We were saddened to hear of the death of the best selling crime writer Colin Dexter this week.

‘Back in 2003, I was involved in setting up a new crime-writing festival in Harrogate. Publishers and authors alike were dubious about its potential for success, all the way up there in a small northern town. We needed a big name to show we were serious, so we asked Colin. “Of course I’ll do it for you, my dear,” he said at once. Always generous, always supportive. His was the first event at the first Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival. He set the tone and we were finally able to thank him properly when we gave him the outstanding achievement award in 2012, to add to his five CWA daggers.’

Val McDermid for The Guardian

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