A CRIME writer has named Hexham Abbey as the perfect setting for a novel.

Val McDermid, who is appearing at this year's Hexham Book Festival, gave an interview to BBC Radio Newcastle where she suggests she has always wanted to set a book in the historic church.

The festival, which will run from June 10-19, is back for its 17th year with a line-up of more than 100 authors and events.

The popular event takes place at venues across the town, including the Queen's Hall Arts Centre and a vintage Spiegeltent in the Abbey grounds.

Children's festival Storyland, made possible by funding from The Gillian Dickinson Trust and Arts Council England, will also run.

Director of Hexham Book Festival Susie Troup said: "Val McDermid has been a fantastic supporter and friend of Hexham Book Festival since 2009 when she was a guest director and introduced audiences to some fabulous new talent in the world of crime fiction, and we are so thrilled that she will be joining us again 12 years on.

"The festival is all about inspiring creativity and getting the inside track from authors so this is hopefully a snapshot of what festival-goers can expect from the event."

Tickets are on sale at www.hexhambookfestival.co.uk