Headline authors for CrimeFest - one of Europe’s biggest crime fiction conventions - have been announced.
The 2020 convention sponsored by Specsavers is hosted from 4 to 7 June at the Mercure Bristol Grand Hotel and will feature icon of the genre, Lynda La Plante, the award-winning author of more than 30 internationally bestselling novels.
La Plante was a pioneer with her 1980’s series, Widows. The show received the Hollywood treatment with a movie adaptation by director Steve McQueen in 2018.
The BAFTA award winning screenwriter and former RADA trained actress went on to create one of television’s greatest characters, DI Jane Tennison in Prime Suspect. Played by Helen Mirren in a career-defining performance, the hugely influential character transformed the TV landscape.
She’ll be discussing her career in her debut appearance at CrimeFest alongside Buried - the first novel in her much-anticipated new series featuring DC Jack Warr.
Laura Lippman is one of America’s most admired crime writers. The New York Times bestselling author of acclaimed standalones and the award-winning Tess Monaghan series, is lauded by readers, critics and writers alike.
A reporter for twenty years, Laura worked with the Baltimore Sun before becoming a novelist, hailed by the Washington Post as, “one of the best novelists around, period.” Along with her fiction, Lippman will be discussing her latest book of essays, My Life As A Villainess.
Robert Goddard will also feature after the author was awarded the Crime Writers’ Association’s highest accolade in 2019, the Diamond Dagger, for a lifetime achievement in crime writing.
Goddard's first novel, Past Caring, was an instant bestseller and his books went on to captivate readers worldwide with their edge-of-the-seat pace and their labyrinthine plotting. His books have been translated into over thirty languages. His 28th novel, One False Move, was published last year.
Specsavers co-founder, Dame Mary Perkins, said: “As a personal fan of the crime genre and with my own personal connection to Bristol, it’s fantastic to be involved in this annual showcase of world-class crime fiction. It’s also great to see CrimeFest developing its community activity to help make reading accessible to everyone.”
CrimeFest, now in its 11th year, is a hotbed for readers who dip into the occasional crime novel alongside die-hard fans, as well as drawing top crime novelists, editors, publishers and reviewers from around the world. It runs a series of educational and community outreach events alongside the convention.
Director and co-founder of CrimeFest, Adrian Muller, said: “CrimeFest is the most democratic of crime conventions as it’s open to all authors to take part. As such, it’s not just established names but offers an exciting and fertile ground for aspiring and new talent. There’s a friendly energy for readers and attendees, fitting the independent, vibrant spirit of our host town, Bristol.”
Up to 150 authors will descend on Bristol appearing in over 50 panels delving into diverse topics from politics to historical crime, the Golden Age of crime fiction to police procedurals, serial killers to cosy crime. There’ll also be a panel on crime fiction reviewers, honouring the late Marcel Berlins, and a ‘Ghost of Honour’ remembering Dick Francis.
Highlights include the coveted ‘Pitch an Agent’ for aspiring writers and the annual CrimeFest Awards featuring the inaugural Specsavers Debut Crime Novel Award.
Other big names include award-winning bestselling crime writer and broadcaster Dreda Say Mitchell, and Sarah Pinborough, the New York Times bestselling author of Behind Her Eyes, adapted by Netflix for broadcast this year.
The no. 1 bestselling Icelandic writer, Yrsa Sigurðardóttir also features with an appearance by the writer, broadcaster, dramatist and journalist Lynne Truss, famed for Eats, Shoots and Leaves alongside her comic crime novel, A Shot in the Dark.
Joining them as the Toastrix at the Gala Dinner is Zoë Sharp, creator of the Charlie Fox series of crime thrillers.