Anton Lesser in Endeavour

Is Oxford the capital of Crime Fiction? This is the question being asked by some of the country’s most famous crime writers at St Hilda’s College Crime Fiction Weekend later this month.

Val McDermid, Mick Herron, Jane Casey, Lucy Atkins, Guillermo Martinez and Cara Hunter are among the line-up which runs from August 13-15.

Val Mcdermid credit KT Bruce

Val McDermid (a St Hilda’s graduate) who is appearing at the festival next weekend, says “Hilda’s crime is unique – nowhere else in the world will you find such a delicious mix of erudition, wit and genuine love for the crime fiction genre in all its glory.

There’s even a special guest appearance by Endeavour’s Anton Lesser who will be assisting with solving a whodunit penned by Andrew Taylor.

Anton Lesser in Endeavour

For those who haven’t been before, organiser Triona Adams explains. “We will celebrate Oxford in all its marvellous, murky colours and walk down the cobbled streets of Magpie Lane arm-in-arm with Morse and Wimsey, Fen and Fawley, past Roundheads and Cavaliers, Shakespeare scholars and dodgy coppers, and all the colleges, quads, squad cars, and corpses beneath those nightmarish spires,”

“Don’t forget down these mean, cobbled streets have walked Morse, the Oxford of Charles I, Peter Wimsey, Endeavour, and even Shakespeare himself: a spired city of lofty ideals and grave motives, of High Tables and low intentions.”

For the second year running, the weekend will be online, offering crime fiction fans the world over the unique experience of hearing their favourite authors discuss the books that inspire and intrigue them.

A beautiful first edition prize from Blackwell’s Rare Books goes to whoever cracks The Case of the Cambridge Corpse, headed up by Andrew Taylor in his Whodunnit guise of Chief Inspector Taylor of the imaginary police.

Andrew Taylor in his Whodunnit guise of Chief Inspector Taylor of the imaginary police.

All the sessions will be live with interactive Chat and an Audience Q&A

Blackwell’s Bookshop will provide special offers at the online St Hilda’s Crime Fiction Weekend shop. Isis Audiobooks have prepared an exclusive virtual goodie bag. And there will be a special prize awarded to the winning armchair detective courtesy of Blackwells Rare Books Collection.

Lucy Atkins, photographed by Charlie Hopkinson © 2013.

The 28th St Hilda’s College Crime Fiction Weekend was launched in 1994, and offers crime fiction fans from all over the world the unique experience of hearing their favourite authors exploring the genre, their own work, and the writers who inspired them.

Cara Hunter – credit Justine Stoddart

Events and authors include:

*Lucy Atkins – Ghosts of Oxford: revisiting and reworking Oxford and its literary past in Magpie Lane
*Jane Casey – ‘Let’s have one other gaudy night’: Lord Peter Wimsey’s Oxford
*Philip Gooden – JC Masterman: King of the Double Cross
*Mick Herron – Larcenous letters: An A-Z of Oxford Crime
*Cara Hunter – In the shadow of Morse: writing new crime for the old city
*Jean Harker – Michael Innes, Oxford Insider

*Carolyn Kirby – Nightmared Spires: finding the Gothic in Oxford novels
*Guillermo Martinez – When crime fiction lives in crime fiction
*Val McDermid – Daft, Donnish, Delightful: the detective fiction of Edmund Crispin
*Maria Rejt – ReMorseful Oxford
*Emma Smith – Shakespearean sleuths: the Scholar as Detective/the Detective as Scholar
*Veronica Stallwood – It depends what you mean by “Oxford”

Colin Dexter and PD James

The weekend is chaired by Alison JosephJake Kerridge, and Sarah Hilary. To book your tickets and find out more go to:’s-college-crime-fiction-weekend