NEW BLOOD 2021: Val McDermid picks crime fiction’s ones to watch | #TheakstonsCrime

The New Blood with Val McDermid 2021 panel will return at Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, 22-25 July 2021

The undisputed ‘Queen of Crime’ Val McDermid today reveals her top four ones to watch of crime fiction – all of whom will join her coveted ‘New Blood’ panel at the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival on Saturday 24 July. 

The hotly tipped emerging ‘New Blood’ authors are:

·       Sixteen Horses by Greg Buchanan (Mantle)

·       One Night, New York by Lara Thompson (Virago)

·       The Colours of Death by Patricia Marques (Hodder)

·       Tall Bones by Anna Bailey (Doubleday)

Since 2004, best-selling Scottish author of the Tony Hill & Carol Jordan series Val McDermid has curated an annual celebration of the most formidable debuts taking the crime and thriller genre by storm at the world’s largest and most prestigious crime fiction festival. 

The unveiling of McDermid’s selection has become one of the most anticipated moments of the publishing calendar, with readers on the lookout to uncover their new favourite author and add the ‘next big thing’ to their bookshelves. 

This year, Greg Buchanan has been selected for his dark and haunting debut novel Sixteen HorsesLara Thompson is on the list for her atmospheric portrait of crime in the Big Apple during the Great Depression titled One Night, New YorkPatricia Marques is recognised for her genre-bending fantasy-crime crossoverThe Colours of Death; and concluding this year’s New Blood contingent is Anna Bailey with her nuanced thriller exploring the depths of male violence against women, Tall Bones

Val McDermid said: “Murder and mayhem – on page and on screen, have become our staple diet during the past year-and-a-half of lockdowns. The world’s love of crime fiction has continued to go from strength to strength so I take this opportunity to share my tips for who to read next very seriously! It’s with genuine pleasure that I invite these four extraordinarily talented authors to join me to discuss not just their unique stories and styles but also what makes a good crime novel great and why do we turn to this genre in times of trouble?”

Former ‘New Blood’ alumni include Clare Mackintosh, SJ Watson, Stuart MacBride, Liam McIlvanney and Belinda Bauer, as well as two of the authors vying for the title of Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year 2021: Abir Mukherjee and Trevor Wood.

As part Harrogate International Festivals’ year-round programme of events, each year the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival welcomes the world’s famous authors each year to Harrogate’s Old Swan Hotel – the scene of Agatha Christie’s mysterious disappearance in 1926 – for a celebration of the crime genre like no other.  

This year’s instalment will take place from 22- 25 July with a stellar programme from Rebus author Ian Rankin OBE. Special Guests for 2021 include producer and presenter Richard Osman with the second instalment in his record-breaking cosy crime caper The Thursday Murder Club series; espionage expert Mick Herron, author of the highly acclaimed Slough House series; mystery maestro Elly Griffiths and her latest Ruth Galloway whodunnit; fan favourite Vera andShetland author Ann Cleeves; the masterful Mark Billingham with his Tom Thorne prequel Cry Baby. The festivities will continue with four days of unmissable talks and panels from crime writing royalty – such as the queens of domestic noir Clare Mackintosh and CL Taylor in conversation. 

For further information about how Harrogate International Festivals will deliver a safe Festival in line with the government regulations at the time, please


“The Best Crime Festival in the World and I should know I’ve done them all” Lee Child

“Harrogate is a must. With beautiful locale, smart fans and superb author interaction, it’s one of the best festivals I’ve ever attended” Michael Connelly

“Incredibly well run and such a friendly group of authors and punters” J. S. Monroe

“Turning a small corner of Yorkshire into paradise” Val McDermid

“Amazing Event, great company” Robert Scragg

“There are so many Festivals in the world, but this is the one I keep coming back to” Andrew Taylor

“The crime Festival is the best in the country, and it shows no sign of ever changing” Barry Forshaw

“Famous amongst crime readers all over the world” Ann Cleeves

“It’s the industry must-have” N J Cooper

  1 comment for “NEW BLOOD 2021: Val McDermid picks crime fiction’s ones to watch | #TheakstonsCrime

  1. June 24, 2021 at 2:14 am

    Great post! I definitely need to check out these authors.


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