Tuesday, November 24, 2020

The Petrona Award 2020 - Shortlist

From the press release which was embargoed until 8.00am today:

Outstanding crime fiction from Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden shortlisted for the 2020 Petrona Award


Six outstanding crime novels from Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden have been shortlisted for the 2020 Petrona Award for the Best Scandinavian Crime Novel of the Year. The shortlist is announced today, Tuesday 24 November.


THE COURIER by Kjell Ola Dahl, tr. Don Bartlett (Orenda Books; Norway) 

INBORN by Thomas Enger, tr. Kari Dickson (Orenda Books; Norway) 

THE CABIN by Jørn Lier Horst, tr. Anne Bruce (Michael Joseph; Norway)

THE SILVER ROAD by Stina Jackson, tr. Susan Beard (Corvus; Sweden)

THE ABSOLUTION by Yrsa Sigurðardóttir, tr. Victoria Cribb (Hodder & Stoughton; Iceland) 

LITTLE SIBERIA by Antti Tuomainen, tr. David Hackston (Orenda Books; Finland)


The winning title, usually announced at the international crime fiction convention CrimeFest, will now be announced on Thursday 3 December 2020. The winning author and the translator of the winning title will both receive a cash prize, and the winning author will receive a full pass to and a guaranteed panel at CrimeFest 2022.

The Petrona Award is open to crime fiction in translation, either written by a Scandinavian author or set in Scandinavia, and published in the UK in the previous calendar year.

The Petrona team would like to thank our sponsor, David Hicks, for his continued generous support of the Petrona Award. We would also like to thank Sarah Ward, who has now stood down from the judging panel, for her valuable contributions over many years. We wish her every success with her new Gothic thriller, The Quickening, published under the name Rhiannon Ward. We are delighted to have Jake Kerridge, The Daily Telegraph’s crime fiction critic, join the Petrona team as a guest judge for this year’s Award. 


The judges’ comments on the shortlist:

There were 37 entries for the 2020 Petrona Award from six countries (Denmark, Finland, France, Iceland, Norway, Sweden). The novels were translated by 24 translators and submitted by 21 publishers/imprints. There were 13 female and 24 male authors. 

This year’s Petrona Award shortlist sees Norway strongly represented with three novels; Finland, Iceland and Sweden each have one. The crime genres represented include the police procedural, historical crime, literary crime, comedy crime and thriller.

The Petrona Award judges selected the shortlist from a rich field. The six novels stand out for their writing, characterisation, plotting, and overall quality. They are original and inventive, often pushing the boundaries of genre conventions, and tackle highly complex subjects such as legacies of the past, mental health issues and the effects of grief. Three of the shortlisted titles explore the subject of criminality from an adolescent perspective.

We are extremely grateful to the six translators whose expertise and skill have allowed readers to access these gems of Scandinavian crime fiction, and to the publishers who continue to champion and support translated fiction.

 

The judges’ comments on each of the shortlisted titles:


THE COURIER by Kjell Ola Dahl, tr. Don Bartlett (Orenda Books; Norway) 

Kjell Ola Dahl made his debut in 1993, and has since published seventeen novels, most notably those in the ‘Gunnarstranda and Frølich’ police procedural series. In 2000, he won the Riverton Prize for The Last Fix, and the prestigious Brage and Riverton Prizes for The Courier in 2015. In much the same way as Icelandic author Arnaldur Indriðason, Dahl explores the experience of the Second World War by moving away from the linear murder mystery to something far more searching and emotionally driven. The Courier is an intelligent and absorbing standalone that offers a perceptive and highly moving exploration of Scandinavian history. It traverses changing times and cultural norms, and traces the growing self-awareness of a truly memorable female protagonist.


INBORN by Thomas Enger, tr. Kari Dickson (Orenda Books; Norway) 

Thomas Enger worked for many years for Norway’s first online newspaper, Nettavisen, and as an author is best-known for his five novels featuring the journalist-sleuth Henning Juul, one of which – Pierced – was shortlisted for the Petrona Award in 2013. He has also won prizes for his thrillers for young adults. Inborn, his first standalone novel to be translated into English, tells the story of a murder trial from the perspective of the seventeen-year-old defendant, and combines a gripping courtroom drama with a tender and intriguing portrait of Norwegian small-town life, and the secrets bubbling away beneath its surface.



