Sharpen your pen, hone your writing skills and be inspired by a full day of crime-writing advice and tips with our Crime Writing Masterclass, which includes…
SOPHIE HANNAH: THE CRAFT OF CRIME WRITING
The 2017 keynote will be delivered by Sophie Hannah. Hannah is an internationally bestselling crime fiction writer, whose novels have been translated into 34 languages and published in 51 countries. Her psychological thriller The Carrier won the Specsavers National Book Award for Crime Thriller of the Year in 2013. In 2014 and 2016, Sophie published The Monogram Murders and Closed Casket, the first new Hercule Poirot mysteries since Agatha Christie’s death, both of which were national and international bestsellers. Sophie’s new standalone novel Did You See Melody? will be published just before Bloody Scotland.
DOUG JOHNSTONE: WIELDING THE KNIFE
This hands-on, interactive workshop will equip aspiring writers with all the tools … Read More »Find out more »
Women crime writers, from Agatha Christie and Daphne du Maurier, to Val McDermid and Margaret Atwood, have always been a bloodthirsty bunch. They’ve also produced some of the very best work in the genre. A new compilation, Deadlier, contains 100 of the best crime stories written by women, selected and introduced by award-winning author Sophie Hannah. Sophie will be in conversation with best-selling novelist Cath Staincliffe, the creator of ITV’s hit series, Blue Murder. Cath also writes the Scott & Bailey novels based on the popular UK TV show.
Sponsored by University of Stirling.
Bloody Scotland 2017 opens in the magnificent splendour of the Great Hall of Stirling Castle with a truly unique event that offers you the chance to rub shoulders with some of the biggest names in crime fiction. Your golden ticket (£20) allows you to enjoy a glass or two of fizz in historic surroundings while we launch the Bloody Scotland anthology of new short stories in conjunction with Historic Environment Scotland and announce the winner of the prestigious McIlvanney Prize for Scottish crime book of the year. Following the announcement you can then collect, if you so wish, your flaming torch on the castle esplanade and take your place in a once-in-a-lifetime procession of authors and readers, winding its way through Stirling’s old town to the Albert Halls for the Rebus event. (£20 ticket does not include access to … Read More »Find out more »
We open this year’s festival with a celebration of Scottish crime writing’s greatest detective, John Rebus, in the company of his creator, Ian Rankin. It is 30 years since Ian’s famous Edinburgh copper came to life on the pages of Knots & Crosses and he has thrilled us ever since. Ian will be in conversation with fellow bestselling crime writer Mark Billingham, walking the beat from St Leonard’s police station to the Oxford Bar and back again.
Sponsored by Orion.
Our big Friday night crime quiz will test the knowledge and patience of two teams of crime writers led by rival captains Val McDermid and Mark Billingham. Do they know their arsenic from their Ellroy?
Quizmaster Craig Robertson will try to keep order.
The quiz will immediately be followed by a gig from the hottest new band this side of the Mississippi. Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers features the musical talents of Doug Johnstone, Mark Billingham, Stuart Neville, Luca Veste and Val McDermid.
Sponsored by The Crime Vault.
When it comes to the fact behind the fiction of police procedurals, just how accurate are our favourite crime writers?
Bestselling author and Bloody Scotland co-founder Alex Gray bravely puts her research credentials on the line as she is questioned by Police Scotland’s Deputy Chief Constable Iain Livingstone QPM and Detective Superintendant Duncan Sloan. Alex’s latest book, the superb Still Dark, will be under the microscope.
Labels can be confusing, but whether you call them psychological thrillers, domestic noir or grip-lit, there is no doubt that these three authors are at the top of the tree. Sarah Pinborough’s latest novel Behind Her Eyes has everyone talking about its stunning twist. C.L. Taylor’s The Escape is a terrifying tale of a mother’s fight to keep her daughter safe. Clare Mackintosh’s gripping I See You is a number one bestseller about the kind of work commute that no one wants.
The best crime novels can instantly transport you to faraway lands thanks to the author’s skills in imbuing their work with a distinct sense of place.
John Gordon Sinclair’s tense thriller Walk in Silence is set in the brutal underworld of Albania. Tony Black’s latest novel takes place in Australia where a young woman’s body is washed up on a beach at the Bay of Martyrs. LA Larkin’s new book Devour races across the globe from the poppy palaces of Afghanistan to the ice sheets of Antarctica.
In 1987, Scotland’s very own Val McDermid rocketed onto the crime fiction scene with her first novel, Report For Murder. In the years since, she has established herself as one of the world’s leading crime writers, selling over 10 million books and scooping countless awards. The Queen of Crime will reminisce about her stellar career as well as talking about her enthralling new book Insidious Intent which sees the return of the much-loved Tony Hill and Carol Jordan.
