The Verbal Arts Centre will be transformed into one mammoth crime scene for their Killer Books Crime Festival this weekend.
The festival, which is supported by Easons and is part of the City of Culture’s Disobey Gravity programme, will bring in some of the biggest names in crime literature – including world-renowned author Lee Child – as well as a packed weekend of murder mystery and suspense.
On Friday night the centre will host a family friendly murder mystery event at 6pm. Local actress Amanda Doherty will bring her alter-ego 1930s detective Edie Birdwhistle to life to investigate the disappearance of the headmistress of First Derry School. Families will help her solve the mystery in an adventure throughout the Verbal Arts Centre. There will be mad French chefs, eyeballs, screams aplenty, secret rooms and a surprise in the cake recipe. Tickets at £3 per person, £5 per family.
Local crime author Brian McGilloway who has worked closely with Verbal in putting together the festival programme, will also launch his latest novel ‘Hurt’ at the festival on the Friday night.
Later that evening the spirit of the 1940s will be evoked with the Secret Cinema’s showing of the classic crime movie, Double Indemnity, which will be interspersed with Raymond Chandler readings.
Crime writers from across the UK will descend on the Verbal Arts Centre for a packed weekend of readings and events and experts from major publishing houses will be on hand to seek out the next Agatha Christie.
Authors such as Gerard Brennan, Colin Bateman, Clare McGowan and Des Doherty will join the likes of Alan Glynn, Andrew Pepper, William Ryan and Stuart Neville Blooms for a weekend of workshops, readings and talks.
Families will be able to enjoy the Verbal CSI Lab – exploring fingerprinting, experiments and even slime –and there will be an interactive crime fighting room on Saturday and Sunday with wall to wall gaming, Sherlock Holmes storytelling and mug shot corners.
On Saturday and Sunday evening families can join the Victorian Crime Ghost Tours, leaving from the Verbal Arts Centre at 7,8 and 9pm with Martin McCrossan’s City Tours.
The tours will uncover some of the city’s most gruesome Victorian murders – from graverobbing gone bad to Derry’s Dr Death. Tickets are £5 per family, £3 per person and available from the Verbal Arts Centre.
Verbal Group Chief Executive James Kerr said the Killer Books Festival would bring crime book aficionados from across Ireland to the city.
“We have a wealth of crime writing talent coming to us for the Killer Books festival,” he said.
“We are delighted that crime writing heavyweight Lee Child will join us alongside some of the finest crime writers in the UK. We have also brought together leading literary agents to allow budding local crime authors the chance to pitch their work. We are also delighted that Eason has come on board as one of the main sponsors of this new festival”.