Vince Cable leads Scarborough Books by the Beach line up

Former Secretary of State for Business Vince Cable and best-selling writers Tracy Chevalier and Joanne Harris are on their way to town.

They will be joined by broadcasters Joan Bakewell and Melyvn Bragg, former Blue Peter presenter Janet Ellis, poet 
Simon Armitage, actor Hugh Fraser and crime writers MC Beaton and Peter James.

Vince Cable

Vince Cable

All are on the bill for the third Books by the Beach event – the successor of Scarborough Literature Festival – which runs from Wednesday April 13 to Sunday April 17.

Scarborough-based Egyptologist Joann Fletcher and historical fiction writer 
Alison Weir are also on the programme.

“This year’s Books by the Beach feels fresher and livelier than ever,” said co-director Heather French.

Chevalier shares the stage with biographer Claire Harman to celebrate the bicentenary of Charlotte Bronte’s birth in an event sponsored by The Royal Literary Fund on Saturday April 16.

Joan Bakewell

Joan Bakewell

Chevalier will also have a 
solo spot talking about and reading from her new book At The Edge Of The Orchard.

One of the top-selling 
female historians, Alison Weir will be sharing her latest biography over a Tudor-style lunch in a new festival venue – Wykeham Abbey old kitchen – on the opening day.

“I’m very excited to be offered this unique setting,” said Heather, “ I’m always on the lookout for quirky places and with just 33 place settings I’m sure this will be the first event to sell out.”

Scarborough Town Hall is once again the setting for a literary dinner. This year the guest is Sherlock Holmes expert David Stuart Davies.

Returning to Scarborough is crime writer and this year’s CWA Diamond Dagger recipient Peter James. He will be at the Palm Court Hotel on Thursday April 14.

Hunmanby-based Wold Top Brewery is offering five different beers to taste with accompanying nibbles in Greensmith and Thackwray coffee shop on Saturday April 16.

Saturday’s headline event is Sir Vince Cable at Scarborough Library Concert Hall.

Mindfulness is topical and the opening event on the Wednesday introduces Paul Hallam, professional development trainer, who will be advising how to make the most of every day.

Scarborough Film Society presents a special screening of Groundhog Day later that evening.

Former Army officer Harry Parker will be introducing his first novel which is already being talked about as potential book of the year. Harry served in Iraq and then, in 2009, whilst on foot patrol in Afghanistan he stepped on a bomb. He turned to writing after his accident.

The Classical Concert features again on April 14 with soprano Michelle Rothey followed by prolific crime writer MC Beaton.

“She may be the queen of the village mystery, but I’ve hosted events with Marion before and she’s razor sharp and full of fun,” said co-director of Books by the Beach Peter Guttridge.

Joann Fletcher is also a guest on April 14 and TV historian Alice Roberts is on April 15.

There will be a Sherlock Holmes dramatic production at the old prison in Dean Road and a tombstone trail to discover Wartime Lies in Dean Road cemetery.

Follow the scent of perfume on April 16 to hear about a history of fragrances from Lizzie Ostrom (aka Odette Toilette!) and there are samples on offer included in the ticket price.

Award-winning Simon 
Armitage will recall his travels on foot and read from Walking Away, Amnesty International’s guest is Philip Gross and there is a guest spot 
from children’s poet Craig Bradley.

Debut author Janet Ellis, formerly of Blue Peter and mother of singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor, chats to former journalist Fiona Barton whose first book The Widow is already tipped to be the next Girl on the Train.

On Saturday April 16 there’s the chance to meet the real life character behind the Kes – 
Richard Hines.

Richard discovered his love for falconry at a young age and after becoming a BBC documentary maker has written a memoir about how his love for his kestrel changed his life.

Theatre director and biographer Franny Moyle will 
be talking about the artist 
JMW Turner on Sunday April 17.

Franny will also be discussing what’s ‘hot off the press’ with Vince Cable at the Sunday 
papers event.

Espionage secrets are shared with John Le Carre expert 
Adam Sisman and Guy Burgess biographer Andrew Downie on Sunday April 17 at 1pm.

This is followed by Joanne Harris sharing the stage with fellow author and friend Christopher Fowler.

Festival favourite Barry Forshaw is back to host.

Actor Hugh Fraser, best known for his role as Captain Hastings opposite David Suchet in Poirot, will be talking about his novel Harm on Sunday April 17.

Baroness Joan Bakewell and Baron Melvyn Bragg both appear on Friday April 15. Joan will be at Scarborough Library concert hall at 1pm and Melvyn will be at the Spa Theatre at 7.30pm that evening.

Tickets go on sale at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, at the weekend.