Murder they wrote... Lethal line-up of lady killers for St Albans LitFest

Angela Clarke

Angela Clarke - Credit: Archant

A murderous panel of leading women writers are set to reveal their darkest secrets at this year’s St Albans Literary Festival.

SD Sykes

SD Sykes - Credit: Archant

They are the femme fatales behind the Killer Women panel, which promises to expose the tricks of the trade practiced by three of the nation’s top crime writers: Sarah Pinborough, Angela Clarke and SD Sykes.

The event takes place on the afternoon of Saturday July 9 at St Peter’s Church in St Albans, and should be a fascinating insight into the creative process behind writing crime fiction.

Multi award-winning author and script-writer Sarah Pinborough will be talking about her new book 13 Minutes, a thrilling psychological young adults thriller about our most important relationships - and what we really know about the people closest to us... A novel about manipulation and the power of the truth in the age of the smartphone and social media, 13 Minutes is a must-read for teenagers and fans of enthralling domestic noir.

After founding her writing reputation on witty anecdotes about the fashion industry St Albans author Angela swapped comedic tales of cake and clothes for a fictional crime thriller.

Sarah Pinborough

Sarah Pinborough - Credit: Archant

She released her debut book Confessions of a Fashionista in 2013 after writing an anonymous column for the Daily Mail, and her memoirs shot to the top of the Amazon Fashion Chart.

But the writer has left the glitz and glamour of the fashion genre in favour of a crime thriller, Follow Me, that tells the tale of a modern-day murderer using social media to generate a ghoulish following for his gruesome murder spree’ The ‘Hashtag Murderer’ posts cryptic clues pointing to their next victim, and an ambitious police officer and investigative journalist are thrown together in a desperate struggle to catch him.

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S D Sykes has a roaring passion for history, particularly the more gruesome and macabre side of medieval life, and her latest book The Butcher Bird delivers in spades.

In the wake of a Plague outbreak, people claim to have witnessed a huge creature in the skies. A new-born baby is found impaled on a thorn bush, and then more children start to disappear. Is the Butcher Bird just a superstition or is there more at work here? Lord of Somershill Manor Oswald de Lacy embarks on a dangerous journey the plague-ruined villages of Kent to the thief-infested streets of London in a bid to discover the truth.

13 Minutes by Sarah Pinborough

13 Minutes by Sarah Pinborough - Credit: Archant

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, as well as select locations around St Albans city centre.

The festival will be kicking off on Monday July 4 and runs until Sunday July 10, and promises a programme of exciting activities aimed at appealing to both adults and children. Confirmed guests include Human Rights lawyer Anthony Lester QC, graphic novelist Dave Gibbons, crime writers David Mark and Peter Robinson, and historical author Alison Weir, with more to be announced in the coming weeks.

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.

Follow Me by Angela Clarke

Follow Me by Angela Clarke - Credit: Archant

Run entirely by volunteers, the festival is supported by the Herts Advertiser, and ed.itor Matt Adams said: “Our small team of volunteers have put together what we think is a diverse and fascinating programme of authors for the second St Albans LitFest, but we rely on the support of the local community so please come along and join in.”

To find out more information visit the Facebook site or the website.

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

The Butcher Bird

The Butcher Bird - Credit: Archant