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Crime, the Tyne and Robin Hood.

In its third year - testament to its popularity - the Newcastle Winter Book Festival has grown bigger and bolder.

The festival is taking in tartan noir, erotica, horror, biography and poetry with some music and film thrown in too.

Patron David Almond, celebrated author of Skellig, opens the proceedings with daytime events for invited audiences on Thursday, November 22 at the Discovery Museum and the City Library.

Poet and comedian Kate Fox will be hosting River Runs at the Discovery Museum along with contributors Alfie Crow, Ben Holland, Bridie Jackson and Simma.

River Runs is a celebration of the Tyne in word and song - sometimes fast flowing, sometimes hitting bridges with bodies and the detritus of modern life floating by.

Also on Thursday is an evening of chat from veteran film critic Barry Norman.

He will be talking about his icons from the silver screen and showing clips from favourite films such as Casablanca, Gone with the Wind, The Adventures of Robin Hood and Dirty Harry.

And as book groups across the region mull over the merits of Fifty Shades of Grey, three erotica events have been programmed for the Winter Book Festival.

Julie Peakman is looking into the history of erotica, while Nichi Hodgson will talk about her experiences as a 'submissive' in her book Bound to You. Both authors will host a festival debate: Fifty Shades of Grey: Romantic fantasy or porn? In a joint event, novelists Graham Pears and Rebecca Jenkins will talk about their contrasting local detectives. Rebecca's is Raif Jarret, who returns from the Napoleonic wars to Teesdale in 1811, while Graham's detective Jet is a contemporary detective often operating outside the system.

Over at the Lit & Phil is A Darker Thread of Tartan Noir followed by an event with best-selling author John Connolly discussing his 11th Charlie Parker novel, The Wrath of Angels.

Newcastle Winter Book Festival runs from November 22-25 at the City Library, Discovery Museum, Lit & Phil and Tyneside Cinema.

On Saturday, TV producer John Ashton is in conversation with BBC journalist Richard Moss about Lockerbie and Abdelbaset al-Megrahi.

Horror Saturday contains a number of events featuring authors such as Stephen Volk, Mark Morris, Paul Magrs, Ramsey Campbelll and Stephen Jones.

Sunday events include Brighton Belle: afternoon tea and mystery with Sara Sheridan at the Lit & Phil, where she will talk about her 1950s sleuth Mirabelle Bevan.

Exciting New Voices in Poetry at the City Library features Catherine Graham, Hannag Lowe and Tony Williams in an event taking in family, friendship and kissing.

The box office for Newcastle Winter Book festival is 0191 277 4100.

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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Oct 30, 2012
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