BEST-selling writers including the author of the popular 'Vera' novels are due to appear at a North Yorkshire Crime Writing Festival this summer.

The Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival is the world’s largest celebration of crime fiction and it returns to Harrogate’s Old Swan Hotel from July 22 to 25.

Festival programming chair, Rebus author Ian Rankin, has curated a stellar line-up of special guests, featuring producer and presenter Richard Osman with the second instalment in his record-breaking cosy crime caper The Thursday Murder Club series.

Fan favourite Vera and Shetland author Ann Cleeves is also appearing, as is the undisputed ‘Queen of Crime’, Val McDermid.

The festivities will continue with four days of talks and panels from crime writing royalty.

This includes the queens of domestic noir Clare Mackintosh and CL Taylor in conversation – alongside the most exciting new voices in crime writing including McDermid’s highly anticipated New Blood panel.

Mr Rankin said: "After a year of once-in-a-lifetime challenges, I couldn’t be more excited to stage this celebration of all things crime.

"With the announcement of our special guests, the countdown is officially on to this year’s festival and I’m looking forward to unveiling what else we have in store."