Famous crime writing festival celebrates 20th anniversary

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Lee and Andrew Child are among a stellar line-up as the world’s most famous crime writing festival celebrates its 20th anniversary this summer. The Jack Reacher creator, who now collaborates with his younger brother on the best-selling books about the ex-military cop, is returning to the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival for the first time since chairing the event in 2018. 

The pair join other special guests including Lisa Jewell, Ruth Ware, Ann Cleeves, Jeffery Deaver, Lucy Worsley, S. A. Cosby and Chris Hammer in Harrogate, North Yorks, from July 20 to 23. Festival co-founder Val McDermid will open the celebrations.

The festival takes place at Harrogate’s Old Swan Hotel – a favourite of the late crime Queen Agatha Christie.

Award-winning crime novelist Vaseem Khan, author of the Baby Ganesh and Malabar House crime series, set in modern Mumbai and 1950s Bombay respectively, is this year’s programming chair.

He said: “My late father and I used to watch Poirot together. Neither of us could have imagined that decades later, I would chair a festival so closely connected to Agatha Christie.

It is a privilege and a delight to chair the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, doubly so as the first British Asian crime writer to do so, triply so to take the helm of the world’s most important crime festival in its twentieth anniversary year. 

“Working with the amazing festival team, we have brought together an Avengers Assemble line-up of crime writers, showcasing the broad and bloody church that crime fiction represents. If you love the genre, you’d be (criminally) insane to miss it.”

Harrogate International Festivals chief executive Sharon Canavar added: “What a wonderful two decades it has been! Every year the festival has brought together some of the best names in crime writing and this year is no exception. It has been a brilliant experience working with Vaseem, who has curated a programme that truly celebrates this special moment in our history. We look forward to announcing the full programme in the coming months and we cannot wait to welcome one and all to what will be the best Festival yet!”

The Daily and Sunday Express are official media partners for the prestigious Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year award. 

Weekend break packages are on sale now. 

For more information and to book tickets, call 01423 562 303 or email [email protected]

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