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Readers across the North of England prepare for the 2012 Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival’s Big Read

On-Beulah-HeightThe Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival has launched the annual Big Read for the fourth year in a row, following the success of previous years. In partnership with libraries and reading groups in the North of England, the Big Read aims to encourage as many people as possible to celebrate great crime writing by reading the same novel at the same time.

This year, the chosen book is On Beulah Height by Reginald Hill, in tribute to the much admired Yorkshire and Cumbria-based author who sadly died in January this year.

Tickets are now on sale for Big Read reading group events, with events taking place from 14 – 23 May across North Yorkshire, Leeds, Newcastle and North Tyneside, with 2012 also seeing the Big Read extending its reach to include the Stockton area.

Crime novelist and Festival Reader in Residence Martyn Waites will be meeting readers across the North of England to discuss Hill’s masterful mystery, inviting readers to share their thoughts on this most haunting of crime novels.

Harrogate International Festivals Chief Executive Sharon Canavar said:

We are enormously proud of the Festival’s pro-active literacy initiatives. The Big Read is one such project which aims to encourage local people to get reading together. Thanks to the generous support of publisher Harper Collins, this year the Festival has been able to distribute 1500 copies of the Big Read book to local reading groups for free. We hope to see many readers at our special events and are sure that this tale following the Dalziel & Pascoe duo will be sure to create some very interesting discussions.

Copies of On Beulah Height were made available to reading groups via the Festival’s partner libraries in North Yorkshire, Leeds, Newcastle, North Tyneside, South Tyneside and Stockton, many of whom are organising Big Read events.

To find out more about the 2012 Big Read visit

Martyn Waites will be discussing On Beulah Height in the following locations on the following dates:

North Yorkshire

  • Tue 15 May, 1.30pm, Skipton Library. Tickets £3. Tel. 0845 034 9538 or email:
  • Tue 15 May, 7.30pm, Ripon Library. Tickets £3. Tel. 0845 034 9524
  • Tue 22 May, 2.30pm, Selby Library. Tickets £3. Tel. 0845 034 9540
  • Tue 22 May, 7.30pm, Knaresborough Library. Tickets £3. Tel. 0845 300 5112
  • Wed 23 May, 2pm, Bentham Library. Tickets £3. Tel. 0845 034 9532 or email:


  • Mon 14 May, 6.30pm, Leeds Central Library. Tickets Free. Tel. 0113 247 6016
  • Wed 16 May, 1.45pm, Yeadon Library. Tickets Free. Tel 0113 214 6501

North Tyneside, Newcastle and Stockton

  • Wed 16 May, 7.30pm, Whitley Bay Library. Tickets £3. Tel 0191 200 8500
  • Mon 21 May, 6pm, Newcastle Central Library. Tickets FREE. Tel. 0191 277 4100 or email:
  • Wed 23 May, 7.30pm, Stockton Library, Tickets FREE. Tel. 0164 252 6521 or email


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