Exciting news in my email box when I finally staggered home tonight – Michael Connelly will be the "international guest of honour" at next year's CrimeFest in Bristol, UK (14 – 17 May), joining Simon Brett, Hakan Nessar, Meg Gardiner, Martin Edwards, Brian McGilloway, John Harvey, CrimeScraps honoree Yrsa Sigurdardottir, Bill James, Michael Walters, Andrew Taylor, Zoe Sharp and many more – too many to mention here so check out the CrimeFest website, which is offering some good early registration deals. There are also two publishers' parties which CrimeFest registrants can attend. On Friday 15 May, Creme de la Crime is celebrating the publication of a short-story collection, Criminal Tendencies; and on 16 May Constable and Robinson are "highlighting their impressive crime list". A lot of authors are promised to be in attendance.
I'm delighted that Michael Connelly will be at CrimeFest, as he's one of my very favourite US authors whom I have not yet met or seen at a festival (and I've only ever been to two!). For a taste of his work, see my reviews of his most recent novels, Echo Park , The Overlook and The Brass Verdict.
There is also news from the other big crime-fiction event of next year, the Theakston's Old Peculier festival at Harrogate, UK (23-26 July). I haven't yet decided if I am going to this festival, not least because the timing is not brilliant, but the "star" line-up of Mark Billingham, John Banville (Benjamin Black), Lee Child, Reginald Hill and George Pelecanos is tempting, even though rather heavily biased towards the Y chromosome. (This is balanced a bit by the choice of programme chair, Laura Wilson, and Val McDermid and Laura Lippman among the other confirmed authors.) If you join the e-mail list for Harrogate, you can download a free e-book sampler of four first chapters from upcoming Faber and Faber novels by Nicola Upson (whose character is "Josephine Tey"), Adam Creed, Stav Sherez and Tobias Jones, if that is your sort of thing. If you sign up for the festival now, you get 5 % off the price and a signed copy of Quiver by Peter (son of Elmore) Leonard.