Poirot Perseveres: Sophie Hannah

Sunday 24 February 4pm – 5pm
Lemon Tree Studio £10.50

In 2014, with the blessing of Agatha Christie’s family and estate, internationally bestselling author Sophie Hannah revived the career of Hercule Poirot with The Monogram Murders. Her second Poirot novel, Closed Casket, was an instant Sunday Times top ten bestseller. Now, in The Mystery of Three Quarters, Poirot grapples with a poison pen campaign mounted in his name, and a mysterious stranger called Barnabas Pandy. Who is he? Is he dead? Was it murder?

Sophie will talk about her lifelong love of Agatha Christie, and describe how she got inside the author’s mind to bring everyone’s favourite Belgian back to life.

“Infused with such love and energy… Poirot is exactly as Christie created him, with a vitality that recalls her very best novels.”—Daily Telegraph

Aberdeen, Logan McRae, and Me: A Conversation with Stuart MacBride and Susan Calman

Saturday 23 February 7.30pm – 8.30pm
Music Hall £10.50

We’re delighted to welcome back Festival Ambassador and hometown hero Stuart MacBride in conversation with Susan Calman, to talk about his life and work, and The Blood Road, the newest Logan McRae novel. It finds Logan, whose past isn’t exactly squeaky clean, working for Professional Standards, policing his fellow officers.

When Detective Inspector Bell turns up dead in the driver’s seat of a crashed car it’s a shock to everyone—because Bell was buried two years ago. At least everyone thought it was Bell they’d buried.

Where’s he been all this time? Why did he disappear? And what made him return from the dead? Can Logan unbury those secrets before anyone else dies?

Exploring the Shared Heritage of Scotland and Bengal: Abir Mukherjee… in conversation with Nicola Sturgeon

Friday 22 February 7pm – 8pm
Music Hall £10.50

Abir Mukherjee, the child of immigrants from India, was brought up in the West of Scotland. The FT calls his novels “taut historical crime fiction thriller[s] that also interrogate the Imperial legacy.” He started writing “to explore that shared history between Britain and India which… has made such a great impact on the country we live in and the values we share.”
In A Rising Man he introduced ex-Scotland Yard detective Captain Sam Wyndham and ‘Surrender-Not’ Banerjee. Set in Calcutta in 1919, it was inspired by Mukherjee’s desire to learn more about a crucial, but often overlooked period in Anglo-Indian history. It won the Harvill Secker/Daily Telegraph crime writing competition and was longlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger.

Smoke and Ashes, moves the action to 1921. Wyndham is battling a serious opium addiction that he must keep secret from his superiors in the Calcutta police force. Summoned to investigate a grisly murder, he is stunned to recognise the victim, having stumped across a corpse the previous night with the same ritualistic injuries. Unfortunately, the corpse was in an opium den…

This event will be chaired by Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon.  A voracious reader since childhood, Ms Sturgeon is well-known for her love of literature and is an advocate for reading. She established the First Minister’s Reading Challenge in 2016, to encourage children to pick up a book and expand their imagination, and her Saturday night Twitter feed is filled with recommendations from her weekly reading. She has described books as “amongst my very favourite things in life”, with crime fiction a favourite genre.