Creators of top detectives join St Albans LitFest line-up

PUBLISHED: 18:00 09 April 2016

David Mark

David Mark


How crime writers “find” their detectives and breathe life into them is the theme of the latest event announced for this year’s St Albans Literary Festival.

Peter RobinsonPeter Robinson

The Making the Detectives event, which takes place at 5pm on Saturday July 9, features Yorkshiremen David Mark and Peter Robinson, creators of Det Sgt Aector McAvoy and DCI Alan Banks.

Former Yorkshire Post crime reporter David Mark sets his novels on the same patch he used to work, the streets of Hull, and has written five novels in the McAvoy series: Dark Winter, Original Sin, Sorrow Bound, Taking Pity and now Dead Pretty. Dark Winter was selected for the Harrogate New Blood panel, and was a Richard & Judy pick and a Sunday Times bestseller.

Dead Pretty finds Aector McAvoy, facing his own demons after a torrid previous case, hurt and puzzled by his boss’ attitude to both him and to work, but he resolves to remain focused on his investigations into the disappearance of two local girls. That’s McAvoy – honest, big-hearted and unable to ignore anything that makes him uneasy. Even when it is dragging him into places he knows he shouldn’t go...

Number One bestseller Peter Robinson is appearing at the LitFest just ahead of the release of the next Alan Banks novel, his first for two years. The character has found a separate lease of life on television in the DCI Banks series starring Stephen Tompkinson, with a fifth series currently in production.

Dead Pretty by David MarkDead Pretty by David Mark

When the Music’s Over is Peter’s 23rd Banks novel, and finds his character newly promoted to Detective Superintendent and given the precarious task of investigating a sex abuse claim surrounding a long-retired but hugely popular entertainer - someone who had always thought himself untouchable – beloved by many in his day and protected by his well-publicised charity work. Banks knows he must tread very carefully and be on top diplomatic form...

The Making the Detectives event is sure to be a fascinating look at how crime writers come up with their lead characters and develop their lives and personalities over the course of several novels.

This year’s St Albans LitFest follows the inaugural event in 2014, which featured authors including Sir Terry Wogan, Jessie Burton, James Runcie, Leanda de Lisle and Conn Iggulden.

It includes talks and workshops taking place in different sections of St Peter’s and also in the churchyard, using the storyteller’s circle opened there in the summer of 2014.

When the Music's Over by Peter RobinsonWhen the Music's Over by Peter Robinson

The festival will be kicking off with Ken Livingstone’s appearance at St Albans Cathedral on Monday July 4, with other events scheduled between Friday July 8 and Sunday July 10, and promises a programme of exciting activities aimed at appealing to both adults and children.

St Albans LitFest will also support any fringe events taking place during the weekend, offering publicity and assistance if any organisation wants to run their own talk.

Run entirely by volunteers, the festival is supported by the Herts Advertiser, and editor Matt Adams said: “David Mark is funny, opinionated and very knowledgeable on the detective genre. As an ex-reporter on the crime beat much of what he saw and those people he met during his career as a journalist are revisited in his novels. Peter Robinson is a seasoned performer and a terrific man to have at a festival, so we’re delighted to have them on board for this year’s event.”

If you’d like to get involved in the festival, or just want to find out more information as it becomes available, visit the Facebook site or visit the website.

Tickets for all announced events are now available from the LitFest website.

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