This is our provisional list of panellists for 2021's event. Given the number of variables at play right now, the line-up is subject to change.
Lucy Dawson has been writing psychological thrillers since 2008 when her first bestseller, His Other Lover, was published. She’s since released ten more titles and is busy working on her eleventh, set in her home city of Exeter and on the Jurassic Coast, where Lucy lived for a couple of years. She writes full time - around her two children and husband - from the playroom sofa and within easy reach of the kettle.
Caroline (writing as Cass) Green’s debut adult novel The Woman Next Door was a Number 1 e-book bestseller and her second, In A Cottage, In A Wood was a Sunday Times top ten and USA Today bestseller. Don’t You Cry and The Killer Inside are her other standalone thrillers. She is also an award-winning author of fiction for young people. Her first novel, Dark Ride, won the RONA Young Adult Book of the Year and the Waverton Good Read Award. Cracks was recommended on Radio 4’s Open Book programme and Hold Your Breath won the Oldham Book Award. She is the Writer in Residence at East Barnet School and teaches crime fiction at City University.
Amanda Jennings writes dark contemporary fiction, set predominantly in Cornwall, published both in the UK and in translation. In Her Wake was a WHSmith Fresh Talent selection in 2016. The Cliff House was published in 2018. Described by The Times as 'beautiful and sinister', the paperback spent seven weeks in the Heatseeker bestseller chart. She lives in Oxfordshire with her husband, three daughters, and menagerie of pets. Her fifth book will be published in 2020 and she is currently working on her sixth.
In a career spanning three decades, Laurence Anholt has written more than 200 multi-award-winning books in over 30 languages, covering every age from babies to adults. Art of Death, the first in THE MINDFUL DETECTIVE series, is Laurence’s first venture into adult crime fiction. Described as 'Broadchurch meets Fargo', these leftfield mysteries are set in and around Lyme Regis and feature the unlikely crime-fighting duo of wisecracking single mum, DI Shanti Joyce, and her reluctant partner, Buddhist detective Vincent Caine. Philosophical and funny, and filled with love and murder, the series has been translated into several languages and optioned for TV by World Productions, creators of Line of Duty and Bodyguard. Photo credit: Julia Mear
Ed James writes crime-fiction novels. His Scott Cullen series features a young Edinburgh Detective investigating crimes from the bottom rung of the career ladder he’s desperate to climb. Set four hundred miles south on the gritty streets of East London, his DI Fenchurch series features a detective with little to lose. His next series is set thousands of miles west, starring FBI Special Agent Max Carter as he investigates child abductions in Seattle and the Pacific Northwest of the USA. Formerly an IT project manager, Ed began writing on planes, trains and automobiles to fill his weekly commute to London. He now writes full-time and lives in the Scottish Borders, with his girlfriend and a menagerie of rescued animals.
Mark Edwards writes psychological thrillers in which scary things happen to ordinary people. He has sold over 3 million books since his first solo novel, The Magpies, was published in 2013 and has topped the bestseller lists nine times. His other novels include Follow You Home, The Retreat and Here To Stay, plus his new thriller, Far From Home. He has also co-authored six books with Louise Voss. Mark lives in the West Midlands with his wife, their three children, three cats and a golden retriever.
Angela Gallop CBE started her career in 1974 working for the Home Office Forensic Science Service. Twelve years later, she set up her first company with the aim of creating some balance in the courtroom by providing defence lawyers with the same access to forensic services that had previously only been available to the prosecution. Now one of the world's most eminent forensic scientists, Angela was awarded a CBE in 2015 for her services to forensic science. Angela was involved in the Yorkshire Ripper investigation and she and her colleagues helped to solve some of the UK's most high-profile cases, including the murders of Stephen Lawrence, Damilola Taylor, Rachel Nickell and the Italian banker Roberto Calvi, found hanging under Blackfriars Bridge in London in 1982.
