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Killer line up for the 2014 Crime Writing Festival

Europe’s largest celebration of crime writing has announced its star line-up including an exclusive appearance by J.K. Rowling, writing as Robert Galbraith, as well as Ann Cleeves, John Harvey, Sophie Hannah, Lynda La Plante, Laura Lippman, Peter May, Val McDermid, Denise Mina, and S.J. Watson.

The 2014 Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival takes place between the 17-20 July, at the Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate.

J.K. Rowling will be in conversation with Val McDermid in her first and only appearance in 2014 as Robert Galbraith. She’ll be discussing her new book The Silkworm, the second crime novel in the Cormoran Strike series, at a special event hosted at the Royal Hall in Harrogate at 7.30pm on Friday 18 July. The Silkworm is published by Little Brown on 19 June.

This year’s stellar list of names has been put together by, award-winning author Steve Mosby, who takes over the reins from Val McDermid as this year’s Programming Chair. Based in Leeds, he’s the author of seven novels – The Third Person, The Cutting Crew, The 50/50 Killer, Cry for Help, Still Bleeding, Black Flowers, and Dark Room. His eighth novel, The Nightmare Place is published in June 2014.

Steve said: It’s a pleasure and honour to be Chair of this year’s Festival. It’s one of the most sought after events in the crime writing community, attracting the biggest names from around the world. It’s a big pressure to live up to its legacy, but the 2014 programme is really quite special.

The annual Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, which first launched in 2003, is hosted at The Old Swan Hotel in Harrogate, where Agatha Christie was famously found in 1926 after disappearing from her home.

2014 Programming Committee. L-R: Author Val McDermid, Little Brown publisher David Shelley, Programming Chair and author, Steve Mosby, literary agent Jane Gregory, and author NJ Cooper
2014 Programming Committee: L-R: Author Val McDermid, Little Brown publisher David Shelley, Programming Chair and author, Steve Mosby, literary agent Jane Gregory, and author NJ Cooper

Attendees are invited to join up to 80 of the world’s most celebrated crime authors ‘in conversation, in action and in the bar.’

Headline sponsor, Simon Theakston, Executive Director of T&R Theakston, said: We’ve supported the festival since almost from the start, and every year I think it surpasses already high expectations. 2014 is no different with this remarkable line-up of world-class authors. It truly is a delight for Theakstons to be part of such an iconic annual event on the literary calendar.

Behind the festival atmosphere, the event is one of the most important in the crime publishing calendar, with publishers scheduling new releases to coincide with the July date. Agents, publishers, publicists and authors attend from all over Europe and the world.

It is ranked as one of the top three literary festivals in the UK by The Guardian, and featured in The Independent’s ‘The 50 Best Festivals’.

With four days packed with events, the full programme will be announced in early May.

Main photograph: Festival authors, Val McDermid and Mark Billingham

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