Line up for Aye Write! 2019 announced – tickets on sale now
Aye Write! is Glasgow’s Book Festival, founded in 2005 and since 2007 has been an annual fixture on Glasgow’s culture calendar. The festival takes place in the beautiful Mitchel Library, one of Europe’s largest public libraries.
Celebrating the best in national, international and local writing, Aye Write! annually brings national and local speakers to Glasgow’s iconic Mitchell Library, allowing audiences to enjoy appearances from big name writers and emerging talent alike.
The Aye Write! programme comprises a wide range of ticketed author events for adults and children, but also extends to a schools festival, and a variety of free community and family events.
The line up of this year’s Glasgow festival of writing has now been revealed. It is an amazingly rich programme featuring over 250 authors including Gina Miller, Simon Mayo, Paul Mason, Lionel Shriver, Darren McGarvey, Louise Minchin, Kamal Ahmed and many more.
Utilising the Mitchell Library, and the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall the festival takes place over two jam packed weeks from mid -March.
I’m going to pick out some of the outstanding crime authors, and add in a few of my own personal wants too, but to see the huge variety of authors from all over the world, you really need to take a long hard dive into the programme here.
A Central Belt in the Mouth
First up on 14th March from 6-7pm is James Oswald, Neil Broadfoot & M.R Mackenzie. With crime novels set in Glasgow, Stirling and Edinburgh, these three writers are packing a punch with their latest work.
James Oswald’s Cold as the Grave is the ninth book in the Inspector McLean series which opens with a mummified body hidden in a basement room.
Neil Broadfoot’s No Man’s Land introduces the rough and ready Connor Fraser as he deals with a mutilated body dumped in the heart of historic Stirling.
Glasgow librarian M.R Mackenzie’s debut, In the Silence, follows Anna, a criminology lecturer who finds herself as the star witness at the centre of a murder investigation
Rise: Life Lessons in Speaking Out, Standing Tall and Leading the Way
After the 3 crime writers, my personal choice would be to hear Gina Miller in conversation with Janice Forsyth at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall. She received a standing ovation at the Edinburgh Book Festival last year.
Gina Miller brought one of the most significant constitutional cases ever to be heard in the British Supreme Court when she successfully challenged the UK government’s authority to trigger Article 50 without parliamentary approval.
For standing up for what she believed was right, Miller became the target of not just racist and sexist verbal abuse, but physical threats to herself and her family.
In Rise, Miller draws on a lifetime of fighting injustice and looks at the moments that made her. To those who say one person cannot make a difference, this memoir demonstrates irrefutably how you can.
As part of Aye Write Introducing, the debut novelist strand, Lesley McDowell introduces Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi & Laura Shepherd Robinson on 15th Mar from 7.45 to 8.45pm at the Mitchell Library.
Journalist and novelist Lesley McDowell introduces a remarkable pair of new voices as part of the Aye Write debut author series.
Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi’s Kintu is an epic tale of fate, fortune and legacy, which vibrantly brings to life a colourful Ugandan family by blending oral tradition, myth, folktale and history.
Blood & Sugar by Laura Shepherd-Robinson is a thrilling historical crime novel which opens in June 1781. An unidentified body hangs upon a hook at Deptford Dock – horribly tortured and branded with a slaver’s mark.
To Kill The Truth Jonathan Freedland (writing as Sam Bourne) 15th March at the Mitchell Theatre.
Sam Bourne is the pseudonym of award-winning journalist and broadcaster Jonathan Freedland. His first novel, The Righteous Men was a number one best-seller.
He returns with the taut, authoritative and explosive To Kill the Truth in which someone is trying to destroy the evidence of history’s greatest crimes.
As Black Lives Matter protestors clash with slavery deniers, America is on a knife-edge and time is running out. This deadly conspiracy could ignite a new Civil War and take us to the edge of anarchy and a world in which history will be rewritten by those who live to shape it.
Another personal non crime pick from me is Laura Bates talks misogynation with Susan Stewart, Director of the Open University in Scotland.
Laura Bates is a pioneering feminist, activist and bestselling author who has given a voice to thousands of women through her international Everyday Sexism project.
