Revealed - Famous guests for Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate

World renowned crime writer Ian Rankin has spoken of his excitement at unveiling this year’s programme for The Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate.

Wednesday, 4th March 2020, 8:00 am
Glittering Harrogate line-up - This year's Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival Programming Chair and Rebus author, Ian Rankin OBE.

Crime writing royalty Martina Cole, Mark Billingham, Lisa Gardner, Kathy Reichs, Elly Griffiths, Mick Herron and Michael Connelly will be appearing as part of the killer line-up curated by this year’s Festival Programming Chair and Rebus author, Ian Rankin OBE.

From July 23-26, Harrogate’s Old Swan Hotel – the legendary scene of Agatha Christie’s mysterious disappearance in 1926 – will welcome more than 100 world famous authors for a celebration of the crime genre like no other.

Joining fiction titan Ian Rankin at this year’s Festival will be:

Number one bestseller Martina Cole will be sharing the stories behind her iconic career as the undisputed Queen of Crime.

Kathy Reichs will introduce A Conspiracy of Bones, the riveting new thriller featuring forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan.

Festival favourite Mark Billingham who will be returning to Harrogate to celebrate 20 years of Tom Thorne, one of British crime fiction’s most iconic detectives.

Michael Connelly, the international phenomenon with over 74 million copies sold worldwide, will also be touching down in the UK to share his latest unputdownable thriller featuring veteran reporter Jack McEvoy, Fair Warning.

Lisa Gardner will give the Harrogate audience an insight into the twists and turns of When You See Me.

Elly Griffiths is set to reveal the secrets behind her much-loved Dr Ruth Galloway mystery series.

Mick Herron will mark ten years of his award-winning spy sensation Slough House and introduce his new novella set in the same world, The Catch.

Returning for its 18th year the award-winning festival in Harrogate is established as a literary phenomenon, attracting an international audience to see the best in the business and the most exciting new talent as part of an unmissable programme of creative workshops, once in a lifetime talks and unique panels.

Ian Rankin said: “It is for good reason that Harrogate is so well loved by authors and audiences alike, and the pressure has been on to make sure that this year lives up to its stellar reputation.

"But working with the Harrogate team has been a joy and we’re incredibly proud of the celebration of crime writing we have in store.

"Beginning with the announcement of our incredible Special Guests, the countdown to this year’s legendary long weekend is well and truly on and I can’t wait unveil the rest in April.”

Sharon Canavar, chief executive of Harrogate International Festivals, said: "Our mission at Harrogate International Festivals is to present the most unforgettable cultural experiences and year on year Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival continues to surpass all expectations.

"It has been a delight working with Ian Rankin and we’re thrilled that the 2020 Special Guest line-up reflects the absolute best in the crime-writing business – we look forward to revealing the full programme.”

Simon Theakston, executive director of Theakston, said: “We are incredibly proud to be supporting the biggest and best crime writing festival in the world, right here in Harrogate – it is a truly unique opportunity to discover the secrets behind the genre’s greatest characters, listen to world-renowned authors and celebrate the wonderful world of crime writing.

"All this and the chance to enjoy a very satisfying glass of Old Peculier at the same time.”