C.L. Taylor is an award winning Sunday Times bestselling author of seven gripping psychological thrillers including Sleep, a Richard and Judy Book Club pick for autumn 2019. Her books have sold over a million copies in the UK alone, been translated into twenty-five languages and optioned for television. Her new book, Strangers, is about a security guard, a shop manager and a kleptomaniac and what happens when their lives collide in the most terrifying of ways.
Neil Broadfoot worked as a journalist for fifteen years at both local and national papers in just about every newsroom role imaginable. His first novel, Falling Fast, was shortlisted for both the Dundee International Book Prize and the Bloody Scotland book of the year award. Having written three novels in the Edinburgh-set Doug McGregor series, he has now signed with Constable, part of the Little, Brown group, and released No Man’s Land, the first in the Stirling-set Connor Fraser series, which has been hailed as 'a frantic, pacy read with a compelling hero'. No Man’s Land was nominated for the Bloody Scotland 2019 McIlvanney Award. The second Connor Fraser novel, No Place To Die, is out now. Neil lives in Dunfermline, where he had his first journalistic job, and is married with two daughters and three dogs.
Derek Farrell is the author of four Danny Bird Mysteries –Death of a Diva, Death of a Nobody, Death of a Devil, Death of an Angel and a novella, Death of a Sinner. The books have been described as 'fresh', 'moving', 'like The Thin Man meets Will & Grace', 'like M.C. Beaton on MDMA' and – by no less an expert than Monty Python’s Eric Idle – as 'quite fun'. Derek is married and lives with his husband in West Sussex. They have no cats dogs, goats or children, though they do have every Kylie Minogue record ever recorded.
Katerina Diamond was born in Weston-super-Mare in the seventies. She moved to Thessaloniki in Greece and attended Greek school where she learnt Greek in just six months. After her parents’ divorce, they relocated to Devon. After school, and working in her uncle’s fish and chip shop, she went (briefly) to university at Derby, where she met her husband and had two children. Katerina now lives in the East Kent Coast with her husband and children. She is a Sunday Times and Kindle bestseller.
JennyBlackhurst grew up in Shropshire where she still lives with her husband, two children, hamster, thirteen chickens and dog. Her first book How I Lost You was published in 2014 and became an Amazon No 1 bestseller. In the years that have followed Jenny has written four more books, been published all over the world and sold over half a million copies in the UK alone, winning the Silver Nielsen Award in 2017.
Erin Kelly is the bestselling and critically acclaimed author of seven psychological thrillers. Her debut novel The Poison Tree was a Richard and Judy pick and a major ITV drama and in 2014 she was chosen to write the novelisation of the Bafta-winning TV show Broadchurch. In 2017, He Said/She Said spent 12 weeks in the Sunday Times Bestsellers list and was shortlisted for the Crime Book of the Year at the National Book Awards and the British Book Awards. Her new novel, We Know You Know, is out now. Photo credit: John Godwin
Alex North was born in Leeds, where he now lives with his wife and son. He studied Philosophy at Leeds University, and prior to becoming a writer he worked there in their Sociology department. He has published several critically-acclaimed novels under a different name, and The Whisper Man - his debut as Alex North - has been a Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller, sold in over twenty five territories, and been optioned for film by the Russo brothers, directors of the Avengers franchise. Photo credit: Charlotte Graham
Alex Marwood spent a decade as a features writer and columnist for the UK press before jumping over the wall to write novels. Her first crime novel, The Wicked Girls, won an Edgar award and became a word of mouth international bestseller. Her second, The Killer Next Door, won the Macavity award for best mystery novel, 2015. Of her third novel, The Darkest Secret, Stephen King said 'If there has been a better mystery-suspense story written in this decade, I can’t think of it'. Her latest, ThePoison Garden, the tale of what happens to the three survivors of a cult mass suicide, is out now. She lives in London, and writes in bed. Photo credit: Sarah Wills-Hazarika
Sarah Hilary has worked as a bookseller, and with the Royal Navy. Her debut, Someone Else's Skin, won Theakstons Crime Novel of the Year, was a World Book Night selection, and a Silver Falchion and Macavity Award finalist in the US. No Other Darkness, the follow-up in her DI Marnie Rome series, was shortlisted for a Barry Award. Her latest, Never Be Broken, is out in paperback in 2020. Sarah is one of the Killer Women, a collective of female writers at the cutting edge of crime fiction.