Sponsored by Stirling Gin.
Scotland’s darkest deeds aren’t confined to its mean streets and no mean cities. Join us on a rural ramble with a deadly edge.
C.F. Peterson’s acclaimed debut novel Errant Blood, takes place in and around the fictional highland village of Duncul. Michael Ridpath’s Amnesia is also set in the highlands and tells of an old man who wakes to find he’s killed the only woman he ever loved. The village of Dundrennan in Galloway is the setting for Catriona McPherson’s terrifying new novel Weight of Angels.
Order in court (and on the Bloody Scotland website) to see three men who are leading lawyers by day and brilliant crime writers by night.
Imran Mahmood, a criminal defence barrister, is the author of You Don’t Know Me. Steve Cavanagh, a solicitor in Northern Ireland, writes the Eddie Flynn legal thrillers, including The Liar. G.J. Moffat is a civil litigation lawyer practising in Glasgow and bestselling author of Blackwater.
Chaired by Laura Thomson.
Sponsored by the Faculty of Advocates.
Bestselling author Alex Gray introduces four of the hottest new crime writing talents on the books.
Felicia Yap’s high-concept thriller asks how you can solve a murder when you can only remember Yesterday. Mark Hill is the author of Two O’Clock Boy, a gripping tale of two childhood friends who ended up on opposite sides of the law. Rob Ewing’s excellent The Last of Us tells the story of five children left on a remote Scottish island. The reviews for Ian Skewis’s A Murder of Crows have called it ‘An impressive thriller’ with ‘Shades of early Iain Banks’.
We welcome back one of Bloody Scotland’s favourite sons to this year’s festival. Peter has had a phenomenally successful few years since his Lewis trilogy rocketed him to the top of book charts across the world.
Cast Iron is the latest in his Enzo Macleod series. A young woman’s body is dumped in a French lake and fourteen years later, during a summer heatwave, a drought exposes her remains.
Chaired by Lin Anderson.
Meet two authors with extensive experience of bringing crime fiction to the small screen. M.J. Arlidge has worked in television for 15 years, including writing for forensic drama Silent Witness and is the author of seven hugely successful novels featuring DI Helen Grace. Robert Thorogood is the creator of the hit BBC series, Death in Paradise and has written three novels based on the show including the latest Death Knocks Twice.
The pair will be in conversation with crime author Chris Dolan whose past credits include writing for the legendary Scottish Television series Taggart.
The crime writers of Scotland and England will take to the football field once more to compete for The Bloody Cup in what is a perennial festival favourite.
The ball was set rolling in 2014 when Scotland inflicted a 13–1 humiliation on the Auld Enemy, followed by a shock draw the following year. England scraped a fortuitous victory in 2016, leaving Scotland still ahead on goal difference…
Final line-ups will include Ian Rankin, Christopher Brookmyre, Craig Robertson and Doug Johnstone for Scotland, while England will feature Mark Billingham, Simon Kernick, Luca Veste, and Howard Linskey.
Special thanks to Cowane’s Hospital Maintenance Trust (www.cowanes.org.uk) for use of their grounds.Find out more »
Journey north to lands of long winters, dark nights and even darker deeds. Lin Anderson’s latest novel featuring forensic expert Rhona McLeod, Follow the Dead, travels from the frozen Cairngorms to Norway. Icelandic author Ragnar Jónasson has had huge international success with his Dark Iceland series and the latest, Whiteout, is released in October. Thomas Enger has written four high-octane thrillers set in his native Norway featuring journalist Henning Juul, including the latest Cursed.
Sponsored by University of Stirling.
Join us for what is sure to be a fascinating discussion of the life and works of the legendary Belgian writer Georges Simenon, the creator of French detective Maigret.
John Simenon, the author’s son, is also the producer of the new TV series about the great detective, starring Rowan Atkinson. Graeme Macrae Burnet was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize for his acclaimed novel His Bloody Project, and his love of Simenon is reflected in the style of both his first and third novels, as well as his Simenon blog.
They will be interviewed by Sian Reynolds, Honorary Professor of French at the University of Stirling.
Three of the hottest talents in English crime writing were forged in its dark, industrial north. Howard Linskey from County Durham is the author of seven novels, including The Search, the third in his Tom Carney series. Girl Zero is the second novel by A.A. Dhand to feature DI Harry Virdee and is set in his native Bradford. Liverpool’s Luca Veste stormed the charts with his Murphy and Rossi series, the fourth of which is Then She Was Gone.
Get your kicks on Route 66 with the bestselling authors of two American-based novels that take us on a thrill ride from Los Angeles to Las Vegas.
Chris Carter’s number one chart topper The Caller is set in LA and is the eighth to feature his unstoppable detective Robert Hunter. Don’t Look For Me, the fourth in Mason Cross’s brilliant Carter Blake series, sees Blake up against a hitman in and around America’s gambling capital.
