Scotland's crime writing festival Bloody Scotland returns

Scotland's crime writing festival Bloody Scotland returns

credit: Eoin Carey

Fifth instalment features Martina Cole, Yrsa Sigurdardottir, Brooke Magnanti, Val McDermid, Ian Rankin and Graeme Macrae Burnet

The audience will be treated to a creepy menu of authors from ten different countries, including international superstars Martina Cole, Yrsa Sigurdardottir and Brooke Magnanti. Among the tartan noir contingent will be Val McDermid, Ian Rankin, Caro Ramsay, Chris Brookmyre, Doug Johnstone and Louise Welsh, plus Bloody Scotland founders Lin Anderson and Alex Gray, and Booker-longlisted author Graeme Macrae Burnet.

'Crime writers are a convivial bunch,' says McDermid, 'and this is like our Scottish AGM. I've got a full slate of activities, including a fascinating session talking about the great Scottish crime writer Josephine Tey.'

The Fifer is also excited about the new, interactive Escape Room she's had a hand in, where members of the public are locked in a room in Stirling's shopping centre and can only get out by solving clues and figuring out puzzles. 'Apparently I have a sufficiently twisted mind to offer them the right possibilities for a dark and complex set of puzzles,' she tells us. 'They've chosen my Tony Hill and Carl Jordan novels as a template for the escape, so I'm going to be very embarrassed if I can't set myself free!'

Among this year's highlights are the annual Scotland v England crime writers' football match and the inaugural McIlvanney Prize, named after writer William McIlvanney who passed away last year.

McDermid is looking forward to getting back to whisky bar Curly Coo and catching up with several of her fellow crime-writers. 'There are too many writers to name!' she says. 'Just look at the programme and you'll see that I'm spoilt for choice over who to hang out with until the wee small hours.'

Various venues, Stirling, Fri 9–Sun 11 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…