THE CABIN by Jørn Lier Horst, tr. Anne Bruce (Michael Joseph; Norway)

Having previously worked as a police officer, Jørn Lier Horst has established himself as one of the most successful Scandinavian authors of the last twenty years. Horst’s previous ‘William Wisting’ novel, The Katharina Code, won the 2019 Petrona Award for Best Scandinavian Crime Novel, as well as the Nordic Noir Thriller of the Year in 2018. The Cabin sees Chief Inspector Wisting juggling the demands of two testing cases, leading him into the path of an old adversary and plunging him into the criminal underworld. Horst has once again produced an impeccably crafted police procedural with a deft control of pace and tension.



THE SILVER ROAD by Stina Jackson, tr. Susan Beard (Corvus; Sweden)

The Silver Road is Stina Jackson’s highly accomplished debut. It has achieved remarkable success, winning the 2018 Award for Best Swedish Crime Novel, the 2019 Glass Key Award, and the 2019 Swedish Book of the Year Award. Set in northern Sweden, where Jackson herself grew up, the novel explores the aftermath of teenager Lina’s disappearance, and her father Lelle’s quest to find her by driving the length of the Silver Road under the midnight sun. Three years on, young Meja arrives in town: her navigation of adolescence and first-time love will lead her and Lelle’s paths to cross. The Silver Road is a haunting depiction of grief, longing and obsession, with lots of heart and a tremendous sense of place.



THE ABSOLUTION by Yrsa Sigurðardóttir, tr. Victoria Cribb (Hodder & Stoughton; Iceland) 

A full-time civil engineer as well as a prolific writer for both adults and children, Yrsa Sigurðardóttir is one of Iceland’s best-selling and most garlanded crime novelists, and the winner of the 2015 Petrona Award for The Silence of the Sea. The Absolution is the third entry in her ‘Children’s House’ series, and features a very modern killer who targets teenagers with an MO involving Snapchat. This artfully plotted and thought-provoking book continues the series’ focus on the long-lasting impact of childhood trauma, with welcome light relief provided by the mismatched investigators, detective Huldar and child psychologist Freyja.



LITTLE SIBERIA by Antti Tuomainen, tr. David Hackston (Orenda Books; Finland)

Antti Tuomainen is a versatile crime writer, whose works draw on genres as varied as the dystopian thriller and comedy crime caper. His third novel, The Healer, won the Clue Award for Best Finnish Crime Novel in 2011 and he has been shortlisted for the Glass Key, Petrona and Last Laugh Awards, as well as the CWA Crime Fiction in Translation Dagger. Little Siberia, set in an icy northern Finland, opens with a bang when a meteorite unexpectedly lands on a speeding car. Transferred to the local museum for safe keeping, the valuable object is guarded from thieves by local priest Joel, who is grappling with both a marital crisis and a crisis of faith. Absurdist black humour is expertly combined with a warm, perceptive exploration of what it means to be human.


 The judges

Jackie Farrant – Crime fiction expert and creator of RAVEN CRIME READS; bookseller for eighteen years and a Regional Commercial Manager for a major book chain in the UK.

Dr. Kat Hall – Translator and editor; Honorary Research Associate at Swansea University; international crime fiction reviewer at MRS. PEABODY INVESTIGATES.

Jake Kerridge Journalist and literary critic. He has been the crime fiction reviewer of the Daily Telegraph since 2005 and has judged many crime and thriller prizes.

 

Award administrator


Karen Meek
owner of the EURO CRIME website, reviewer, former CWA judge for the International Dagger, and Library Assistant.


Further information can be found on the Petrona Award website: http://www.petronaaward.co.uk.

Images of the Petrona Award logo and the shortlisted titles are available (from 8.00am) at:

https://www.flickr.com/gp/swanseauniversity/37x67d

(copy & paste link into browser)


Monday, November 23, 2020

CWA Daggers 2020 - Winners

Apologies for the delay in posting this and many congratulations to all the winners and translators.

CWA Dagger Awards 2020 Winners Announced

Michael Robotham, Lou Berney, Casey Cep, and Abir Mukherjee win 2020 CWA Dagger awards.

The winners of the 2020 CWA Daggers, which honour the very best in the crime writing genre, have been announced.

The world-famous Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) Daggers are the oldest awards in the genre and have been synonymous with quality crime writing for over half a century.

The winners were announced during a live virtual ceremony (on evening of 22 October), hosted by one of the UK’s leading experts on crime fiction, the writer and reviewer Barry Forshaw.  The evening also featured guest speaker, Richard Osman.

