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Crime festival

Whodunnit? NCLA in the frame for crime fiction festival

Published on: 18 February 2019

One of the most popular and intriguing forms of fiction comes under suspicion at Newcastle University.

The Newcastle Centre for the Literary Arts (NCLA) is hosting Crime in the North East, a festival which celebrates murder, mayhem and mystery in the region – so long as it’s in the written word.

Its first suspect is award-winning crime writer, Val McDermid, on Friday 22 February. She’ll be put under interrogation by festival curator Dr Stacy Gillis.

Author Val McDermid

Who doesn’t love a good mystery?

Val’s record includes being an international best-seller, a Celebrity Mastermind champion and other coveted awards, including the CWA Gold Dagger.

“Crime, despite the old adage that says the opposite, does, in fact, pay.” says, Dr Gillis, Senior Lecturer in Twentieth-Century Literature and Culture at Newcastle University.

“Little more than a century onwards from Sherlock Holmes, crime dominates the publishing market. Who doesn’t love a good mystery?”

On Saturday visitors will be able to pick a number of international best-sellers out of the weekend’s line-up.

They include:

  • Best-selling detective novelist Lindsey Davis on historical detective fiction: Lindsey is best-known for her award-winning Falco novels, set in 1st century Rome.
  • Urban fantasy detective writer (and Dr Who author) Ben Aaronovitch: Ben’s Rivers of London series explores what happens when a Scotland Yard detective is a wizard as well.
  • The maestra of Shetland and Vera, Ann Cleeves: Ann put crime in the North East on the international map, and Vera gives us a police detective like no other.
  • Crime-reporter-turned-writer David Mark: David will be talking about his time as a crime reporter and the (violent) influence on his own work.
  • The incomparable CWA Dagger winner Mari Hannah: murder and deception lie at the heart of Mari’s books.

These acclaimed raconteurs will be in dialogue with experts from Newcastle University to talk about their lives in crime, and more.

Forensic experts on the beat

There will also be forensic experts from Northumbria Police, workshops on topics such as self-publishing crime fiction and how to plot a crime short story, and a crime quiz with prizes to finish it off.

NCLA Director, Professor Sinead Morrissey, says: “I hope you'll join us for a fun-packed and exciting exploration of crime fiction from all angles where you'll hear from world-famous authors, meet fellow fans, and discover your inner detective.”

The scene of the crime (festival) is the King’s Hall, in the University’s Armstrong Building. It will take place on Friday 22 February to Saturday 23 February.

Tickets are available here


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