Meet three authors who have escaped the long arm of the law and turned to crime instead. Kate London, Denzil Meyrick and R.J. Mitchell are all former police officers turned top class crime writers.
Death Message, the second in Kate London’s Collins and Griffiths series centres on the disappearance of a teenage girl. Denzil Meyrick’s DCI Daley series goes from strength to strength and the fifth is Well of the Winds. R.J. Mitchell calls on all his experience on the beat in his new Thoroughgood novel The Shift.
We are delighted to welcome international bestseller Karen Rose to Bloody Scotland. Karen was born and raised in the Washington DC suburbs of Maryland and was a high school chemistry and physics teacher before becoming a writer.
She is the author of nineteen novels, the latest of which, Monster in the Closet, is the fifth in her acclaimed Baltimore series. It features private investigator Clay Maynard on the trail of a killer who wants to silence the child who witnessed his brutal crime.
Sponsored by Headline.
High-octane thrills, chills and spills are the order of the day in the rollercoaster rides provided by the twisty talents of three authors at the very top of the genre.
Here And Gone is the ‘debut’ of Haylen Beck, the alias of crime bestseller Stuart Neville. Simon Kernick’s novels are always to be found at the top of the fiction charts and the latest, The Bone Field, is no exception. Simon Toyne’s thrillers have been published in over 50 countries. The Boy Who Saw is the second in his Solomon Creed series.
Take a trip to Shetland in the company of DI Jimmy Perez and the people responsible for bringing him to life – bestselling author Ann Cleeves and actor Douglas Henshall.
Ann has written seven books in her much-loved Shetland series, the latest being Cold Earth. Douglas has won praise (and a BAFTA) for his portrayal of Jimmy in the BBC production, now in its fourth season. Ann has threatened to kill off Perez in her next, and last novel in the series but this is your chance – and Douglas’s – to say no!
Sponsored by the Thin Blue Spine Crime Writing Blog and The Shetland Distillery Company.
A.K. Benedict (The Evidence of Ghosts), Helen Fields (Perfect Prey), S.J.I. Holliday (The Damselfly) and Anne Randall (Torn) prove that the female of the crime writing species is more deadly than the male. All four are producing some of the freshest work in the genre, while leaving a trail of literary murder and mayhem in their wake. Join them as they discuss their latest books and the unstoppable rise of women crime writers.
Steve Cavanagh and Luca Veste are the authors behind the mic of the freshest, most in-your-face podcast in crime fiction. They discuss new releases, changing trends and feature interviews with leading authors.
For the first time, they will broadcast their show live and uncensored from Bloody Scotland. Expect forthright views, swearing, funny accents, giggling and stellar guests in the shape of Ian Rankin, Mark Billingham and Eva Dolan.
Get off your marks for the festival’s hottest ticket as Bloody Scotland again takes over the Curly Coo pub on Barnton Street for a never-to-be-forgotten night of criminal cabaret. Craig Robertson is your master of ceremonies as the leading purveyors of crime fiction perform for your delectation and delight.
There will be music, comedy, poetry, the return of the sensational Slice Girls, and copious amounts of cramped chaos.
Meet two authors who have made the leap from hard fact to hard-line fiction, using their first-hand experience of major events to craft riveting thrillers.
Vince Cable, recently re-elected MP for Twickenham, was Business Secretary from 2010-15. Open Arms is an explosive page-turner which races from Whitehall to the slums of Mumbai. Nicholas Searle is a bestselling author who previously had a career in counter-terrorism and security. A Traitor in the Family is a twisting tale of intrigue revolving around an IRA terrorist, trained to kill for the cause.Find out more »
Femme fatales – the label hangs just as well on these authors as it does on their protagonists.
Harley Jane Kozak, former Hollywood actress (When Harry Met Sally, Parenthood) turned award-winning author is the creator of the Wollie Shelley series. Caro Ramsay’s feisty DS Freddie Costello has featured in eight of her novels. Ellie McEnroe is the central character in US author Lisa Brackmann’s award-winning books. They will be kept in line by Alexandra Sokoloff whose own Cara Lindstrom is set to star in a major American TV series.
Bloody Scotland celebrates its links with the Kolkata Literary Festival by bringing together crime writers from both countries.
Abir Mukherjee was raised in the west of Scotland, the son of Indian parents. He has written two novels set in historical Calcutta, while Monabi Mitra’s The Final Report is on the mean streets of the city’s modern counterpart. Scotland’s own Lin Anderson and Doug Johnstone both travelled to Kolkata earlier this year as part of a cultural exchange.
