packages are now available, with Weekend Rover tickets on sale in the New Year.
To mark the 15th annual celebration of the genre, hosted at Agatha Christie’s old haunt, the Old Swan Hotel in Harrogate, 2017 promises an event of historic proportions.
Special Guests announced to date are titans of the genre Lee Child, Ian Rankin, Peter May, Stuart MacBride and Kathy Reichs.
The Festival which is delivered by the north’s leading arts organisation, Harrogate International Festivals, has itself made history – renowned as the biggest celebration of the genre in the world.
2017’s Programming Chair, Elly Griffiths, will oversee a programme that digs deep and explores the history of the genre in a nod to her own crime series, which features forensic archaeologist, Dr Ruth Galloway. Her latest novel is The Woman in Blue, with her ninth book in the series due out in 2017.
Elly said: “We’ll be digging into the past, and marking a few milestones reflected in our epic line-up of authors. Ian Rankin will be celebrating 30 years of one of crime fiction’s greatest characters, Rebus, and of course Lee Child has long reigned with his Jack Reacher series. We are incredibly excited too to welcome Kathy Reichs as a Special Guest.”
Kathy Reichs debut Deja Dead catapulted her to fame 10 years ago. As a forensic anthropologist, Reichs has brought her own dramatic work experience to her forensic thrillers.
Elly Griffith, who won the 2016 CWA Dagger in the Library, takes the helm of Programming Chair from Peter James.
“It is an absolute honour. I’ve been lucky enough to be involved with the Festival really from the beginning of my time as a crime writer. I’ve been encouraged so much by a lot of established authors there like Ann Cleeves and Val McDermid, so it feels almost surreal for me to be Programming Chair a year after Peter James.”
The Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival is known as a platform for new and upcoming authors, as well as showcasing blockbuster talent.
Elly said: “One of the things I’d like is to celebrate our crime writing history but also look forward to the future. I first attended the Festival in 2009 when I was chosen by the then Reader-in-Residence, Ann Cleeves, for her readers’ group, with my very first crime book. That was before Ann went stellar with Vera and Shetlands hitting our TV screens; Harrogate has a reputation for finding the Next Big Thing.”
Gemma Rowland, Operations Manager at Harrogate International Festivals, said: “We’ve still to announce more Special Guests and some remarkable events to come. Accommodation packages are now available but are selling fast so be quick if you’re looking for the perfect Christmas present for book lovers.”
2016’s event sold-out with 14,000 individual tickets over four days. It was cited as one of the UK’s top literary festivals in the Guardian and Elle magazine, and reached 8.2 million Twitter users, with 35.9 million impressions during the week of 2016’s Festival.
The event, known as the friendliest and most inclusive on the circuit, is famed for its no barriers approach, as fans, fledgling writers and established superstar authors mingle in the hotel bar, bookshop and papakata tents in the hotel grounds.
Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, The Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate, 20-23 July, 2017: Accommodation packages on sale now; Weekend Rover tickets on sale in the New Year.
For announcements visit www.harrogateinternationalfestivals.com or follow @TheakstonsCrime. Box Office: 01423 562 303.