Last week I traveled to Harrogate on Thursday, 19th July 2018 to attend the Theakston’s Old Peculiar Crime Writing Festival for the first time. I’ve been toying with the idea of going to the festival for a couple of years, so last year I finally plucked up the courage and booked myself a ticket, and I’m so glad I did. I’d already previously attended CrimeFest back in May, but they are both very different to each other. I arrived feeling slightly nervous but once I got into the stride of things and met up with a few friends, I began to really enjoy myself. I’ve already booked for next year and I will be urging myself to be braver and speak to more people and I think I’ll definitely be making a trip to Betty’s tea rooms.

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Shortly after arriving I attended Noir at the Bar and met up with Jen Lucas from Jen Med’s Book Reviews, Abigail Osborne, Mandie Griffiths and Mary Picken from Live And Deadly. I also finally got to meet Diane Jeffrey who’s books Those Who Lie and He Will Find You I really enjoyed reading.

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Danielle Ramsey reading from The Last Cut   Howard Linskey reading from The Chosen Ones

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Louise Mangos reading from Strangers On A Bridge   Jackie Baldwin reading from Perfect Dead

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Roz Watkins reading from The Devil’s Dice

I’m rubbish at taking photos anywhere I go so these are some of the very few I took. After a quick walk back to The Old Swan we went to see the Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers in action; a rock band which consists of Val McDermid, Chris Brookmyer, Mark Billingham, Luca Veste, Stuart Neville and Doug Johnstone. They’re absolutely brilliant so if you ever get the chance to see them, I would recommend going along.

The majority of the festival was spent mingling on the green outside The Old Swan but I did walk into Harrogate a couple of times and I will definitely be taking a trip to Betty’s tea rooms next year. I only went to see two panels over the weekend, Val McDermid’s New Blood Panel which featured: Will Dean, Dervla McTiernan, C J Tudor and Stuart Turton. I also attended a talk with Val McDermid and Sue Black where they discussed Sue’s latest novel, All That Remains. The subject line was a little heavy at times but the talk was absolutely fascinating. If you ever get the chance to hear Sue speak about her career do go along.

Of course I arrived home with a stack of books to read, including a sampler of Angela Clarke’s next novel On My Life, which I managed to get signed.

Over the weekend it was great to catch up with Sam Carrington, Libby Carpenter, Karen Sullivan, Fiona Cummins, Felicia Yap, Chris Whitaker, Amer Anwar, Rachel Emms, Liz Barnsley, Vicki Goldman, Joy Kluver, Jen Lucas, Mandie Griffiths and Tracey Fenton. I also met some new people too for the first time including, Kate Maloney, Noelle Holten, Claire Knight, Sarah Hardy, Susan Hampson, Amanda Robson, Amanda Reynolds, Kim Nash, Emma Welton and Rod Reynolds.

It was definitely a full on weekend. If you’re thinking of booking for next year, I highly recommend you do so. I can’t wait to return in 2019.