The Crime Readers' Association

Shetland murder mystery event to be staged in libraries nationwide

18th August 2014

Author Ann Cleeves is offering libraries free materials for staging a murder mystery event, ‘Murder in the Ravenswick Hotel’. Her story is set in a fictional Shetland hotel, and invites an audience to solve the murder of Hanna Bayford, found in a pool of blood in the hotel library with a poker nearby…

Shetland Library and The Reading Agency will be making the scripts, crime scene reports and most importantly the confession available to all interested libraries. It is part of Ann’s campaign to encourage libraries nationwide to join in the 24 islands/24 hours promotional project she is organising with Shetland and Orkney Libraries this September.

’24/24 is a celebration of all that’s exciting about libraries and reading.  The Shetland murder mystery allows libraries all over the UK to be in the Northern Isles in spirit and to pull in a new audience’ explains Ann.

The 24 islands/24 hours project runs from 3pm on Thursday 11 September to 3pm on Friday 12 September, and Ann will then stay on to deliver 3 further events in Shetland. The provisional programmes for the events in Orkney and Shetland are posted on Shetland Library’s website. The aim of the project is to encourage people to join libraries, promote the varied work that libraries do, and to celebrate reading, writing and community events more widely.

“People are doing really interesting things for us” said Library Manager Karen Fraser “Local author Marsali Taylor for example is holding a witch-themed book launch in the Scalloway Castle and Museum, followed by a literal book ‘launch’ at sea off Vementry.  Ann herself is doing a dash around Shetland in our mobile library, visiting 7 islands. We have authors Zoe Strachan and Louise Welsh doing school events, and Library staff going out to islands to hold eBook and eMagazine workshops. We are also hoping to send James Sinclair to Foula to be ‘poet in residence’ for a day. Ann will also be holding the national launch of her new book in Baltasound on 12 September, so that’s a huge event for our little community library there.”

People in Shetland can take part in ‘Murder in the Ravenswick Hotel’ at Busta House Hotel or Lerwick Library on 13 September, where Ann herself will be in attendance. At the evening event at the library in Lerwick she will be joined by real-life crime scene expert Helen Pepper.

Tickets are £5.

Full details about the 24 islands/24 hours project can be found on the Shetland Library’s website at

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