Osman, Rankin and Cleeves join Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival

Osman, Rankin and Cleeves join Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival

The full festival programme for the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival has been published, including special guests Richard Osman, Elly Griffiths and Ann Cleeves, curated by festival programming chair Ian Rankin. 

This year's festival will take place from 22nd to 25th July at the Old Swan Hotel in Harrogate with panel discussions on everything from the perennial appeal of historical crime fiction to the rise of cutting-edge science and tech, the demise of the police procedural to Agatha Christie’s inimitable genius and the appeal of both gung-ho action heroes and slick political thrillers.

There will also be an award ceremony for the crime novel of the year. The shortlist includes: Chris Whitaker with We Begin at The End (Zaffre), Rosamund Lupton with Three Hours (Penguin), Elly Griffiths with her latest Ruth Galloway whodunnit The Lantern Men (Quercus), Scottish-Bengali author Abir Mukherjee with his latest Wyndham & Banerjee novel Death in the East (Vintage), Northern Irish author Brian McGilloway with his political thriller The Last Crossing (Little, Brown), and New Blood alumni Trevor Wood with The Man on the Street (Quercus).

Val McDermid will also return with her sought-after New Blood panel with this year’s hotly-tipped debut authors including Anna Bailey, Greg Buchanan, Patricia Marques and Lara Thompson.

Rankin said: “It is with great pleasure that I can finally share with you the full programme for Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival 2021. After nearly a year-and-a-half of successive lockdowns and restrictions, it is going to be absolutely marvellous to be able to safely gather together and celebrate the genre that we all love so dearly.”

Chief executive of Harrogate International Festivals Sharon Canavar added: “It has been a real journey to bring this year’s festival to life – working in festivals during Covid is not for the faint-hearted! Ian Rankin has brought together a killer line-up of special guests and thought-provoking panels that explore our beloved crime genre in a completely unique way. We are so grateful and proud that – after so many challenges – we are at long last able to share this programme with the public.” 

Simon Theakston, executive director of Theakston, said: “It’s finally here – the crime fiction event of the year! What an incredible line up of criminal masterminds and devious debutants! We are always so proud to support the biggest and best crime writing festival in the world and this year’s event feels like a long time coming. We can’t wait to welcome you to Harrogate this summer and look forward to seeing you there, with a glass of Old Peculier in hand, of course!”

The full line up can be found here.