Crime writer Nicci French joins this year’s Fishbourne Literary Festival

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One of contemporary British crime fiction’s most famous double-acts Nicci French has joined this year’s Fishbourne Literary Festival.

Nicci French is the pseudonym of husband and wife writing team Nicci Gerard and Sean French. Both journalists, the pair met when working at the New Statesman and married in 1990.

Their first novel as Nicci French was The Memory Game in 1997. Since then they have written a popular series featuring psychotherapist Frieda Klein and numerous standalone psychological thrillers, most recently House of Correction, The Unheard and The Favour.

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Nicci French replaces Tom Holland at Fishbourne after he pulled out.

Nicci FrenchNicci French
Nicci French

Also speaking at the at the festival on March 25 will be Claire Fuller, Phil Hewitt, Deborah Moggach and William Shaw in a full day’s programme from 10-4pm. The day will include book signing, sales and a second-hand book fair, plus gifts and promises tree and a prize draw. Lunch will be available in the church hall. Tea, coffee and cake will also be available throughout the day.

Tickets are £25 for the day, available on The money raised from the event will go to St Peter & St Mary Church and the chosen charity for 2023, the Snowdrop Trust.

The timings for the speakers will be Phil Hewitt – 10-10.45; Claire Fuller – 11.15-12; William Shaw – 12.30-1.15; Deborah Moggach – 2-2.45; and Nicci French – 3.15-4pm.

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Deborah Moggach has written 20 novels and two books of short stories. She adapted several of these novels for TV, including Seesaw, Stolen and Final Demand.

Other writers’ books she has adapted include Nancy Mitford’s Love in a Cold Climate, Anne Fine’s Goggle-Eyes” (for which she was given the Writers Guild Award for Best Adapted Screenplay), The Diary of Anne Frank for the BBC, and the BAFTA nominated movie of Pride and Prejudice, starring Keira Knightley.

Claire Fuller is the author of five novels: her latest, The Memory of Animals, will be published in April 23 in the UK, and June 23 in the US and Canada. Her previous, Unsettled Ground, won the Costa Novel Award 2021 and was shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction.

Phil Hewitt is group arts editor for Sussex Group Newspapers. His books include Chichester Remembered, Chichester: Then and Now, Gosport: Then and Now, Keep on Running and In The Running. His latest book Outrunning The Demons explores the way running can offer healing after trauma. Phil wrote it after being stabbed and beaten in a vicious Cape Town street attack.

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William Shaw is a crime writer and journalist. His latest book is The Trawlerman, the fourth in his series set in Dungeness and featuring DI Alex Cupidi, who originally appeared as one of the characters in his 2016 novel The Birdwatcher. Writing as G W Shaw, Dead Rich is his first adventure thriller.

Festival chairman Simon Cox is delighted to be back: “This should have happened in 2020 which would been our fifth festival and we had actually expanded it to a two-day event for the first time.”