GIANTS of the crime fiction world including Vera author Ann Cleeves and best-seller Val McDermid are descending on North Yorkshire this week.

The Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival fittingly takes place at the Old Swan Hotel in Harrogate – the infamous scene of Agatha Christie's mysterious disappearance in 1926.

It runs over four days starting on Thursday and features a host of interviews with special guests, along with group discussions covering everything from the rise of cutting-edge science to the demise of the police procedural.

Special Guests include presenter Richard Osman with the second instalment in his record-breaking The Thursday Murder Club series.

The Chief Executive of Harrogate International Festivals, Sharon Canavar, said: “It has been a real journey to bring this year’s festival to life – working in festivals during Covid is not for the faint-hearted.

"Ian Rankin has brought together a killer line-up of special guests and thought-provoking panels that explore our beloved crime genre in a completely unique way.

"We are so grateful and proud that – after so many challenges – we are at long last able to share this programme with the public.”

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