Arts & culture

Crime-writing fans, book out the weekend – Granite Noir is back

Aberdeen’s international crime-writing festival is back with a top programme of free online events

Lead image: Swedish crime writer Camilla Läckberg

For those sleuthing out the best crime line-up around and looking ahead to this year’s new releases, Granite Noir should have you covered this weekend, with a host of authors taking part in live and pre-recorded conversations, workshops and events from Friday 19th to Sunday 21st February.

Homegrown writers as well as authors from Scandinavia and the USA will bring their crime-writing talents to the event, with top names including Camilla Läckberg, Attica Locke, Val McDermid, Peter May, David Baldacci, Jo Nesbo, Stuart MacBride and Ian Rankin.

Events include Aberdeen’s own Stuart MacBride joining Rebus creator Ian Rankin to explore the way fashions come and go in literature, the persistent rumour that the ‘police procedural’ is dead and how and why they’ve chosen the protagonists in their own work.

US author Attica Locke, appearing at the fifth Granite Noir festival

Scandi-Noir superstars Jo Nesbo and Camilla Läckberg will discuss their latest novels, while Stina Jackson – who won the ‘Best Swedish Crime Award’ of 2018 – will be joined in a panel discussion by Iceland’s Eva Bjorg Aegisdottir and the UK’s Lesley Kara to explore the concept of revenge in their writing.

From his home in the USA, David Baldacci will make his first appearance at Granite Noir to talk to Lee Randall about his life and work and the conclusion of his thrilling Atlee Pine trilogy.  Attica Locke also joins the festival from America to discuss her crime fiction and her writing for television, including Netflix’s When They See Us and Hulu’s Little Fires Everywhere.

Backlisted Podcast, the standout podcast for bibliophiles which has topped 2 million downloads, has also collaborated with Granite Noir to discuss Inverness-born Josephine Tey with special guest Val McDermid. Putting the spotlight on new, emerging authors, Femi Kayode, Susie Yang and Saima Mir have written crime novels set in Nigeria, America and the UK’s Pakistani community respectively – and S J Watson, whose debut bestseller Before I Go To Sleep was turned into a film starring Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman, is joined by Will Dean and Catherine Ryan Howard to discuss their personal experiences of success, hard work and luck, and to pass on some tips for writers at the beginning of their careers.

Full programme details for Granite Noir 2021 can be found at  All events in the programme are available to view free of charge and will be available On Demand on the website after the end of the Festival.