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Harrogate’s Old Peculier Crime Festival Inspired: IDHL Crime Favourites


The crime genre has been hugely popular amongst both writers and readers alike for many, many years – and it’s easy to see why. The niche is both an engaging and seemingly never-ending subject matter, not only due to the plethora of real life inspired crime books available but because the world of fiction has truly released some memorable crime novels over the years.

Our content team at WMG know what it’s like to have a stab at a good crime story (we’re not even sorry) so we thought we’d pick their brains about which novels they have read and why they enjoyed them. As our sister agency NetConstruct has been working closely with the sponsors of the Harrogate’s Old Peculier Crime Festival,, we thought they’d be the perfect candidates to share some of their recommendations too.

To Kill a Mocking Bird – Harper Lee

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Graham is one of our longest standing Content Writers at WMG and believes ‘To Kill a Mocking Bird’ is so enthralling and popular amongst the masses to this day because of its realism. Often studied in an educational setting, the novel explores three years in the life of young Scout Finch, her brother Jem and their Father, Atticus, and covers some gripping issues around race in 1930s Alabama.

“I think it’s great that still to this day, schools are studying this book and Drama groups look to stage plays putting this well-known story into Production.”

Graham also recommends: ‘The Godfather’ by Mario Puzo, anything by Val McDermid, ‘LA Confidential’ by James Ellroy, ‘Sherlock Holmes’ by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and ‘At The Devil’s Table’ by William C. Rempel.




Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier

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Picked by Junior Content Writer Manli Siu who says; “Rebecca is incredibly engaging and mysterious. I think I enjoyed reading this so much because of the thrill to keep on reading and leaving me guessing what really happened… It’s a best seller, and I think it sold over 2.5 million between its publication in 1938 and 1965.”








Killing Floor – Lee Child

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Corin Allen, the newest member of our content team, opted for this popular novel which is the creation of local author Lee Child, and it’s easy to see why. The Killing Floor fantastically explores the lead character Jack Reacher’s decision to jump off a bus and walk a long distance down a country road into Margrave. Little does he know that this was a poor choice as he ends up bang in the middle of a homicide as he is the only stranger in Margrave that day, suspicions arise. Without saying too much, Corin is a huge advocate of this crime novel as its shows a classic crime writing style a structure of the protagonist being set up for something he didn’t do… Or did he?

In a recent interview with Lee, he commented on the fantastic crime writing festival hosted by Theakston Old Peculiar which runs from July 20th – 23rd. Lee believes that in Harrogate, there is always the opportunity for writers to hang out together, and at WMG we find our best content is produced when our writers are focused but feeling relaxed too – which is why we have plenty of creative spaces in the office to work from.

We would recommend the festival if you’re a budding young writer and are looking for some inspiration to help kick start your very own writing career, or even just to help spark or promote an early interest in both reading and writing.


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Our hard-working Content Team believe that when it comes to adaptations; “People are more likely to read the adaptations of books from films nowadays because they want to see how the story and paper transfers to screen. One such example of a tale within the crime niche which has been successful as both a book and as a pretty gripping crime film is ‘The Hollow Man’ by Oliver Harris.”





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Our lovely partners over at NetConstruct had some really insightful thoughts on their favourite Crime Novels too – they even worked alongside Theakston’s to update their new sites, which is also promoting the festival.

According to Client Services Director Claire, “We’re obsessed with crime novels here!  ‘I Let You Go’ by Clare Mackintosh is a firm favourite amongst the team, and it actually won Novel of the Year at last year’s Crime Writing Festival.”

“Personally, my absolute favourite crime novel I’ve read recently is ‘Ragdoll’ by Daniel Cole – It’s a brilliant serial killer book in the truest sense of the genre.  It reminded me of classic books/films like Se7en and Silence of the Lambs. I can really see it being made into an excellent movie. Sadly, he hasn’t written a follow-up book yet.  I would recommend this to anyone who loves a good crime book, although it’s definitely not for the faint hearted!”




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Claire also says she is a big fan of Harlan Coben and another favourite book of hers is ‘Tell No One’. “He’s got a fantastic style that hooks you in from the start, and his stories are original and clever.”

Our NetConstruct colleagues also have a couple of outstanding crime books in their library that are more psychological crimes than murder, proving how engaged they are in the crime niche!

If you love the Crime niche as much as our team do, then be sure to check out the Theakston Old Peculiar Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate this week!