City of York Council’s Library and Archives Service are invited us all join them in ‘Big City Read’ this year, and Wednesday (25 July) turns the page on a fabulous summer of literary events and activities connected to a newly-commissioned novel whose every copy can be tracked.
The event ties in with the York 800 festival which celebrates the 800th anniversary of York being granted its charter in 1212 by bad King John. It is suitable then that this year’s Big City Read has a medieval theme. The latest installment of Susanna Gregory’s bestselling Matthew Bartholomew crime series, ‘Mystery in the Minster’, has been chosen. Matthew Bartholomew, a teacher of medicine and investigator of murders in 14th-century Cambridge first appeared in ‘A Plague on Both Your Houses’ in 2003 and has gone from strength to strength,
Susanna’s latest novel brings Matthew to York to sort out a legal dispute over land, but ends in murder. Novelist Susanna Gregory was commissioned to write the thriller specifically for the Big City Read and will be fielding questions, reading extracts and revealing some hints on the plot at the launch event at York Explore Library Learning Centre on Wednesday 25 July from 7pm.
Cllr Sonja Crisp, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Culture and Tourism, said: “We’re really excited to welcome Susanna to York to launch her new work as the subject of this year’s Big City Read.
“With York 800 in full swing it’s the perfect time to celebrate the medieval history of York, so what better way than with a novel set in one of York’s most iconic buildings!”
The launch at York Explore marks the beginning of a programme of events designed to bring people across the city together to read the same book, and to celebrate York’s heritage with events for all ages. Residents can explore York’s medieval markets, take part in ghost walks with a timely twist, watch York’s world-famous Mystery Plays, chance their luck at war gaming and more.
This year’s chosen book is available from all of York’s 14 libraries and Explore centres from 26 July. What’s more, each book given away this year will contain a unique ‘bookcrossing number’ which readers can use on www.bookcrossing.com to enter comments on the book, as well as seeing where the book has been previously and keeping track of it once it’s been passed on.
Tickets to the launch event are free but booking is essential. Book online for all events at www.york.gov.uk/libraries or by calling into any library.