In her collection of essays, Bates uncovers the sexism that exists in our relationships, our workplaces, our media, our homes, and on our streets, but which is also firmly rooted in our lifelong assumptions and in the actions and attitudes we explain away, defend and accept.
Often dismissed as one-offs, veiled as ‘banter’ or described as ‘isolated incidents’, Misogynation joins the dots to reveal the true scale of discrimination and prejudice women face.
The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper 16 March Mitchell Library 6.30pm
Polly, Annie, Elizabeth, Catherine and Mary-Jane are famous for the same thing, though they never met.
They came from Fleet Street, Knightsbridge, Wolverhampton, Sweden and Wales. They wrote ballads, ran coffee houses, lived on country estates, they breathed ink-dust from printing presses and escaped people-traffickers.
What they had in common was the year of their murders: 1888. The person responsible was never identified, but ‘Jack the Ripper’, the character created by the press to fill that gap, has become far more famous than any of these five women.
Historian Hallie Rubenhold finally sets the record straight in her extraordinary new book.B
PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER MASTERCLASS WITH C.L. TAYLOR
As part of their writing masterclass series on 17th Mar from 1:00PM – 2:30PM at the Mitchell Library, acclaimed award winning novelist Cally Taylor offers a workshop focusing on writing modern crime fiction. Author of psychological thrillers The Accident, The Lie, The Missing, The Escape and The Fear, C.L. Taylor is a Sunday Times bestselling author whose books have sold in excess of a million copies, been number one on all the e-book platforms, optioned for television and translated into over 20 languages.
These Bloody Islands 17th March 8:00pm Mitchell Library
C.L.Taylor, Douglas Skelton and Anna Mazzola
Three Scottish islands provide the setting for these spell-binding crime novels.
Anna Mazzola’s The Story Keeper is set on the Isle of Skye in 1857 where the Highland Clearances have left devastation and poverty, and a community riven by fear.
In Douglas Skelton’s Thunder Bay, Roddie Drummond’s return to the fictional island of Stoirm causes a sensation as fifteen years before he was charged with the murder of his lover.
C.L. Taylor’s Sleep sees insomniac Anna takes a job at a hotel on Rum, but when seven guests join her, what started as a retreat turns into a deadly nightmare.
Catching Up With Lorimer and Perez 22 March 6pm Mitchell Theatre
Alex Gray and Ann Cleeves discuss their latest novels.
Alex Grey’s The Stalker is a twisty, heart-stopping crime novel. When Detective Superintendent William Lorimer’s wife, Maggie, publishes her first book, he is thrilled for her. But joy soon turns to fear when a mysterious stranger starts following Maggie on her publicity tour.
Wild Fire by Ann Cleeves has Shetland detective Jimmy Perez called in to investigate the hanging of a young nanny and rumours of her affair with her employer!
Craig Russell & E.S. Thomson
22nd March 7:45pm Mitchell Library
Aspects of Gothic
The Devil Aspect is best-seller Craig Russell’s masterpiece.
1935. As Europe prepares itself for a calamitous war, six homicidal lunatics – the so-called ‘Devil’s Six’ – are confined in a remote castle asylum in rural Czechoslovakia. Each patient has their own dark story to tell and Dr Viktor Kosárek, a young psychiatrist using revolutionary techniques, is tasked with unlocking their murderous secrets.
E.S. Thomson’s latest book, Surgeons’ Hall: A Jem Flockhart Mystery, divides its time between Victorian Edinburgh and London in a macabre world of mortuaries, anatomy lessons, harvested organs and a bloody pact of silence.
The Return of The Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers 22 March Mitchell Library
Back due to popular demand: Mark Billingham, Chris Brookmyre, Doug Johnstone, Val McDermid, Stuart Neville and Luca Veste AKA The Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers with their unique brand of rock and roll.
Their set features some new murderous ballads, grisly grooves and bloodthirsty beats to add to their criminal repertoire.
