Harrogate Dispatches #4: Julia Crouch and Endearing Monsters

I know I’m doing this all out of whack, but yesterday I managed to sneak into a panel with a seriously fantastic panel – not only was the brilliant Julia Crouch (she could be my favourite moderator) holding things down (and telling us about her strange fascination with ‘squeezing spot porn’) but there was also…

Harrogate Dispatches #3: New Blood Panel With Val McDermid

I say it every year, but the New Blood panel, hosted by Val McDermid, is one of the highlights of the festival. Why? Well, as a fan of crime fiction it’s always interesting to hear panellists talk about their work – and not least debut writers – who present a raw, often unvarnished and unrehearsed…

Harrogate Dispatches #2: Ian Rankin

Chair Elly Griffiths and the Harrogate team really have put together a terrific line-up for this year’s Theakstons Old Peculiar Crime Writing Festival, and the fun continued this morning when one of the UK best-loved and best-selling crime writers, Ian Rankin, took to the stage of the Royal Hall concert hall here in Harrogate.