Programme Launched for Unsolved – Aberdeenshire’s Crime and Mystery Festival

Tickets are now on sale for Unsolved – Aberdeenshire’s crime and mystery festival, taking place at Leith Hall, Castle Fraser, Fyvie Castle and Haddo Country Park this October.

The Festival runs on Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th October. Over the weekend visitors will be able to enjoy talks by bestselling crime writers including Bloody Scotland’s co-founders Lin Anderson and Alex Gray in ‘What’s your poison?’, Richard and Judy’s favourite crime writing farmer James Oswald, leading crime writer Alanna Knight who is one of The Times’ “100 Masters of Crime”, Robert Jeffrey whose latest real crime book focuses on Peterhead – Scotland’s Toughest Prison and Janet Morgan aka Lady Balfour of Burleigh who is the only official biographer of household favourite Agatha Christie.

New this year is Operation Espionage in Haddo Country Park supported by Aberdeenshire Council and run by Boundaries Edge Events who are a group of former intelligence and specialist military officers. This event is a must for families and young people. Armed with a map each group is sent on a secret mission into the park to see if they can gather enough clues and evidence, remain undercover, avoid counter surveillance teams and complete their mission before time runs out. 

Over at the newly reopened Leith Hall near Huntly our popular CSI – in association with charity Absafe is back with a new mystery for our budding detectives to solve. This is a family event where children and adults move from room to room dusting for fingerprints, interviewing suspects, testing DNA under microscopes, and examining clues that will help them crack the case. The plot, set at Leith Hall is written by local crime writer Bill Kirton, best known for the popular Jack Carston series.

Crime Tours - throughout the weekend Allan Burnett; historian, performer and bestselling author of the ‘And All That’ series, will be back at the Festival, taking visitors on crime themed tours behind the scenes at Castle Fraser.  These tours are exclusive to the festival and a real one-off chance to explore the mysteries at this stunning property.  Fyvie Castle, one of the most haunted castles in Scotland, will also be open and running crime and mystery themed tours all weekend.

There will also be who dunnits, children’s storytelling, wildlife CSIs and much more, to make the Unsolved Festival a truly unmissable weekend of murders, double crossings, poisonings and dark mystery.

Steve Callaghan, Group Manager, National Trust for Scotland said: “I am sure our audiences will love the mix of crime history and crime fiction that we have on offer this year and hope that we will be able to attract a lot of first time visitors to each of our properties over the weekend.”

Haddo Regeneration Project chair Cllr Paul Johnson said: "Haddo Country Park is steeped in history and and provides the perfect setting for Operation Espionage. It's also a great opportunity for visitors to see some of the work that has been ongoing over the summer as part of the park regeneration project. I hope families and young people from across the area take up the invitation to become detectives for the day." 

The Unsolved festival is a partnership event between Public Image Events and the National Trust for Scotland.

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