Bestseller Peter James Joins Special Guest Line Up

Harrogate International Festivals has announced Peter James as the final Special Guest for the 2024 Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, the world’s largest and most prestigious celebration of crime fiction taking place 18-21 July. He joins authors Chris Carter, Jane Casey, Elly Griffiths, Erin Kelly, Vaseem Khan, Dorothy Koomson, Shari Lapena, Abir Mukherjee, Liz Nugent and Richard Osman in an all-star lineup of Special Guest headliners curated by 2024 Festival Chair Ruth Ware.

One of the biggest names in the crime genre, Peter James is a globally bestselling author and the creator of the much-loved Detective Superintendent Roy Grace series, now a smash-hit ITV drama starring John Simm.

James will be celebrating his milestone twentieth Roy Grace book at the Festival with an exclusive preview of One Of Us Is Dead, published by Pan Macmillan in September 2024. James will also discuss his new standalone novel, They Thought I Was Dead, with a long-awaited reveal of what happened to Roy Grace’s missing wife Sandy. He will be in conversation with TV presenter Louise Minchin.

Hugely popular with crime and thriller fans, James has a longstanding history with the Festival as this will be his eighth appearance, having been a Special Guest twice before and Programming Chair in 2016.

Peter James said: “This year I am celebrating my 20th Roy Grace novel and where better to do this than at Harrogate, the jewel in the crime festival crown. I had a wonderful time as Programming Chair in 2016 and I look forward to returning as a Special Guest this year, spending a delightful summer’s evening with my fans and fellow authors! I’ve no doubt a pint or two of Theakston Old Peculier might be involved…”

Returning to Harrogate for its 21st year, the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival (18–21 July 2024) is a highlight of the crime fiction year, offering fans from around the world a unique opportunity to hear from the biggest stars of the genre, discover exciting new talent and enjoy a packed programme of panels, talks and inspiring creative workshops. The full programme will be announced on 14th May.

Simon Theakston, Chairman of T&R Theakston Ltd, said: ‘Peter James has been hugely popular with the Festival audience over the years, and we can’t wait to welcome him back to hear more about his twentieth Roy Grace book. Peter completes a stellar line up of Special Guests in a stunning programme that truly reflects the strength, breadth and diversity of the genre.’

The Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival is delivered by the north of England’s leading arts Festival organisation, Harrogate International Festivals, and forms part of their diverse year-round portfolio of events, which aims to bring immersive cultural experiences to as many people as possible.

Weekend and Day Rover passes are on sale to Friends of the Festival from 8th April and on general release on 15th April. Classic Weekend Break Packages, Author Dinners and tickets for Creative Thursday are on sale now. To book tickets, please call +44(0)1423 562 303 or email More information about tickets and packages can be found here.