Full program and guest list revealed for Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate in July

Best-selling crime writer Denise Mina has helped put together a stunning lineup for the Harrogate-based festival
Best-selling crime writer Denise Mina has helped put together a stunning lineup for the Harrogate-based festival

The guest list for the Harrogate-based event, chaired this year by crime writer Denise Mina, is now complete.

Other guests include best-selling Vera Stanhope creator Ann Cleeves, crime novelist and Detection Club president Martin Edwards, and New Blood panelist and journalist Bella Mackie.

The program will see a variety of acclaimed crime and thriller writers explore the genre and the influences on their writing, including Adele Parks, Mick Herron, Sophie Hannah, Abir Mukherjee, SJ Parris, Sue Black, Will Dean, Andrew Taylor, Fiona Cummins, Vaseem Khan and Elly Griffiths.

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This year’s program will also include two author dinners, featuring popular mystery and thriller writers, including: politician and early novelist Alan Johnson; QI Elf, podcaster and author Andrew Hunter Murray; bestselling thriller writer Syd Moore; Matt Wesolowski, creator of Six Stories; actor, producer and first author Tony McHale; Ajay Chowdhury, author of the award-winning thriller The Waiter; talent agent and columnist turned bestselling author Melanie Blake; and poet and novelist Kate Rhodes.

The release of the full program follows the previous announcement of special guests headlining the festival, which includes crime fiction icons Lynda La Plante, Paula Hawkins, Tess Gerritsen, Michael Connelly, Lucy Foley, Charlie Higson, John Connolly, CL Taylor and Kathy Reichs.

The all-star line-up will appear at the festival, which runs from Thursday July 21 to Sunday July 24, at the Old Swan Hotel.

A number of festival favorites will return this year, including Val McDermid’s New Blood panel, celebrating four top crime writers, and the popular late-night crime fiction quiz, hosted by McDermid and Mark Billingham.

Denise Mina, best-selling author and 2022 Festival President, said: “After keeping it a secret for so long, it’s incredibly exciting to finally reveal the full lineup for this year’s Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival.”

Simon Theakston, Executive Director of Theakston, said: “The Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival has a phenomenal reputation for attracting the best names in crime fiction, and Denise has continued that proud tradition with this year’s impressive programme.

“We can’t wait to hear some of these fantastic names speak at the festival in July.”

JThe program is as follows:

9 a.m. – Creative Thursday: Crime fiction writing workshop

Leading authors and industry professionals, including Vaseem Khan, Greg Mosse, Kate Mosse, Mark Billingham and Natasha Cooper (NJ Cooper), share their secrets in a workshop on how to write a best-selling mystery novel .

8 p.m. – Theakston Old Pecular Crime Novel Awards

Crime writing’s most sought-after accolade, the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award, returns to spotlight the crème de la crème of crime novels published by British and Irish authors over the past year. The longlist was announced on May 5, the shortlist was announced on June 14, and the winner was announced at the awards ceremony on July 21.

9 a.m. – Special guest: Paula Hawkins

Best-selling author of international phenomenon The Girl on The Train, Paula Hawkins discusses her career and the inspirations for her thrillers with crime critic NJ Cooper.

10:30 am – PANEL: It’s a long walk, not a short jump.

Longtime and best-selling authors Martin Edwards, Mick Herron, Adele Parks and Andrew Taylor discuss their race to the top with Festival President Denise Mina.

Noon – PANEL: Too good to cancel.

Old detective novel characters never die, they just lose the plot. Bonnie MacBird, Sophie Hannah, Elly Griffiths and Tom Harper discuss the daunting task of breathing new life into some of the genre’s most beloved figures with the SJ Parris Chair.

2 p.m. – PANEL: Mo Hayder, Queen of Chill.

A year has passed since the sad passing of the incredibly talented Mo Hayder and to mark his passing, four authors who similarly target these sore spots of primordial terror are led in discussion by Alex North: Chris Carter, Fiona Cummins, Lars Kepler and Catriona. Room.

3:30 p.m. – PANEL: Pride & Prejudice.

July 2022 marks 50 years since the first Pride in England, a historic moment for LGBTQ history and culture. DV Bishop, Alex Dahl, Louise Welsh, Nicola White each share their very personal take on how representation has changed in detective fiction in a discussion led by Paul Burston.

5 p.m. – Special guest: Tess Gerritsen.

