Headingley LitFest is thrilled to welcome crime writers Sophie Hannah, Danuta Reah, Helen Cadbury and Alison Taft to this year’s Women Of Mystery panel.
Sophie Hannah is an internationally bestselling writer of psychological crime fiction, published in 32 languages and 51 territories. Her first novel, Little Face, was published in 2006 and has sold a phenomenal 1,000,000 copies. Her 2008 novel The Point of Rescue was produced for ITV as the two-part drama Case Sensitive which was shown in May 2011. It starred Olivia Williams in the lead role of DS Charlie Zailer and Darren Boyd as DC Simon Waterhouse. Its first showing had 5.4 million viewers. A second two-part story based on The Other Half Lives was shown on 12 and 13 July 2012. ‘Hannah – like Patricia Highsmith and Ruth Rendell before her – is an expert at exploring the delicate line between the ordinary and the monstrous. A Game for All the Family is the product of an author with an extraordinary imagination, working at the height of her powers.’ Independent Sophie is also a poet and published her first poetry book, The Hero and the Girl Next Door, at the age of 24. Her poems are now studied at GCSE, A-level and degree level across the UK. She also writes for children.
Helen Cadbury is a crime writer whose new novel, Bones in the Nest, second in the Sean Denton series, is out now. Her debut, To Catch a Rabbit, was joint winner of the Northern Crime Award 2012. First published by Moth Publishing, it was re-released in a new edition by Allison and Busby. Helen Cadbury was chosen as an Amazon Rising Star, best debuts of January 2015. In October 2015, To Catch a Rabbit was selected in the Yorkshire Post’s top twelve books that best define Yorkshire, written since the millennium.
Danuta Reah, who also writes under the name Carla Banks, is the author of seven crime novels, a novella, and many short stories. In 2005 Danuta won the CWA Short Story Dagger for No Flies on Frank. Her story Glazed, in Getting Even was shortlisted for the 2008 CWA Short Story Award. She publishes academic books, valued as resources for the study of language, covering topics as diverse as how the press creates monsters and how to address a thousand year old vengeance demon. She also offers courses in Creative Writing and is past Chair of the Crime Writers’ Association.
Alison Taft (Our Father Who Art Out There Somewhere, Shallow Be Thy Grave, My Time Has Come) is currently the LitFest’s Writer in Residence, well-known and valued as a creative writing tutor. Born and raised in Burnley, Alison dreamed of becoming a writer ever since reading Harriet the Spy by torchlight under the bedcovers, aged eight. After completing a degree, Alison lived in Crete and spent time in the Middle and Far East. In the mid-nineties she was a keen supporter of the free party network. She has worked in a variety of jobs but after being sacked once too often for gross insubordination, Alison decided to heed the words of one employer who described her as ‘unmanageable’, and became a full time writer. Alison now lives in Leeds with her partner and two children.