In partnership with The Reading Agency and publishers Pan Macmillan, award-winning crime writer Ann Cleeves is equipping public libraries with everything they need to hold spine-chillingly successful murder mystery nights for readers. (Photo above, from left to right: Sam Eastop (London Borough of Camden Libraries); actress Liz Carling; Ann Cleeves; Sandeep Mahal (The Reading Agency); crime author Martin Edwards.)
At a special launch event on 24 January hosted by the London Borough of Camden's Swiss Cottage library in north London and led by the author, librarians from local authorities around the country were the first to receive special newly-produced packs, based on the top author's novel The Glass Room, starring her well-loved detective character, DI Vera Stanhope.
Having previously written a murder mystery script based on this novel which she has taken to independent bookshops, festivals and public libraries, Ann Cleeves and her publisher Pan Macmillan have now produced a special murder mystery night pack for libraries. The pack includes her script, a running order for the event, a CSI report, 'whodunnit' forms to be completed by attendees, and a prize. (Photo: A member of Camden Libraries staff reads out the testimony for 'Lennie' on why they didn't commit the murder.)
The Reading Agency's Reading Partners consortium, which creates successful and exciting events and activities for readers, has brokered this project. The Reading Agency is the independent charity running creative programmes which help people feel inspired and confident about reading. Reading Partners involves the whole UK public library network and 40 publishers, and works to transform the way publishers and libraries work together, creating successful and exciting events and activities for readers.
At the launch event in Camden, advice on using the pack and running murder mystery evenings in libraries was given by Sandeep Mahal, who leads the Reading Partners consortium for The Reading Agency. Pan Macmillan, publishers of Ann Cleeves' bestselling Vera Stanhope and Jimmy Perez detective novels, provided examples of the pack and copies of Ann's mysteries for librarians. 260 libraries have signed up to receive a free pack. (Photo: each murder mystery pack includes a backdrop to help set the scene.)
"For lots of communities, I think libraries provide their only access to culture and the arts," says Ann Cleeves. "So we should turn them into creative cultural hubs for people to come and enjoy culture, and this new pack is my contribution to that."
"By giving you everything you need, this new pack does the work for you, so it's a real incentive to run a murder mystery event in your library," says Karen Swift, libraries team leader with the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham.
Sandeep Mahal, who leads The Reading Agency's Reading Partners work, says: "Ann Cleeves has worked as a reader development officer. Now as a bestselling author, she still works tirelessly supporting libraries and their work with readers. So The Reading Agency is delighted to be working with one of libraries' most loved and admired authors, to bring interactive murder mystery events into libraries across the country. It's a wonderful way to get readers to form a super sleuthing team and enjoy an evening of criminally good entertainment."
- Public libraries interested in receiving a special Ann Cleeves murder mystery night pack can download from www.readinggroups.org.
- Ann Cleeves has written over twenty-five novels. Her books have now sold over one million copies worldwide, and her Vera Stanhope and Jimmy Perez detective characters are now loved both in print and on TV. Shetland, starring Douglas Henshall, is a new two-part drama set in Scotland for BBC One, produced by ITV Studios through BBC Scotland, and written by David Kane, adapted from Ann Cleeves' Jimmy Perez novels.
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Notes to editors:
The Reading Agency is an independent charity working to inspire more people to read more. It is funded by the Arts Council, and has a formal partnership with public library services (www.readingagency.org.uk)
For more information about the work of Reading Partners, please visit: www.readingagency.org.uk/adults/reading-partners.
For more information about Ann Cleeves, please visit: www.anncleeves.com or www.panmacmillan.com/author/anncleeves