Rizolli & Isles creator Tess Gerritsen talks about the hit international series, her journey as an author and how a medical career influenced mystery writing, in a conversation with novelist SJ Watson .

6:15 p.m. – Authors’ dinner N°1

Solve the Case as Authors Rachael Blok, AK Turner, Ajay Chowdhury, Andrew Hunter Murray, David Fennell, Douglas Skelton, Craig Russell, Holly Seddon, Katerina Diamond, Margie Orford, Sharon Bolton, Simon Brett, Syd Moore, Tony McHale and Victoria Selman apply their criminal minds alongside their towels.

8:30 p.m. – Special guest: Michael Connelly.

Award-winning writer Michael Connelly appears in conversation with Mark Billingham, discussing the acclaimed Harry Bosch series and more.

10 p.m. – PANEL: All thriller, no filler.

Frankie Boyle, Lisa Jewell, Catherine Ryan Howard and Saima Mir discuss keeping pace with their exhilarating thrillers chaired by Luca Veste.

9 a.m. – Special guests: CL Taylor and Lucy Foley.

Psychological thriller writer CL Taylor takes the stage with Lucy Foley, author of bestselling thrillers The Hunting Party and The Guestlist, to talk about their careers and the influences that shape their writing.

10:30 a.m. – PANEL: The country is another country.

Meet four authors who masterminded meadowland murders, including Ann Cleeves, Reverend Richard Coles, Tony Kent and Rosemary Shrager in a discussion chaired by bestseller Will Dean.

Noon – PANEL: New blood with Val McDermid.

The festival’s favorite panel returns, as award-winning Val McDermid joins four early crime writers – Bella Mackie, Emma Styles, Michael Bennett and Stacey Willingham – to hear more about their novels, their inspirations and their hopes for their future careers.

2:00 p.m. – PANEL: Experts in chortling.

Experts in the fields of forensics, morgues and police psychology come together to laugh at the legion of things that perpetrators get wrong. Graham Bartlett, Sue Black, Dr Emma Kavanagh and Carla Valentine chuckle with Speaker Simon Mayo.

3:30 p.m. – PANEL: Police procedures in a changing world.

Four leading mystery writers debate whether real-world events have changed police procedure forever and ask, in the wake of the murders of George Floyd and Sarah Everard, have the bad cops taken over from the good guys? ? Parker Bilal, Jane Casey, AA Dhand and Adam LeBor are led by journalist and broadcaster Gerry Foley.

5 p.m. – Special guest: John Connolly.

Irish novelist John Connolly talks with broadcaster Mark Lawson about the award-winning Charlie Parker series, the latest installment The Furies and the role of the supernatural in detective fiction.

6:15 p.m. – Authors’ dinner n°2.

Solve the case as authors Alan Johnson, Antti Tuomainen, Craig Robertson, Charlotte Northedge, Fiona Erskine, Melanie Blake, Kate Rhodes, Lilja Sigurðardóttir, Matt Wesolowski, Patricia Gibney, Sam Blake, Susi Holliday, Tim Glister, Will Carver and Zoe Sharp postulate their criminal minds, next to their towels.

6:30 p.m. – PANEL: Poe did it.

True crime writers Sam Holland, Winnie M Li, Brian McGilloway and Nadine Matheson explore ethics in the fine margins between truth and fiction with fiction and true crime author and president Claire McGowan.

8:30 p.m. – Special guest: Kathy Reichs.

Crime fiction icon and author of the Temperance Brennan series, Kathy Reichs discusses her writing career and her new book Cold, Cold Bones with broadcaster Mark Lawson.

10 p.m. – Late night quiz.

Extraordinary quiz masters Val McDermid and Mark Billingham return to host what is always a fun event, the Late Night crime fiction quiz. This year, in memory of Thalia Proctor.

9 a.m. – Special guest: Lynda La Plante.

Best-selling detective novelist Lynda La Plante shares her thoughts on writing and crime as a genre with Festival President Denise Mina.

10:30 a.m. – PANEL: Moments in Crime.

Historical mystery writers Ambrose Parry, Vaseem Khan, Robbie Morrison and Leonora Nattrass discuss successfully harnessing the richness of history to help shape their work with President Abir Mukherjee.

Noon – Special guest: Charlie Higson.

Author, comedian and Ememy and Young Bond actor Charlie Higson discusses his varied career with TV presenter Steph McGovern.


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