Crime Writers

Southwold Library has launched its fifth annual ‘Slaughter in Southwold’ festival. The established Crime Writers’ Festival will feature a number of top crime writers giving talks about their writing at on Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 June 2017.

This year the event is moving to a bigger venue – Southwold Arts Centre – and will be part of Southwold Arts Festival. Slaughter in Southwold is organised by Southwold Library Manager Charlotte Clark with support from the Friends of Southwold Library and the Crime Writers Association.

This year’s packed programme features Elly Griffiths, M.J. Arlidge, Isabelle Grey, , Harry Brett, Guy Fraser-Sampson, John Nightingale, Paul Harrison and Ruth Dugdall.

Southwold Library Manager Charlotte Clark said: “It’s amazing to be celebrating the fifth birthday of Slaughter in Southwold.  We never envisaged in 2013 when we started with one day in the Scout Hut that in 2017 we would have a whole weekend revelling in meeting established and up and coming crime writers.  It’s great to welcome back Ruth Dugdall, who first came in 2013 and Elly Griffiths, who came to our second festival.  This year Slaughter in Southwold has moved to a bigger venue, Southwold Arts Centre, so even more people can come and enjoy the weekend.”

About the authors:

Elly Griffiths is a bestselling author of two series – the Ruth Galloway series set in present day Norfolk and the Stephens and Mephisto books set in 1950’s Brighton.  Last year she won the Crime Writers Association Dagger in the Library award.

M.J. Arlidge and Isabelle Grey have both come from a background as TV screenwriters.  M.J. Arlidge wrote for primetime TV series like ‘Silent Witness’ and is now known for his bestselling Helen Grace series, which started with ‘Eeny Meeny’ in 2014 , the UK’s best-selling crime debut that year.  Isabelle Gray wrote screenplays for well-loved TV series like ‘Wycliffe’ and ‘Midsomer Murders’ and has now created two psychological thrillers and the DI Grace Fisher series.

Harry Brett is a pseudonym for Henry Sutton, a Senior Lecturer in creative writing at UEA who helped create the Noirwich crime festival.  His new crime fiction series has been described as Raymond Chandler meets The Sopranos in Great Yarmouth.

Guy Fraser-Sampson’s style harks back to the Golden Age of Crime and the second in The Hampstead Murders series stars Agatha Christie herself.

Local crime author John Nightingale has teamed up with Professor of English Literature at UCL John Sutherland to discuss whether crime fiction can ever be seen as great literature.  John Sutherland’s last book was ‘Orwell’s Nose’ and covers George Orwell’s time in Southwold.

Retired police officer Paul Harrison has largely written true crime books up to this point but has now written his first foray into crime fiction.

Ex Suffolk probation officer Ruth Dugdall has returned to Suffolk after a period living in Luxembourg and her fiction has also returned to Suffolk with her latest domestic noir thriller set in Felixstowe and Ipswich.

The festival programme also includes an opportunity to have lunch with the authors. There is also a raffle and a ‘whodunit’ puzzle sheet with a chance to win prizes. Tickets can be bought for individual author talks, the whole weekend or for the Saturday or Sunday.

Full details of the programme and ticketing information is available from or

Tickets can also be bought at the library.

For a full list of all upcoming events in our libraries visit

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