Bloody Scotland: 'Nobody leaves without their head birling like a peerie'

Bloody Scotland: 'Nobody leaves without their head birling like a peerie'

credit: Paul Reich

Stirling's crime writing festival returns with another exciting roster of names

First brought to life by a group of Scottish crime writers in 2012, Bloody Scotland has since forged its own path in the world of book festivals. Its penchant for atmospheric historic venues throughout Stirling's Old Town and the gloriously dark themes explored by its writers ensure it has its own gruesome glow.

Huge names on the crime scene like Ian Rankin, Alexander McCall Smith, Alex Gray and Lin Anderson will all be appearing this year. There will also be an exciting roster of non-fiction writers, including Met constable Alice Vinten and forensic scientist Professor Angela Gallop, as well as a whole squad of crime novelists.

Icelandic queen of crime Yrsa Sigurdardottir is visiting for the festival, as are two different writing couples: Nicci French (the pseudonym of Nicci Gerrard and Sean French) and Ambrose Parry (the pairing of Chris Brookmyre and Marisa Haetzman). Lisa Jewell, known for her contemporary fiction, and more recently for her thrillers, will make her Bloody Scotland debut, as will Canadian bestseller Shari Lapena.

At the opening gala, the winners of the McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Novel of the Year and the new prize for Scottish crime fiction debut will be announced. They'll then join a host of other writers and performers as they set off on the festival's iconic torchlit procession.

Book a seat for a play at the Sheriff Court and be prepared to vote on the verdict of a real murder trial, get ready for some noise at the procession of Harley Davidson riders or chill out at screenings of classic crime films, introduced by Ian Rankin.

The glorious mixture of blood, guts and creativity is maybe best described by Val McDermid, who said, 'nobody leaves Bloody Scotland without their head birling like a peerie.' Visitors who'd also like a twirl on the dancefloor can take part in the killer ceilidh.

Various venues, Stirling, Fri 20–Sun 22 Sep.

Bloody Scotland

An innovative festival drawing on Scotland's love of the literary macabre and celebrating crime writing by bringing together leading Scottish and international writers, showcasing debut voices and encouraging new writers. As well as interviews and panels there is a torchlight procession, criminal cabaret, a crime writer's…

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