Twelve of Scotland’s best crime writers have produced an anthology of short stories inspired by the country’s most iconic sites and structures. Compiled by Historic Environment Scotland, these include the Forth Rail Bridge, Maeshowe on Orkney, Bothwell Castle and St Peter’s Seminary at Cardross.
Three of the anthology’s authors, Louise Welsh, Doug Johnstone and E.S. Thomson, will talk about their chosen location and the connections that exist between Scotland’s people and places.
Join two gifted storytellers at the very top of their game as they explore connections both Celtic and criminal.
The latest from Scotland’s Denise Mina, The Long Drop, is an extraordinary and unsettling account of the meeting between murderer Peter Manuel and the father of the family he has slaughtered. Both of Irish author Liz Nugent’s first two novels, Unravelling Oliver and Lying in Wait, have been number one bestsellers.
Could you be the next big thing in crime writing? This is your chance to pitch your novel to a group of publishing professionals.
Our expert panel this year features Jo Dickinson, publishing director at Simon & Schuster, Keshini Naidoo, Associate Publisher at Bookouture, Jade Chandler, editorial director for crime fiction at Harvill Secker, and agent Jemima Forrester.
Visit www.bloodyscotland.com/pitch2017 to find out more and take part.
Killing your victims is the easy bit, disposing of the corpse and not getting caught is much trickier. Luckily for international bestseller James Oswald, help is at hand in the learned shape of world-leading forensic anthropologist, Professor Sue Black of the University of Dundee.
The dynamic duo will pick their way through the entrails of the new Inspector McLean mystery, Written in Bones, and pass on tips for hiding your nearest and dearest under the patio.
Do you prefer your crime fiction with a slice of social justice or a slash of serial killer? Three leading authors debate whether their novels have a responsibility to do more than just rack up the body count.
Mark Billingham (Love Like Blood), Eva Dolan (Watch Her Disappear) and Craig Robertson (The Photographer) will explore the role of the crime novel as social commentator while still managing to serve up plenty of thrills.
The true success of the festival’s Pitch Perfect sessions is the number of our pitchers who have gone on to be published and are now forging great careers in the world of crime fiction.
Joseph Knox’s debut novel Sirens was released this year after a bidding war between major publishers. Steph Broadribb is making waves with her first book Deep Down Dead which has already been shortlisted for a major award. Matt Wesolowski earned himself a publishing deal (and a movie deal with Fox Searchlight) for his innovative and chilling Six Stories.
Book early to make sure you get a ticket for one of the most entertaining and insightful crime writers in the business. Chris Brookmyre won the McIlvanney Prize in 2016 for Scottish Crime Book of the Year for his stunning novel Black Widow, and has followed it up with another outstanding Jack Parlabane thriller Want You Gone.
Meet three superb storytellers who use their in-depth historical knowledge to spin thrilling and atmospheric tales of times past.
None so Blind, the debut of Alis Hawkins, is set in mid-19th century Wales in the aftermath of the notorious Rebecca Riots. S.G. Maclean’s latest book, The Black Friar, is the second featuring Damian Seeker, Captain of Cromwell’s Guard. Kaite Welsh’s novel, The Wages of Sin, revolves around a murder amid Edinburgh University’s first intake of female medical students.
The surprise hit of last year’s festival returns as Alanna Knight’s detective takes on a new case in Inspector Faro Investigates the Vanishing Vagrant.
Set in fashionable Victorian Edinburgh, expect laughs, gaffes, murder, mayhem and missed curtain calls as our cast of crime writers camp it up in this rehearsed reading.Find out more »
So, there’s four crime writers, right? Real wise guys. And they want a plot. A deadly plot. Someone’s going to die. Maybe quite a few people actually. It won’t be pretty. But it might be funny.
Join Neil Broadfoot, Gordon Brown, Mark Leggatt and Douglas Skelton as they throw the book at each other in the search for the perfect murder.
Celebrate two legends of crime fiction in our closing event – DCI Jane Tennison and her creator, ‘International Queen of Crime Drama’ Lynda LaPlante.
The tenacious detective first burst onto our screens in 1991, memorably played by Helen Mirren in Prime Suspect, and is returning as a young DC in the pages of Lynda’s latest novel Good Friday.
Lynda, who has been made a CBE for services to Literature, Drama and Charity has had a remarkable career, starting out as an actress on TV before becoming one of Britain’s most prolific and successful authors and screenwriters winning three BAFTA Awards, an Emmy and the prestigious Edgar Award by the Mystery Writers of America along the way.
Sponsored by Stirling Gin.
The Caledonian Crime Writing Festival, Scottish Company No SC404578, Registered office: Caledonian Exchange, 19A Canning Street, Edinburgh EH3 8HE.
The Caledonian Crime Writing Festival is a Scottish Registered Charity, known as Bloody Scotland; Charity No SC042615