Thursday, 17 September 2015

Theakstons Old Peculier #History Fest 23 October 5pm

Full details of the Theakstons Old Peculier #History Fest on 23 October at 5pm featuring Kate Mosse in conversation with Manda Scott and an Agatha Christie competition to win an overnight stay at The Old Swan Harrogate:

Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival

Happy Birthday to the Queen of Crime


Agatha Christie's - ‘Queen of Crime’ - the author who created Hercule Poirot and Jane Marple, would have been celebrating her 125th Birthday.

To celebrate this special anniversary, we bring you a newly penned work from festival favourite Kate Mosse, plus interesting facts about the lady herself and the chance to win a stay at the hotel she disappeared to in 1926.

Kate Mosse commissioned to pen short story

BBC Culture, one of six bespoke feature sections on announced its first short story commission today. Written by Kate Mosse, ‘Eleven Days’ celebrates the 125th anniversary of the birth of Dame Agatha Christie.

Kate took her inspiration for the short story from the eleven days in December 1926 during which Christie went missing. Her disappearance sparked one of the largest manhunts in history. Kate’s story is about celebrity, about the ways in which writers use their own experiences in their fiction, and a tribute to the 'Queen of Crime'.

A life-long fan of Christie’s work, Kate has revealed in previous interviews that when she is writing, the only author she can read is Agatha Christie;

“All the novels and short story collections, plays, I've read over and over. They've kept me company all my reading -then writing- life, so I was delighted to be asked.  I didn't want to speculate about what might have happened or to put words into Agatha Christie's mouth, so instead I tried to imagine what it might have been like to be involved on the sidelines.”

Available exclusively on, the story features bespoke illustrations by Owen Gatley, a freelance illustrator who has previously worked with a variety of international clients, including The New York Times, Adidas, The Guardian, Google, ASOS, GQ and The Independent.

See her at #HistoryFest


Special Guest: Kate Mosse in Conversation with Manda Scott
Friday 23 October
Old Swan Hotel | 5pm

Tickets: £11 | unreserved seating


Top Ten Facts about Agatha Christie

  1. Christie wrote her first book as the result of a challenge from her sister, Madge.
  2. Her first book waited five years before publication, having been rejected by six publishers.
  3. Miss Marple was modelled on her maternal grandmother.
  4. Her favourite writers were Elizabeth Bowen and Graham Greene.
  5. Agatha Christie’s name has appeared every day for the last 53 years in every newspaper with a West End theatre listing.
  6. Agatha Christie and her novels have been a ‘Mastermind’ subject on at least three occasions.
  7. In a plot twist worthy of her own novels, Christie disappeared for 11 days in 1926. (In our very own festival venue The Old Swan Hotel)
  8. Christie is believed to have sold more books than any other writer of fiction with the possible exception of William Shakespeare.
  9. During WWII, she worked in a hospital pharmacy. She there began acquiring a knowledge of poisons that would serve her novels well.
  10. Agatha and her first husband Archie were amongst the first British people to ever try surfing. A researcher from the Museum of British Surfing says that only one other Brit seems to have taken up surfing before the Christies: Prince Edward.
For more interesting facts on Agatha Christie follow our Twitter this week.

Poirot and Me

In December 2013, Harrogate International Festivals delighted audiences with the Brillaint David Suchet in conversation at the Royal Hall in Harrogate, below is a short video showing the man who made Poirot his own. Photos from the evening are available to view here.


Enter our Agatha Christie Competition for the chance to win:

1 night Dinner, Bed & Breakfast stay for two in an Executive Room
at The Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate

To enter click here and send your answer to the following question:
Under what name did Agatha Christie check into the Old Swan Hotel in 1926?
Agatha Christie
Teresa Neele
Miss Marple
Competition is subject to terms and conditions and closes at midnight on 25th September 2015 after which a winer will be chosen at random and notified no later than the 30th September 2015.

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