Headliners of the 2024 Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival revealed


Harrogate International Festivals has announced the Special Guests for the 2024 Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, the world’s largest and most prestigious celebration of crime fiction.

Curated by bestselling crime writer and 2024 Festival Programming Chair Ruth Ware, with the programming committee, the Special Guests on this year’s programme include global bestsellers and fan favourites Chris Carter, Jane Casey, Elly Griffiths, Erin Kelly, Vaseem Khan, Dorothy Koomson, Shari Lapena, Abir Mukherjee, Liz Nugent and Richard Osman.

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.

This year’s Special Guests include home-grown talent from around the UK, alongside exciting writers from Canada, Brazil and Ireland, in a thrilling celebration of the genre that highlights its strength, diversity and global appeal.

Ruth Ware, bestselling author and 2024 Festival Programming Chair said:
“I’m so proud of the incredible roster of special guests appearing at this year’s Festival – together they showcase the strength, breadth and sheer excellence of the crime-writing landscape. Harrogate has always been a Festival with readers at its very heart, and there really is something for everyone in this glorious celebration of our brilliant and bloody genre.”

Vaseem Khan, award-winning author of the Baby Ganesh Agency series and the Malabar House novels and last year’s Festival Programming Chair, will open the Festival in conversation with Abir Mukherjee, author of the globally bestselling Wyndham & Banerjee series. 2024 Festival Programming Chair Ruth Ware will interview author, producer and television presenter Richard Osman about his multi-million copy bestselling Thursday Murder Club series.

International bestseller Shari Lapena visits from Canada to talk about her latest thriller What Have You Done with Liz Nugent, winner of four Irish Book Awards and fellow Irish crime writer Jane Casey will be in conversation with Erin Kelly, whose highly anticipated new novel The House of Mirrors is published in April.

Big name thriller writers Chris Carter, the bestselling author of the Robert Hunter series, and Dorothy Koomson – the ‘Queen of the Big Reveal’ – unveil their latest novels and Festival favourite Elly Griffiths will discuss her new standalone mystery The Last Word.

Simon Theakston, Chairman of T&R Theakston Ltd, said:
“It continues to be a privilege to support the world’s best crime writing Festival as we have over the last 21 years. In that time, we have had the great honour of hosting crime writing legends from across the globe as well as introducing brilliant new voices, and I am looking forward to celebrating what promises to be yet another wonderful Festival with my festival friends over a pint of Theakston Old Peculier!”

Sharon Canavar, Chief Executive of Harrogate International Festivals, said:
“The Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival turns 21 this year, and we look forward to bringing another brilliant Festival to Harrogate in celebration. Ruth has curated a thrilling programme with every crime fiction reader at its heart. We look forward to sharing the full programme in the coming months and cannot wait to welcome everyone to the Festival in the summer – whether it’s your first time or your twenty-first!”

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.

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 info@harrogate-festival.org.uk.
More information about tickets and packages can be found here.
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