Luke Jennings is a London-based author and former journalist who has written for The Observer, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker and Time. He is the author of Blood Knots, short-listed for the Samuel Johnson and William Hill prizes, and the Booker Prize-nominated Atlantic, amongst other titles. With his daughter Laura, he wrote the teenage stage-school novels Stars and Stars: Stealing the Show. Luke's latest publications are Killing Eve: Codename Villanelle, the basis for the hit TV series starring Jodie Comer and Sandra Oh, and Killing Eve: No Tomorrow, the second book in the trilogy. The third, Killing Eve: Die for Me, follows in early 2020. The novels follow the thrilling, obsessive duel between Villanelle, an elite assassin, and Eve Polastri, the MI6 agent tasked with hunting her down.
Mason Cross is a British novelist whose debut novel The Killing Season was longlisted for the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Book of the Year 2015. His second novel, The Samaritan, also featuring his inimitable lead character Carter Blake, was selected as a Richard & Judy Book Club pick, while Presumed Dead was longlisted for the McIlvanney Prize 2018. Mason has written a number of short stories, including A Living, which was shortlisted for the Quick Reads 'Get Britain Reading' Award and 'Expiry Date', published in Ellery Queen. He lives near Glasgow with his wife and three children. Mason's latest novel is What She Saw Last Night, a standalone set in the UK.
S.J.I. (Susi) Holliday is a scientist, writing coach and the bestselling author of six crime novels, including the Banktoun Trilogy (Black Wood, Willow Walk and The Damselfly), the festive chiller The Deaths of December and her creepy Gothic psychological thriller The Lingering. Her short story Home From Home was published in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine and shortlisted for the CWA Margery Allingham Prize. Encapsulating her love of travel and claustrophobic settings, her latest novel, Violet, explores toxic friendships and the perils of talking to strangers. All of her novels have been UK ebook number one bestsellers. Susi was born and raised in Scotland and now divides her time between Edinburgh, London, and as many other exciting places that she can fit in.
Mick Herron's first Jackson Lamb novel, Slow Horses, was shortlisted for the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger and picked as 'one of the best twenty spy novels of all time' by the Daily Telegraph. The second, Dead Lions, won the 2013 CWA Goldsboro Gold Dagger. The third, Real Tigers, was shortlisted for the Theakston's Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year, and both the CWA Goldsboro Gold Dagger and the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger. The fourth, Spook Street, was shortlisted for the Theakston's Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year, and Gold Dagger and won the Steel Dagger. The fifth, London Rules, was shortlisted for the Gold and Steel Daggers and picked as a Book of the Year in the national press eleven times. Mick Herron was born in Newcastle upon Tyne, and now lives in Oxford. Photo credit: Mikael Buck
Jason Goodwin is a travel writer, historian and the bestselling author of The Janissary Tree, which won the coveted Edgar Award for Best Novel in 2007. Translated into more than 40 languages, the series features a detective, Yashim, who lives in 19th century Istanbul. He subsequently wrote The Snake Stone, The Bellini Card, An Evil Eye and The Baklava Club, the last in his series of novels featuring Yashim. He is also the author of Yashim Cooks Istanbul: Culinary Adventures in the Ottoman Kitchen, an illustrated cookbook selected as one of NPR’s Best Books of 2016 and shortlisted for the Guild of Food Writer’s First Book Award. Jason writes a weekly column for Country Life and lives in Dorset with his wife and children.