CRIME fiction stars and fans are heading for the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival from Thursday until Sunday at the Old Swan Hotel in Harrogate.

Special Guests will include Dennis Lehane, Lee Child, Ian Rankin, Peter May, Stuart MacBride, Joseph Finder, Arne Dahl, Kathy Reichs, Brenda Blethyn, Robson Green and Granchester author James Runcie.

There’ll also be a special one-off event with comedian Sarah Millican with authors Mark Billingham, Lee Child and Val McDermid.

Audiences are invited to a preview exhibition about Agatha Christie in the gardens of the hotel. before it moves to the famous author's former home in Devon.

The exhibition will explore connections between Christie’s writing, life and publishing career using rare photographs and documents from both the Agatha Christie and Collins archives. It is part of HarperCollins’ 200th anniversary.

Simon Theakston, executive director of T&R Theakstons and title sponsor, said: “2017 promises a remarkable festival as we mark 30 years of Rebus with Ian Rankin, 20 years since Lee Child introduced us to Jack Reacher, and 15 years since Dennis Lehane released Shutter Island.

"I can think of no better place than our festival - amongst readers, authors, and friends - to raise a glass of Theakston’s beer to these giants of the genre.”