Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival raises a pint for Big Read

9 June 2015

The Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival has launched its annual Big Read.

Readers across the North are being invited to read a murderously good novel from one of America’s greatest award-winning crime writers, Sara Paretsky.

In partnership with Hodder & Stoughton and 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.

The Big Read ‘Tales of the Darkside’ events will take place in a number of pubs across the North, as well as at the Festival’s title sponsor Theakstons Visitor Centre to celebrate National Beer Day (15 June).

Readers are invited to celebrate Paretsky’s novel, Blood Shot, and raise a pint, with Festival Reader in Residence and bestselling crime author, David Mark. The Chicago author Paretsky will feature in the flesh at the 2015 Theakstons Old Pecuiler Crime Writing Festival on 17 July in conversation with fellow crime writer, Val McDermid.

Readers across the North are being invited to read a murderously good novel from one of America’s greatest award-winning crime writers, Sara Paretsky

Blood Shot is a fast-paced, suspenseful political thriller from one of America’s greatest award-winning crime writers, featuring the trail blazing V.I. Warshawski.

The Big Read events run from Monday June 15 to Friday June 19 in venues across the North, where David will be meeting and discussing Blood Shot. Entry to all events is free.

David Mark said:

This is my third year as reader in residence and I’m delighted to be sharing my thoughts on a book that I rate very highly and which changed the face of noir. Sara Paretsky did something huge for crime-writing when she created V I Warshawski and she’s one of my favourite fictional sleuths.

I have a feeling that readers in the north who haven’t read her work before will fall in love with the character and those already familiar with Sara’s books will love the opportunity to share their feelings about a private detective who is tougher than a 20p pork chop.

As somebody with a definite thing for tough-talking women with attitude, the week will be a true labour of love.


Literature Festivals Manager Gemma Rowland said:

We are enormously proud of the Festival’s outreach and 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 Hodder & Stoughton, the Festival has been able to distribute 1500 copies of Blood Shot to local reading groups through our partner library services across Yorkshire, Middlesbrough and Tyneside for free.


Publicity Director of Hodder & Stoughton Kerry Hood said:

Sara has long been changing perceptions of women in crime fiction, and is truly one of the great crime writers today so it is with huge pleasure that we can show off her work through the Theakstons Old Peculiar Crime Festival and the Big Read.

Copies of Blood Shot are available to reading groups via the Festival’s partner libraries and pubs in North Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, Newcastle, North Tyneside, South Tyneside and Middlesbrough.

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