Granite Noir announces its first two guests

Granite Noir, Aberdeen’s international crime writing Festival, returns in February 2020 with an exciting line-up of Scottish, UK and International authors.

While the full programme won’t be announced until early December, organisers have released the names of two headline speakers as part of an early-bird booking package.

Sara Paretsky is the award-winning American author who transformed the crime fiction landscape in 1982 with the creation of private investigator V.I. Warshawski – a smart, sassy, female detective who is more than a match for Chicago’s criminal element, and who shares her creator’s passion for social justice.

In conversation with Scotland’s own Denise Mina on Friday 21 February at 7pm, Paretsky will discuss her latest novel, Shell Game where her PI helps out a friend and is soon following two cold trails into a world of high-stakes theft and Russian mobsters with a blithe disregard for the sanctity of life.

On Saturday 22 February at 6.00pm, Ben Aaronovitch, author of the bestselling Rivers of London urban fantasy series, premieres his newest Peter Grant adventure, False Value, in conversation with festival ambassador Stuart MacBride. Born and raised in London, Aaronovitch was a scriptwriter for Doctor Who and Casualty and the pair will be talking magic, mayhem, crimefighting and comics.

The Granite Noir Early Bird Festival Pass offers guaranteed tickets for Sara Paretsky, Ben Aaronovitch and one other headline event, still to be announced, along with seven other author talks over the weekend of 20 to 23 February 2020 for a criminally good price of £70 per person (representing a 30% discount on individual events). When the full programme is announced in early December, Early Bird bookers will get a priority booking period to select the events they wish to attend.

Jane Spiers, chief executive of Aberdeen Performing Arts, said: ‘Granite Noir is inspired by the incredible popularity of crime fiction, by the fantastic contribution that Scottish writers make, by our love affair with Nordic Noir, on the page and on screen, and most of all inspired by Aberdeen which is the perfect backdrop for the festival – steeped in history, atmospheric, quirky and with a strong sense of place. This Early Bird Festival Pass rewards our loyal audience who wish to come and enjoy up to ten different events across the Festival in February.’

Early Bird Festival Passes can be booked in person by visiting the Box Office at His Majesty’s Theatre, The Music Hall or The Lemon Tree, by phone on 01224 641122, or through the Granite Noir website from Tuesday 12 November until Tuesday 3 December 2019. Individual tickets to the Sara Paretsky (Friday 21 February at 7pm) and Ben Aaronovitch (Saturday 22 February at 6.00pm) events are also on sale at £11.50.

The full programme for Granite Noir 2020 will be announced on Monday 2 December, and tickets will go on general sale on Wednesday 4 December.

Granite Noir is produced by Aberdeen Performing Arts on behalf of Aberdeen City Libraries, Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Archives and the Belmont Filmhouse. Granite Noir 2020 is supported by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, Creative Scotland and Aberdeen City Council.