Some of the darkest criminal minds from across Europe will be descending on Norwich this week, but don’t worry – they only write about murder and mayhem.

The punningly-titled Noirwich Crime Writing Festival gets underway on Thursday, and offers four days devoted to this popular genre, exploring a range of storytelling approaches through debates and readings.

For those who fancy putting together the perfect crime themselves – purely for literary purposes, of course – there are also workshops on writing a spy thriller and creating convincing criminal characters.

The festival kicks off on Thursday with an evening with James Runcie, who created the popular Grantchester Mysteries featuring full-time priest and part-time detective Sidney Chambers.

The night also sees the launch of Postmortem, an anthology of crime fiction work by this year’s graduates of the UEA Creative Writing MA.

Watch this stylish Noirwich promo video to get you in the mood

Journalist and broadcaster turned author George Alagaih gives the keynote festival lecture on Friday night, rounding off a day of salons featuring Ben Smith, Corinne Le Quéré, Steve Burrows, and James Henry.

There are further readings and discussions over Saturday and Sunday, including material from debut authors Sara Collins, Nicola Rayner and Kate Weinberg; Apple Tree Yard author Louise Doughty; and European noir writers Simone Buchholz and Antti Tuomainen.

The festival rounds off with the official arrival of Icelandic writer Yrsa Sigurðardóttir as the first UNESCO Noirwich Writer in Residence.

For full details and to book tickets visit the Noirwich festival website.