SOME of the UK’s leading crime and thriller writers are coming to Salisbury for the Literary Festival. The festival is opened with headliner Val McDermid at Salisbury Cathedral on Wednesday, October 17 (7.30pm, £7). Val McDermid’s books have sold a remarkable 15 million copies and her latest, Broken Ground, was an instant bestseller when published in August.

On Thursday, October 18, the crime theme continues with Martin Edwards, the current chair of the Crime Writers’ Association talking about Dorothy L Sayers and the Golden Age of Crime (Salisbury Playhouse, 7pm, £5). This is followed by a crime panel of four modern day female crime writers: Jane Corry, Clare Empson, Sarah Hilary and Louise Voss (8.15pm, £5).

Friday night is the festival’s thriller night, kicking off with two bestselling local authors in the form of Mark Dawson and Andy Maslen, talking about their latest novels Sleepers and No Further (Salisbury Playhouse, 7pm, £5). They are followed by two of the UK’s leading spy novelists Charles Cumming and Mick Herron (8.15pm, £5) for what is sure to be a fascinating event.

On Saturday, October 20, the festival welcomes CJ Tudor and Stuart Turton (Salisbury Playhouse, 12.15pm, £5). Salisbury-born CJ Tudor is the author of the bestselling The Chalk Man, which has been compared to Stephen King, while Stuart Turton’s The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, is Waterstones current thriller of the month.