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Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Harrogate Lineup 

Been meaning to write about this for a while, but the events calendar for the 2nd annual Harrogate Crime Writing Festival is now up, and frankly, I've been drooling about it ever since I saw it. Won't be able to attend this year, but based on the current lineup and last year's inaugural fest, I think Harrogate is well on its way to being the premier crime fiction event in the UK. (For my thoughts on last year's event, see my report on the Deadly Pleasures website.)

This year's festival will be held from July 22-25 at the Majestic Hotel, which is a lovely and spacious place--especially the bar. The Guests of Honor are Minette Walters (who recently co-chaired a Crime Writing Masterclass with Mark Billingham during the London Book Fair), and Karin Slaughter, who will be interviewed on the 2nd night by Laura Lippman. Also coming over from across the pond are Dan Fesperman (whose upcoming book, the Afghanistan-set THE WARLORD'S SON, I just received in the mail today), and G.M. Ford, who's really one of the more underrated thriller writers going these days (though his profile is increasing steadily with each book thanks to his the efforts of his publisher, William Morrow).

I could go on about some of my other favorite writers who will be in attendance: Billingham, Stella Duffy, Martyn Waites, Denise Mina, Louise Welsh, John Baker, Richard Burke, and especially John Williams, who's one of the most influential players in the UK noir scene. But what really has me excited (aka sorry that I can't go) is the Crime in Translation lineup. There's Karin Alvtegen from Sweden, who wrote a marvellous piece of suspense called MISSING, and Petros Markaris from Greece, who is already building up some buzz with the translation of his crime series. Carlo Lucarelli, author of the Gold Dagger-nominated ALMOST BLUE, will be there as well, hawking the next in the Inspector Negro series, and interestingly, there will be an author from Iceland as well, Amaldur Indridason. All except Altvegen are published by Harvill Press (now Harvill Secker) and it just goes to show that they really do have quality authors from foreign countries.

So if you're in the North Yorkshire area and a crime fiction fan, Harrogate is truly the place to be.

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