Crime writers will converge on Horsham for first Leonardslee Crime Festival

Elly Griffiths
Elly Griffiths

The Book Lovers' Supper Club has announced the first Leonardslee Crime Festival, to celebrate the best of crime writing in the south-east of England.

On March 2 and 3 2019, many of the UK's best-known crime writers will visit Leonardslee Lakes & Gardens at Horsham to entertain audiences in a series of specially-crafted events.

Tickets start from £35 and are available on the Leonardslee Lakes & Gardens website.

Melanie Whitehouse, founder of The Book Lovers' Supper Club, said: “For our first Crime Festival at Leonardslee, we’ve combined the exceptional food created by its chefs with events that showcase the talents of local crime writers. It brings together the Book Lovers’ Supper Club’s two great passions: delicious food paired with brilliant crime writing. There is something here for everyone to enjoy, and a ticket to any of these events makes the perfect Christmas present.

“The Crime Festival opens with a whodunnit Murder Mystery afternoon tea presented by the Killer Women. This group of top female crime writers will present an hour-long puzzle for the audience to solve, with a prize at the end.

“Misleading everyone will be authors Elly Griffiths, Colette McBeth, Mel McGrath and Julia Crouch, plus top cop Graham Bartlett. It will be followed by Leonardslee's classic afternoon tea, including finger sandwiches, seasonal savouries, scones, patisseries, cakes and a choice of teas, served overlooking the Leonardslee Gardens estate.

“In the evening, there is a chance to savour the Crime, Wine and Fine Dining experience, and hear writer Erin Kelly as after-dinner speaker. Following a gourmet three-course meal in Leonardslee's Interlude restaurant, Erin will ask: 'Have we killed the psychological thriller?'

“Her most recent book, He Said/She Said, spent 12 weeks in the Sunday Times Top Ten bestseller lists. Her first novel, The Poison Tree, became a major ITV drama and her next novel, Stone Mothers, is out in April.

“Waking up delegates on Sunday, March 3rd will be a crime writing workshop with Dorothy Koomson, and former senior policeman and author Graham Bartlett. For would-be authors to hone their writing skills, this two-hour masterclass will inform, entertain and inspire, with coffee, tea and home-made cake to boost brainpower.

“Dorothy's books include The Ice Cream Girls, made into a TV mini-series, and The Brighton Mermaid. As an author, advisor to crime writer Peter James and former Chief Superintendent of Brighton & Hove, police procedure and forensic detail is Graham Bartlett's forte. His book Death Comes Knocking was a Sunday Times bestseller.

“The final event is a Crime Cream Tea, with top authors Simon Brett, Debbie Howells and Julie Corbin debating the many ingredients that go into creating a good crime novel. It will be followed by a classic cream tea with scones, jam, cakes and a cuppa.”

Tickets start from £35 and are available on the Leonardslee website.

The Book Lovers' Supper Club was founded in 2012 by journalist Melanie Whitehouse, to indulge her passion for good food and great writing. To date, she has held more than 40 events around Sussex.

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