Scottish writer Alexander McCall Smith is to launch the 2018 Bloody Scotland International Crime Writing Festival programme with events in London and Stirling.
The official programme will launch on Monday 4th June and be followed by afternoon tea in the Ballroom of The Golden Lion Hotel in Stirling as McCall Smith celebrates the 20th anniversary of The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency. Events will take place in London the following day on Tuesday 5th June.
The first novel in McCall's crime series was first published in 1998, introducing Precious Ramotswe to audiences around the world. In the two decades since, Mma Ramotswe – along with Grace Makutsi and the mechanic, Mr J L B Matekoni – have featured in a further 17 novels from Botswana.
Director of Bloody Scotland Bob McDevitt said: "From the first Bloody Scotland festival in 2012, we have tried to get the wonderful Alexander McCall Smith on the programme but sadly his schedule and ours have never been in sync. Until now."
McCall Smith said: "I can’t think of any better way to celebrate 20 years of The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency than with afternoon tea at the launch of Scotland’s biggest crime book festival. I have always wanted to appear at Bloody Scotland and I am glad we have managed to make it work as I’ll be in Botswana when the actual festival takes place."
Bloody Scotland is Scotland’s International Crime Writing Festival will take place in Stirling from 21st to 23rd September 2018. Tickets for the festival and for the launch events are available from the Bloody Scotland website.
Afternoon tea with Alexander McCall Smith in The Regency Ballroom at The Golden Lion Hotel in Stirling will cost £5 on Monday 4th June at 1pm (to include tea and shortbread).
The first edition of The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency was published by Edinburgh based publisher, Polygon, which continues to publish McCall Smith. Polygon is an imprint of Birlinn who in November was named Scottish Publisher of the Year.
The judges of the 2018 McIlvanney Prize which is awarded at the opening night of the Festival were recently confirmed as comedian Susan Calman; Alison Flood, Guardian book journalist and former news editor of The Bookseller; and Craig Sisterson who will be Chair. Recent winners of the Scottish Crime Book of the Year Award include Denise Mina (2017) and Chris Brookmyre (2016).