Harrogate! What an experience.

I arrived in Harrogate early on Friday morning and got my visitors pass, overflowing with excitement. The Theakston Old Peculiar Crime Writing Festival took place at the magnificent Old Swan Hotel, where crime writer Agatha Christie was discovered in 1926, after she mysteriously disappeared from her Surrey home. The elegant ballroom was the venue for most of the talks, and the library and other function rooms hosted the smaller workshops and events.

The line-up was incredible with talks by James Patterson, Ian Rankin, Harlan Coben andย Norwegian creator,ย Jo Nesbo just to name a few. I found James Patterson’s talk a tad too political for my liking (and I think he did too), while Harlan was intelligently witty, Ian Rankin oozing with good Scottish humour and Jo Nesbo entertaining and it has to be said, sexy as hell.

I met some fabulous crime ‘groupies’ and we had endless discussions about all our favourite heroes from Jack Reacher and Alex Cross to Harry Hole and Harry Bosch. I even got in a few punts about my own crime novella, The Surrey Stalker, which my new friends were anxious to try. Never underestimate the feverish obsession of a crime junkie!

It rained all weekend but I didn’t even notice as I raced from talk to talk, workshop to workshop and of course spent hours in the browsing tent spending my hard-earned dosh on as many crime thrillers as I could realistically fit in my suitcase. I met Ann Cleeves, who is one of my favourite authors (I just love Vera and Shetland) as well as several other debut authors who I’m looking forward to reading.

Then to top it all, on my way back to London I ran into Ian Rankin and C.J. Tudor on the platform. So, of course, I had to get a selfie. ๐Ÿ™‚

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