Rankin, Cole and Billingham lined up for Bloody Scotland

Rankin, Cole and Billingham lined up for Bloody Scotland

Ian Rankin, Val McDermid, Martina Cole and Mark Billingham are among the stellar names lined up for the fifth Bloody Scotland festival in Stirling.

The literary event will take place from 9th-11th September and is dedicated to the memory of celebrated Scottish detective writer William McIlvanney, who died last December.

Big names on the line-up from the world of crime fiction include Rankin, McDermid, Cole, Chris Brookmyre, Nicci French and Billingham, as well as MC Beaton, with the festival hosted by Fred McAuley.

A number of debut writers including award winners Abir Mukherjee and Martin Cathcart Froden will also feature at the festival, which takes place across a number of historic venues in Stirling’s Old Town, which now include the Golden Lion hotel as a festival hub for the first time.

In addition to the speakers, the now-traditional Scotland v England writers’ football match will return, as will a late-night lock-in ‘Crime at the Coo’ at whiskey bar The Curly Coo. Billingham will be joined by country music duo My Darling Clementine for their show The Other Half, while Val McDermid has created a pop-up ‘escape room’ in the town’s Thistles Shopping Centre.

(From left) Val McDermid, Alex Gray, Chris Brookmyre, Lin Anderson and Doug Johnston select their weapon of choice for Bloody Scotland. Picture: Eoin Carey

Bob McDevitt, the festival’s interim director, said: “I'm really looking forward to my first Bloody Scotland as part of the team - it's a great programme, with something for crime writing fans of every persuasion and Stirling once again will be buzzing with the electric Bloody Scotland atmosphere.”

Aly Barr, the acting head of literature, languages and publishing for Creative Scotland, added: “Lust, murder, crime and punishment. Isn’t that everyone’s idea of weekend well spent? We’re delighted that Bloody Scotland has been collecting evidence for five years and urge everyone to get along for the big whodunit in Stirling.”

Tickets for the festival went on sale today (June 1st), and are priced at £9.50 for events at the Albert Halls and £7.50 for all others. Standby tickets are available for free ot the unemployed or those on a low income, and a 10% discount is available to local residents.