Dorset's new crime and thriller literary festival

Partner in crime: Nicci Gerrard and Sean French, who write together as Nicci French

Partner in crime: Nicci Gerrard and Sean French, husband and wife team who write together as Nicci French - Credit:

Paddy Magrane, director of Lyme Crime, talks about what visitors can expect from Dorset’s brand-new crime and thriller festival running from June 23 -25, and which famous names from the world of whodunit will be there 

Crime and thriller festivals have never been more popular. The much-loved Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival has been running for over 15 years in Harrogate, and other crime and thriller themed events now take place across the UK in places such as Belfast, Bute, Bristol, London, Morecombe, Newcastle, Norwich, Oxford and Stirling. In June, Lyme Crime joins their ranks, with a weekend of live events at the Marine Theatre in Lyme Regis. 

Held from June 23- 25, the festival will bring some of the best talent in crime and thriller fiction to Dorset for panels and discussions that explore and celebrate the nation’s favourite book genre, as well as the real-world issues that make their way onto the page.  

Among the panellists appearing are Nicci French (husband-and-wife team Nicci Gerrard and Sean French) and Angela Gallop CBE, the UK's most celebrated forensic scientist. 
Former Home Secretary, Alan Johnson will be coming to talk about his first foray into crime fiction, the contemporary thriller, The Last Train to Gypsy Hill. Also heading to Lyme are some of the biggest names in contemporary crime fiction, including Erin Kelly, Fiona Cummins, Abir Mukherjee, Harriet Tyce, Antonia Hodgson, Sarah Hilary, Winnie M. Li, Heidi Perks, Kia Abdullah, Holly Seddon and more. 
Local author Laurence Anholt will also be dropping by to talk about his Mindful Detective books, a quirky new series set in Lyme Regis. 
For more details and to buy tickets, including early bird specials and concessions, visit

Charlotte Philby talks about her grandfather the spy Kim Philby 

Charlotte Philby talks about her grandfather the spy Kim Philby - Credit:

A closer look at Britain’s forgotten Soviet agent: With the recent television adaptation of Slow Horses, the first book in Mick Herron’s lauded Slough House series, and the enduring popularity of characters like George Smiley and James Bond, the spy thriller remains an incredibly popular crime sub-genre. So, the Lyme Crime Festival is delighted to welcome Charlotte Philby, granddaughter of Soviet double agent Kim Philby, who will be discussing her new book Edith and Kim.  

In June 1934, Kim Philby met his Soviet handler, the spy Arnold Deutsch. The woman who introduced them was called Edith Tudor-Hart. She changed the course of 20th century history, but was then written out of it. Charlotte will be talking about how she drew on the Secret Intelligence Files on Edith Tudor-Hart, along with the private archive letters of Kim Philby, to produce her evocative and beautifully tense novel about the woman behind the Third Man. 

Dr Angela Gallop CBE, the queen of the forensic science scene 

Dr Angela Gallop CBE, the queen of the forensic science scene - Credit: Hodder & Stoughton

Meet the queen of forensic science scene: Described by fellow forensic professionals as an icon and a star, Angela Gallop CBE has been a forensic scientist for almost 50 years. In an extraordinary career that began in the Home Office, Gallop has personally overseen cases that include the Pembrokeshire Murders, and the killings of Damilola Taylor, Rachel Nickell, Stephen Lawrence and Roberto Calvi.  

In 2004, the Metropolitan Police asked her to examine forensic evidence relating to the death of Princess Diana, and Gallop helped establish that there were no grounds to support allegations by Mohamed Al-Fayed of a murder conspiracy involving the Royal Family.  

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She will be talking to Paddy Magrane about her latest book, How To Solve A Crime, which reveals the ways in which criminals, however skilled, always leave a trace.  

Man in black hat in the rain at dark overcast sky

Noir at the Bar - Credit: byheaven/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Noir at the Bar : On Thursday, June 23 Lyme Crime will host Noir at the Bar in the upstairs bar of the Marine Theatre in Lyme Regis. This is a free event at which everyone is welcome. It's a gathering of crime fiction authors (established, emerging and would-be) and readers who get together to enjoy an evening of readings, conversation and laughter as we discuss murder by the sea. The event runs from 8-9pm. 

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