Ian Rankin and Ann Cleeves are among the big-name headliners at the Bute Noir crime writing festival to be held later this summer.
The festival has managed to lure some of the biggest names in crime writing to its August weekend in Rothesay. As well as Rankin and Cleeves, the line-up includes Mark Billingham, Denise Mina, Stuart MacBride, Chris Brookmyre, Ruth Ware and Mick Herron.
Organisers have also signed up authors Oscar de Muriel from Mexico, Lilja Sigurdardottir from Iceland, Thomas Enger from Norway, Alexandra Sokoloff from the USA, and Liz Nugent from Ireland. There is, of course, also top Scottish talent including Alex Gray, Lin Anderson and Craig Robertson.
The festival takes place from August 2-4, with events in Rothesay Library, Bute Museum, Print Point bookshop, and the Discovery Cinema. There is even a crime writers’ putting competition on Rothesay’s famous putting greens for The Brookmyre Cup.
Bute Noir director and crime writer Craig Robertson explained how he managed to persuade so many leading authors to make the trip over the sea to Rothesay.
He said: “I know almost all of the authors personally and that made the process much easier. But I was still amazed at so many of them agreeing to come. I just started at the top, asked them to take part and they just kept saying yes.
“I think a big part of it is that the writers who have come to Rothesay in previous years have enjoyed themselves so much that they’ve gone out and spread the word. The likes of Chris Brookmyre and Steve Cavanagh have been evangelical advocates for us.
“The festival has grown and grown since our first Bute Noir in 2016. We’ve had a great line-up of authors every year, but I think it’s safe to say this is the best yet. I’m not sure how we’re going to top it.”
Bute Noir may be unique in being partly sponsored by the namesake of one of its star participants.
Rothesay plumber Ian Rankin backs the festival and is looking forward to meeting his namesake the other, slightly better known, Mr Rankin in August. Other Bute Noir sponsors include Argyll and Bute council, Live Argyll, Bute Island Foods, For Bute, Careplus, Caledonian Macbrayne, Guildford Square Co-Op and Martha Shaw, with Visit Bute and West Coast Motors supporting the round-Bute bus tour.
Tickets are all priced £5 (apart from the quiz and the round-Bute bus tour) and can be bought from the venues or by telephone from Print Point on 01700503389. See http://butenoir.co.uk/ for more details.