Women getting away with murder at Buxton

Women will be getting away with murder at Buxton International Festival’s Book Weekend in November.

Agatha Christie, PD James, Ruth Rendell, Val McDermid … the list of female crime writers goes on, and two of the latest in their line will be discussing what special quality women bring to the genre.

Peak District author Sarah Ward, creator of Detective Constable Connie Banks whose beat is based on Matlock, will chat with Kate Griffin, whose historical crime novels set in Victorian Limehouse feature the 18-year-old heir to a sprawling criminal empire on the banks of the Thames. 

The Book Weekend, sponsored by Waterstones, will also see former Home Secretary and now popular author Alan Johnson talk about the soundtrack of his life – from Dylan to Bowie, from Lonnie Donegan to Bruce Springsteen, and The Beatles. 

He vividly transports us to a world of Dansettes and jukeboxes, of heartfelt love songs and heart-breaking ballads, of smoky coffee shops and dingy dance halls. 

Adrian Tinniswood will take his audience behind the throne when talking about the domestic history of five centuries of royal households and their power struggles, ranging from life and death feuds to making sure the king always won at tennis.

Closer to home, Kate Hubbard charts the rise and rise of Bess of Hardwick, who from her Derbyshire home at Hardwick Hall became one of the most powerful figures in male-dominated Elizabethan England.

Queen Elizabeth’s ships set England on a course to be a global power, but perhaps one of the most important vessels in our history was a collier built in Whitby which became HM Bark Endeavour. Peter Moore will trace Captain Cook’s ship from the oak trees which formed it to its pioneering voyage to Australia and the battles it took part in during the American War of Independence.

And the man who advises Sir Alan Sugar on TV’s The Apprentice, Nick Hewer, will be talking about his life from A to Z, which has included starring on Have I Got News For You, Countdown and Question Time. 

Buxton International Festival Book Weekend, November 23 to 24. For more details, see http://www.buxtonfestical.co.uk or to book, ring 01298 72190.