Staff at the Lichfield Festival have donned their detective hats ready to do some sleuthing ahead of the annual Lichfield Literary Dinner. The dinner has been running in Lichfield for over 20 years and the Festival has been its custodians since 2006. This year the event, sponsored by local company Miller Homes, takes on a 1920s theme. Celebrating the life and works of Agatha Christie, guests at the dinner can enjoy a menu inspired by dishes from the period, live music from the Aspidistra Drawing Room Orchestra and mystery theatre performed by local actors. Period dress for guests is optional. The guest speaker for this year’s dinner is the award-winning crime author Sophie Hannah, whose novel The Monogram Murders is the first Hercule Poirot Mystery to be published by the Agatha Christie by another author. Published 38 years after Agatha Christie’s last novel, Sleeping Murder, was published in 1976, and 39 years after the final Poirot novel, Curtain, Sophie Hannah’s novel plunges Poirot into a mystery set in 1920s London – a diabolically clever puzzle that can only be solved by the talented Belgian detective and his ‘little grey cells’. The book was released this week and has already attracted a lot of attention for its author, who last year won the 2013 Specsavers National Book Awards Crime Thriller of the Year The dinner is at The George Hotel on October 8. Festival Director Jennifer Mears said: “This new Poirot mystery has had the literary world and fans of Hercule Poirot guessing for months. “Now that the book is released, we are looking forward to bringing Sophie Hannah back to Lichfield to talk about stepping into the shoes of the ‘Queen of Crime’. “We are excited to be carrying on the Literary Dinner tradition in Lichfield and are grateful to The George Hotel for hosting it again this year.” Tickets for the Dinner evening are selling quickly and can be booked through the Festival website or by calling the Festival box office on 01543 306271. The Lichfield Literature Festival runs from October 8 to 12.