This week we are pleased to announce 2017 Special Guest…
Peter May!

#FestivalFever is heating up each week as we continue to reveal another piece of the mystery that is the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival 2017! So far we have announced three Special Guests – Lee Child, Kathy Reichs and Ian Rankin and we thought it was time to reveal one more.

This Special Guest comes to you as the first part of a TWO-part announcement as this event will be an ‘In Conversation’, but we couldn’t possibly reveal both pieces of the puzzle at once…that would be too easy!

One of Scotland’s most prolific television dramatists, he garnered more than 1000 credits in 15 years as scriptwriter and script editor on prime-time British television drama. He is the creator of three major television drama series and presided over two of the highest-rated serials in his homeland before quitting television to concentrate on his first love, writing novels.

Peter May is a multi award-winning author of various novels. His works include the internationally best-selling Lewis Trilogy set in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, the China Thrillers, featuring Beijing detective Li Yan and American forensic pathologist Margaret Campbell, the critically-acclaimed Enzo Files, featuring Scottish forensic scientist Enzo MacLeod, set in France as well as several standalone books.

From the beginning May’s dream was to be a novelist and he spent his childhood and teen years writing. However, he decided to go into journalism as this seemed like a reasonable career choice. He went on to win the Scottish Young Journalist of the Year Award at the age of 21, but the pull of fiction continued, and every spare moment was spent on creative writing. May left journalism and began writing television drama.  By the age of 30 he had created two major TV series for the BBC, The Standard and Squadron. In the 1990s, he co-created the ground-breaking Machair, the first ever major drama serial in the Gaelic language, which he also produced.

With the approach of the new millennium, May quit television to return to his first love, novels, and embarked on a series of thrillers which took him half-way across the world. He gained unprecedented access to the homicide and forensic science sections of Beijing and Shanghai police forces and made a painstaking study of the methodology of Chinese detectives and pathologists. His outstanding China Thrillers series of books are now published worldwide.

The Blackhouse is the first of three books set in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. After being turned down by all the major UK publishers, the first of Peter’s The Lewis Trilogy was published in France as L’Ile des Chasseurs d’Oiseaux where it was hailed as “a masterpiece” by the French national newspaper L’Humanité.  His novels have a large following in France.  The trilogy has won several French literature awards, including one of the world’s largest adjudicated readers awards, the Prix Cezam.

Peter’s recent works have been standalone books, in other words single novels, not forming part of any series.  In 2014 Entry Island was published, it won the Deanston Scottish Crime Book of the Year Award 2014 and the ITC Specsavers Crime Thriller Club Best Read of the Year 2014. He has also written Runaway, which was published in the UK in January 2015 and his latest book Coffin Road which was published in the UK in January 2016.


We’re very excited to be working with Quercus Books and Crime Files to bring you our latest competition!


  • A pair of tickets to an exclusive crime author party in collaboration with Crime Files –
    (The party will take place on 11th January 6.30-8.30pm at the Hachette offices in London)


  • A set of signed Peter May books including a copy of his new novel Cast Iron (published in January 2017)

All you have to do is simply email and answer the question:
‘Who was the Programming Chair of the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival 2016?’

Please choose a preferred prize and quote either ‘CrimeFiles’ or ‘CastIron’ in the email subject.
Ends 30th December at 5pm!

*We would like to keep you updated with news from the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival through our mailing list. Please do let us know when you enter if you would prefer your email address not to be used in this way.

Hotel Focus:
The Majestic Hotel


Charming and elegant, the Majestic Hotel exudes sophistication and basks in Victorian heritage. Set in 8 acres of grounds, surrounded by boutiques and antique shops, The Majestic is renowned for its true Yorkshire hospitality. Perfect for those travelling by car, the hotel has 250 on site car parking spaces available at an additional charge per day.

Set in the heart of the bustling spa town of Harrogate, The Majestic is just five minutes stroll away from the Festival venue the Old Swan Hotel.

2017 Weekend packages with 3 nights accommodation at The Majestic Hotel and Weekend Rover Ticket start from £479 per person. Limited availability so contact our Festival Team on 01423 562303 or click here today to ensure you don’t miss out on this stunning Hotel!