THE First Minister is set to interview Scottish crime author Ian Rankin at a book festival next month. 

Nicola Sturgeon said getting the chance to interview the author at the Bloody Scotland Crime Writing Festival in Stirling is a "real pleasure".

Rankin also welcomed the oppportunity and praised the SNP leader as one of the world's best-read politicians.

Sturgeon is a keen reader and a big fan of crime fiction, having recently joined the Fun Lovin' Crime Writers band on stage at the Harrogate Crime Festival to sing backing vocals.

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Sturgeon said: "Ian Rankin is one of Scotland's most celebrated crime writers, world-renowned for his page-turning thrillers - so it's a real pleasure for me to interview him at the Bloody Scotland International Crime Writing Festival.

"Now in its eighth year, Bloody Scotland is attracting writers and audiences from around the world with its excellent programme - and I look forward to attending this year's festival."

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Rankin said: "I've probably done hundreds of events during my time as an author but this is a first for me.

"I've no idea what the First Minister will ask or where our conversation will lead.

"I just know she's one of the best-read politicians currently gracing the world stage - and she definitely knows her crime fiction."

Rankin is best known for his Inspector Rebus novels which served as the basis of the Rebus TV series.

The interview will take place on Saturday September 21 at the Albert Halls in Stirling.