An overview of the Northeast in the books for 2021



Wondering what to do with the book token you got from your aunt this Christmas?

There are plenty of choices if you want to read about the North East, or support the authors who have established their work here.

From one of the UK’s most beloved comedians posting his autobiography to a favorite detective making a comeback in another Northumberland mole, the region’s authors have come a long way in 2021.

There have also been cookbooks, in-depth dives into the geology of Northumberland, and new bookstores open to give readers more choices on what to read and where to buy their books.

Here’s the 2021 rundown of the Northeast Chronicle of the Year in the books.

Go here for more Northeast Updates, News and Reviews


While there hasn’t been a new Vera Stanhope novel this year, Ann Cleeves returned in August with Heron’s Cry – the second in her Two Rivers series starring Detective Matthew Venn, which was adapted into The Long Call. for ITV.

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Ann also celebrated the 21st anniversary of her beloved creation Vera with a new ‘Reading for Wellbeing’ project with nine ‘Community Reading Workers’ helping people access stories and read through the world. Northeast.

Another detective making a comeback was Lj ross‘s DCI Ryan, whose 18th adventure the rock, took place around Marsden Rock, near South Shields. It is the latest in a series taking place at some of the North East’s best-known sites, including Warkworth Hermitage, Holy Island, Kielder Forest and Sycamore Gap.

Author LJ Ross
Northumberland author LJ Ross, who released the 18th DCI Ryan series in 2021

Ross took a break from crime to bring together perpetrators from across the region to his anthology of short stories: Kindness every day on World Kindness Day in November, with proceeds going to Shelter.

Ross has given other writers a helping hand with his editorial imprint Dark Skies editions, with the third Lindisfarne Prize for Crime Fiction, which celebrates the work of crime and thriller writers from or whose work celebrates the North East, go to Robert Scragg for his novel Helix in May.

Robert Scragg, detective writer
Robert Scragg, detective writer who won the Lindisfarne Prize for Crime Fiction in 2021

Crime and thriller fans have truly been in for 2021, with this genre apparently the most popular among Northeastern writers.

During Detective Kate Daniels’ eighth outing, she received a letter from the victim whose death she was going to investigate in Mari Hannah. his last request, located in Craster. One way street by Trevor Wood, who won the CWA John Creasey New Blood Dagger and received accolades from Lee Child and Val McDermid, came out as a hardback book in March.

Newcastle-based Matt Wesolowski’s online investigative reporter Scott King investigated the death of a pop megastar in Deity, an episode of the Six Stories series in February, with Devil to be continued in January 2022.

Judith O’Reilly’s January action novel, based in Durham Cursed be the day featuring AI and killer robots, and Chris McGeorge’s Tomorrow and a half took readers to the streets of Chester-Le-Street and Newcastle.

Moving away from crime, Lucy Nichol explored friendship and anxiety with The 27 Club, while the debut novel by Sunderland high school teacher Sammy Wright In shape explored the gulf between rich and poor in contemporary Britain.

There was also the gender challenge Roches Phosphates: A death in ten objects, based on Fiona Erskine’s first job at a fertilizer factory in Leith.

And in poetry, Jake Morris-Campbell’s poetry anthology Costafine Town has taken a sideways look at the post-industrial landscapes of the Northeast and its many contradictions.

There is more to look forward to in 2022. The unauthorized biography of Ezra Maas, Daniel James’ debut novel which was nominated for the Guardian’s Not the Booker Prize in 2019, will be re-released with new material set in 2021 in Newcastle and the Northumberland countryside.

And Jessica Andrews, whose first novel in Sunderland Salt water won the Portico award in 2020, returns in July with his second book Scepter.

Biography and non-fiction

Northeast and National Treasure Bob Mortimer delighted fans with his autobiography this year. Bob walked away from the cult football podcast Athletic Haché, go fishing with Harry Enfield, and tell the weirdest lies about Would i lie to you?, to present his memoirs in And far … Who was Amazon’s 8th best-selling non-fiction book of 2021 in the UK.

Bob mortimer
Bob Mortimer, whose book And Away … was one of Amazon’s best-selling non-fiction books this year

Elsewhere in the non-fiction, geologist Ian Jackson, who appeared on Countryfile in December, tells the tales of 50 of the county’s most significant rocks in Northumberland Rocks.

For anyone whose New Years resolution is to cook more, the Hairy Bikers Daily Winners gave away 100 ‘simple and delicious’ recipes, with Kibblesworth’s best-known son Si King and culinary partner Dave Myers providing their thoughts. on cooking pasta with chicken a la Kiev and spicy fish and chips.

Bookstores and festivals

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It’s not only a busy year for the books, but also for the stores that sell them. Corbridge’s award-winning independent store, Forum Books, has grown with two new stores in the region: The Bound at Whitley Bay and the accidental bookstore in Alnwick. Hexham Cogito’s independent books also celebrated their 20th anniversary this year.

And 2022 promises to be just as exciting. In February, Whitley Bay to host Bay Tales Live, its first-ever crime fiction festival with the participation of the aforementioned award-winning local authors Trevor Wood and Ann Cleeves.

The Hexham Book Festival is also expected to be on a bigger stage in the New Year as it is part of the 1900 Festival, celebrating the 1900th anniversary of Hadrian’s Wall.

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