Harrogate investigates its biggest mystery of all... what WAS Agatha Christie doing there?

Agatha Christie will be celebrated at the scene of her disappearance in 1926, the Old Swan Hotel in Harrogate, at the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival
Agatha Christie will be celebrated at the scene of her disappearance in 1926, the Old Swan Hotel in Harrogate, at the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival
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CRIME fiction fans will be able to visit a major exhibition celebrating Agatha Christie this summer at the hotel where she was found after her mysterious disappearance in 1926.

The Poirot and Miss Marple writer famously left her Surrey home on December 3, 1926 and was discovered 11 days later staying under an assumed name at a hotel in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, but with no recollection of how she got there.

Agatha Christie will be celebrated at the scene of her disappearance in 1926, the Old Swan Hotel in Harrogate, at the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival

Agatha Christie will be celebrated at the scene of her disappearance in 1926, the Old Swan Hotel in Harrogate, at the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival

This year’s star-studded Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival is to be held at that same hotel – the Old Swan Hotel – over four days in July.

Attendees will be able to explore Christie’s writing, life and publishing career through rare photographs and documents from her own archives and those of her publisher, HarperCollins, in an outdoor display.

The Christie exhibition is being held as part of HarperCollins’ 200th anniversary celebration.

The 2017 Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival’s programming chair, crime novelist Elly Griffiths, said: “The ghost of Agatha Christie clearly haunts the Old Swan Hotel. Nowhere is the genre she devoted her life to so enthusiastically celebrated than at the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival – the biggest event devoted to crime fiction in Europe, if not the world.”

The annual event will open with the crime writing equivalent of the Oscars, the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award, which has previously been won by the likes of Val McDermid, Lee Child and Mark Billingham. There will also be a chance for keen scribes to attend a day-long writing workshop, get involved in debates about crime reboots and see some of the world’s most celebrated crime authors in conversation and mingling at the hotel bar.

Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival is at the Old Swan Hotel in Harrogate, from July 20-23.