FIRST Minister Nicola Sturgeon will chair a conversation with Scottish “Queen of Crime” Val McDermid at Granite Noir, Aberdeen’s crime writing festival, organisers confirmed.

Ben Torrie, Aberdeen Performing Arts director of programming and creative projects, said: “We are thrilled to announce that the First Minister will be joining us to chair a conversation with Val McDermid, undoubtedly one of the world’s stars of crime writing. Come and join us for what promises to be a fascinating, incisive and entertaining event.”

McDermid has sold more than 17 million books across the globe and has been translated into more than 40 languages. The second book in her new series featuring journalist Allie Burns, 1989, is another best-seller for the author and also made the First Minister’s best books of 2022 list.

McDermid is perhaps best known for her series featuring clinical psychologist Dr Tony Hill and DCI Carol Jordan, which was adapted for TV as Wire in the Blood, starring Robson Green, Hermione Norris and Simone Lahbib.

ITV’s Karen Pirie, based on McDermid’s cold case detective series and starring Outlander actress Lauren Lyle, was screened last autumn. It was announced yesterday that a second series has been commissioned, and will be based on the novel A Darker Domain.

Sturgeon is a keen reader and has publicly commented that it gives her a lot of joy. She has long been a fan of McDermid’s work, having first met her at the Edinburgh International Book Festival in 2015, and has regularly recommended her books on her annual best books list.

McDermid will also be performing in Aberdeen with her cover band the Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers, which features authors Mark Billingham, Chris Brookmyre, Doug Johnstone, Stuart Neville and Luca Veste.

Granite Noir returns tomorrow with a programme highlighting Aberdeen’s history and atmosphere and celebrating the very best of crime writing. Tickets are still available for the conversation between McDermid and the First Minister, which takes place in Aberdeen’s Music Hall on Friday at 8pm.Tickets for all events, including McDermid’s conversation with Sturgeon, can be booked online at