The poisons used by murderers in the works of Agatha Christie are to investigated as part of this year's Scottish crime writing festival Bloody Scotland.

Bloody Scotland, which runs in Stirling from September 11-13, also features an appearance from one of the biggest names in crime fiction, Martina Cole.

Cole, who has sold around 10m copies in the UK, is to present a preview of her new novel, Get Even,

The festival, in a celebration of the 125th anniversary of the birth of Christie, Dr Kathryn Harkup, author of the book A is for Arsenic, and Christie expert Ragnar Jonasson, will discuss the art of chemistry and the 14 poisoons used by Christie's characters to kill their victims.

Dr Harkup will elucidate the chemistry of each deadly compound and will also use the properties of each poison to "comment on characters and the plot."

Other well known names in crime fiction will be at the festival, including Linwood Barclay, Ian Rankin, Arne Dahl, Val McDermid, Lindsey Davis and Ann Cleeves.

Speaking about the festival, Ms Cole said: "I'm a big fan of Scotland: I've always had a great reception there and I love the rugged beauty of the country as the views are so different from the flat rolling countryside of England.

"I'm very excited about coming to Bloody Scotland with a sneak peak of my new book and looking forward to discussing it with Erwin James: he's a good friend."

Linwood Barclay, author of thirteen novels including best-sellers Trust Your Eyes, A Tap on the Window and No Time for Goodbye, will close the festival.

Lindsey Davis, the creator of Roman detective Falco, will be at Stirling's Albert Halls as she introduces her new novel Deadly Election.

Arne Dahl, the successful Swedish crime writer, returns to Bloody Scotland following the success of his series about the Intercrime Unit on BBC4.

Dom Hastings, the manager of the festival, said: "I think we've put together a really strong programme this year. "We're delighted to have so many major, internationally successful names visiting Bloody Scotland.

"The breadth of writers in this programme really shows what a diverse genre crime writing is - there really is something for everybody.

"This festival is created for people who are passionate about crime writing, and I think that's something to be celebrated - it's an open, accessible weekend, and above everything else, it's a lot of serious fun."

Ian Rankin will speak with Philip Kerr, author of the Bernie Gunther novels, to discuss "what happens when your lead detective becomes even more popular than you are."

He added: "It is so exciting to get Martina Cole as we have been trying to have her here for several years.

"It is quite a coup to get her, she is a multi-million seller and she is not doing many festivals.

"Last year we had 5661 attendees and we think this year will also be successful.

"People are coming back, year on year."

Cleeves will not only be appearing at the festival, but will be taking a group of readers on a trip to Shetland immediately after the festival proper finishes for a tour of the landscapes that inspired her Jimmy Perez novels.

Denise Mina teams up with award-winning South African-based novelist Belinda Bauer to discuss the creations of intelligent, character-driven fiction.

There will also be a Scotland vs England crime writers football match, with Rankin, Christopher Brookmyre and Doug Johnstone in the Scotland side.

Scottish crime writers including William McIlvanney, Doug Johnstone, Craig Robertson and Neil Broadfoot look at what make Glasgow and Edinburgh such distinctive settings for 'noir' fiction.

The festival will also include the fourth annual Bloody Scotland Crime Book of the Year Award.

Last year's winner, Peter May, will be opening the festival in conversation with Val McDermid.