Like Hendrix at Woodstock, The Sex Pistols at the Lesser Free Trade Hall or Oasis at King Tut’s – you want to be able to say ‘I was there…’
Doug Johnstone Introduces… Harriet Tyce & Anthony Good
23rd Mar 11:30AM – 12:30PM • Mitchell Library
Introducing these gripping debuts is Doug Johnstone, a co-founder of both the Scotland Writers Football Club and The Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers.
Alison has it all. A doting husband, adorable daughter, and she’s just been given her first murder case to defend. But all is never as it seems… Blood Orange by Harriet Tyce introduces a stunning new voice in psychological suspense.
Waltzing through a brilliant mind put to serious misuse, Anthony Good’s Kill [redacted] is a provocative exploration of the contours of grief and a blazing condemnation of all those who hold and abuse power.
Val McDermid Broken Ground 23 March Glasgow Royal Concert Hall 1.15pm
When a body is discovered in the remote depths of the Highlands, DCI Karen Pirie finds herself in the right place at the right time.
Unearthed with someone’s long-buried inheritance, the victim seems to belong to the distant past and Karen is called in to unravel a case where nothing is as it seems.
Broken Ground is Val McDermid aka the Queen of Scottish Crime Writing writing at the very top of her game.
Secrets and Liars. Louise Candlish & Lisa Ballantyne 23rd Mar 3:00PM – 4:00PM • Mitchell Library
On a bright morning in the suburbs, a family moves into the house they’ve just bought on Trinity Avenue. Nothing strange about that. Except it’s your house. And you didn’t sell it. Our House by Louise Candlish takes a great premise and waves it into a fresh, fun and engrossing novel.
While Nick Dean is enjoying an evening at home with his family, he is blissfully unaware that one of his pupils has just placed an allegation of abuse against him. Lisa Ballantyne’s Little Liar illustrates the fine line between guilt and innocence, and shows that everyone has their secrets…
Delicious Nordic Noir with Antti Tuomainen and Lilja Sigurdardottir Mitchell Library 23 March 4.45pm
Two of my favourite people in the crime universe.
Set in a Reykjavík still covered in the dust of the Eyjafjallajökull volcanic eruption, and with a dark, fast-paced and chilling plot, and intriguing characters, Lilja Sigurdardottir’s Trap is an outstandingly original and sexy Nordic crime thriller, from one of the most exciting new names in crime fiction.
With a nod to Fargo, and dark noir, Antti Tuomainen’s Palm Beach, Finland is both a page-turning thriller and a black comedy about lust for money, fleeing dreams and people struggling at turning points in their lives – chasing their fantasies regardless of reason.
Inside The DNA of A Crime Writer 23 March Mitchell Theatre 6.30PM Robert Plomin and Mark Billingham
This unique event sees the best-selling crime writer Mark Billingham (The Killing Habit) submit himself to a DNA test and then talk through the results live on stage with Robert Plomin, a pioneer in the field of behavioural genetics.
The blueprint for our individuality lies in the 1% of DNA that differs between people. Our intellectual capacity, our introversion or extraversion, our vulnerability to mental illness, even whether we are a morning person or not.
What will Mark’s DNA blueprint reveal?
Luca Veste Introduces B.P. Walter and G.R. Halliday March 23rs Mitchell Library 8pm.
Luca Veste of the Two Crime Writers and a Microphone podcast introduces two page-turning crime debuts.
In B.P Walter’s A Version of the Truth a devastating secret has simmered beneath the surface for over 25 years. Now it’s time to discover the truth. But what if you’re afraid of what you might find?
G. R Halliday’s From the Shadows is a stunning, atmospheric police procedural set against the grit of Inverness and the raw beauty of the Scottish Highlands, this is the first book in the DI Monica Kennedy series.
Alexander McCall Smith The Department of Sensitive Crimes
24th March 6:30PM Mitchell Library
The Department of Sensitive Crimes is a Scandinavian Blanc novel. Scandinavian Blanc is different from Scandinavian Noir: there is nothing noir about the world of Ulf Varg, a detective in the Sensitive Crimes Department in the Swedish city of Malmo.
Ulf is concerned with very odd, but not too threatening crimes – young women who allow their desperation for a boyfriend to get the better of them or peculiar goings-on in a spa on the south coast.
Join author Alexander McCall Smith as he introduces us to this new character and series of novels.
Luke Jennings and Helen Fitzgerald As (Crime) Scene on TV
24th March 8:00pm Mitchell Library
As the authors of Killing Eve and The Cry, Luke Jennings and Helen Fitzgerald have seen their novels turned into must-see television.
In No Tomorrow by Luke Jennings the duel between Villanelle and Eve Polastri intensifies, as does their mutual obsession, and when the action moves from the high passes of the Tyrol to the heart of Russia, Eve finally begins to unwrap the enigma of her adversary’s true identity.
Helen Fitzgerald’s latest book Worst Case Scenario is a perceptive, tragic and hugely relevant book – a heart-pounding, relentless and chilling psychological thriller, rich with deliciously dark and unapologetic humour.
Sarah Langford In Your Defence: Stories of Life and Law
30th March 4:45 pm Mitchell Library
This was one of my favourite books of last year. Sarah Langford is a barrister who represents the bad, the vulnerable, the heartbroken and the hopeful. She must become their voice: weave their story around the law and tell it to the courtroom.
With remarkable candour, Sarah describes eleven cases which reveal what goes on in our criminal and family courts. She examines how she feels as she defends the person standing in the dock. She tells compelling stories that are sometimes shocking and often heart-stopping. She shows us how our attitudes and actions can shape not only the outcome of a case, but the legal system itself.
Damian Barr in conversation with Kirsty Wark Introducing ‘You Will be Safe Here’ 31st March 1:15pm Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
You Will Be Safe Here is the stunning and shocking debut novel from the award-winning author of Maggie & Me. Set in South Africa, it explores legacies of abuse, redemption and the strength of the human spirit.
Spanning more than a century of South African history and featuring a cast of memorable characters, this is a deeply moving novel of connected parts. Inspired by real events, it uncovers a hidden colonial history and present-day darkness while exploring our capacity for cruelty and kindness.
The Strawberry Thief Joanne Harris 31st March 8:00pm Mitchell Library
The Strawberry Thief is the long-awaited new Chocolat novel from author Joanne Harris.
When old Narcisse the florist dies, the life of the sleepy village is once more thrown into disarray. The arrival of Narcisse’s relatives, the departure of an old friend, and the opening of a mysterious new shop in the place of the florist’s across the square – one that mirrors the chocolaterie, and has a strange appeal of its own – all seem to herald some kind of change: a confrontation, a turbulence even, perhaps, a murder.
Now, we know we said Aye Write was a two week festival, but there’s room all year round for some more Aye Write goodness, so here’s another couple of excellent crime events to come.
Chris Brookmyre Fallen Angel 23rd April 2019 • 8:00pm Mitchell Library
The popular author launches his brand new book, Fallen Angel.
To new nanny Amanda, the Temple family seem to have it all: the former actress; the famous professor; their three successful grown-up children. But like any family, beneath the smiles and hugs there lurks far darker emotions.
Sixteen years earlier, little Niamh Temple died while they were on holiday in Portugal. Now, as Amanda joins the family for a reunion at their seaside villa, she begins to suspect one of them might be hiding something terrible.
Aye Write presents Denise Mina 22nd May 2019 • 6:30pm Mitchell Library
The award-winning crime writer intoduces the first novel in a new Glasgow series.
Award-winning crime writer Denise Mina’s first novel in a brand new Glasgow set series, starring a strong female protagonist who is obsessed by true crime podcasts, has us very excited indeed.
In Conviction, Anna McDonald’s husband has left her for her best friend, taking her two daughters with them. Left alone in the big, dark house, Anna distracts herself with a story: a true-crime podcast featuring multiple murders and a hint of power and corruption.
But little does she know, her past and present lives are about to collide, sending everything she has worked so hard to achieve into freefall.
Now, isn’t that an awesome line-up? And that’s only a hand picked selection designed to appeal to crime aficionados. There’s loads more from Darren McGarvey to Frank Quitely; short stories and poems and masterclasses galore as well as a whole Wee Write programme for children and young people.