The 2020 CWA Gold Dagger for the best crime novel went to Michael Robotham for Good Girl, Bad Girl, featuring forensic psychologist, Cyrus Haven. Born in Australia, Michael worked as a journalist in Australia, America and the UK as senior feature writer for the Mail on Sunday before becoming a ghost writer collaborating with politicians and show business personalities to write their autobiographies. Since his first psychological thriller, The Suspect caused a bidding war at the London Book Fair in 2002, his novels have won numerous awards and have been translated into 25 languages. He was previously awarded the Gold Dagger for Life or Death in 2015.

Lou Berney has won the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger for best thriller for November Road, a poignant crime novel set against the assassination of JF Kennedy. The novel attracted widespread acclaim from reviewers and fellow authors alike, with Stephen King declaring it ‘exceptional’. The American author has previously won the Edgar, Anthony, Macavity, Barry, and Oklahoma Book awards. Berney was also Highly Commended in the CWA Gold Dagger category.

The much-anticipated John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger highlights the best debut novels. This year the accolade goes to Trevor Wood for The Man on the Street, featuring a homeless veteran grappling with PTSD, dubbed by Lee Child as ‘an instant classic’. Wood, a journalist and playwright, has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. He served in the Royal Navy for 16 years.

Abir Mukherjee wins the Sapere Books Historical Dagger for his fourth novel featuring Sam Wyndham, Death in the East. The accountant turned crime writer was inspired to become an author after watching Lee Child on breakfast TV say he started writing age 40. Abir’s debut, A Rising Man, won the Dagger for best historical crime novel in 2017. Death in the East explores the legacy of colonialism in India.

The Crime Fiction in Translation Dagger goes to Hannelore Cayre for The Godmother, translated by Stephanie Smee. Hannelore Cayre is an award-winning French novelist, screenwriter and director, as well as a practising criminal lawyer. The Godmother has been made into a feature film starring Isabelle Huppert. Stephanie Smee, who lives in Sydney, worked as a lawyer in Sydney and London before becoming a translator, specialising in French to English.

The ALCS Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction is awarded to Casey Cep, a staff writer at the New York Times whose first book Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud and the Last Trial of Harper Lee, has received acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic. An instant New York Times bestseller, Furious Hours was a Barack Obama Book of the Year.

The CWA Daggers are one of the few high-profile awards that honour the short story. Lauren Henderson receives the Short Story Dagger for #Me Too which features in the anthology Invisible Blood, edited by Maxim Jakubowski.

Linda Stratmann, Chair of the Crime Writers’ Association, said: “The winners, and all those who were in contention for a Dagger are, as always, to be commended. One thing the pandemic and lockdown has taught us is the value and importance of books and storytelling – for escapism and comfort and for our well-being. Books have always been the conduit to other worlds and into other lives. They let us know we are not alone, so our 2020 virtual awards feel even more significant as many vulnerable people are in enforced isolation and we are all socially distancing. We’re proud to celebrate the crime genre.”

The Dagger in the Library is voted on exclusively by librarians, chosen for the author’s body of work and support of libraries. This year it goes to Scottish novelist Christopher Brookmyre, whose books mix comedy, politics and social comment. The journalist turned award-winning novelist is widely considered as one of Britain’s leading crime authors, selling more than two million copies of his novels in the UK alone.

One of the anticipated highlights of the annual Daggers is the Debut Dagger competition, open to unknown and uncontracted writers. The competition for unpublished writers can lead to them securing representation and a publishing contract. This year the winner is Josephine Moulds for Revolution Never Lies. Anna Caig was Highly Commended for The Spae-Wife.

The Best Crime and Mystery Publisher of the Year Dagger, which celebrates publishers and imprints demonstrating excellence and diversity in crime writing, goes to Orenda Books. The London-based publisher was established in 2014 by Karen Sullivan.

Writer Barry Forshaw, MC for the Dagger Awards evening, said: “The CWA Dagger Awards are the most prestigious prizes in crime fiction, and this year has furnished a particularly strong set of books and authors. Nothing dampens the excitement of the Daggers – not even pandemics!”

One of the UK’s most prominent societies for the promotion and promulgation of crime writing, the CWA was founded in 1953 by John Creasy; the awards started in 1955 with its first award going to Winston Graham, best known for Poldark. They are regarded by the publishing world as the foremost British awards for crime-writing.

The Winners:

GOLD DAGGER

Michael Robotham: Good Girl, Bad Girl (Sphere)

Lou Berney: November Road (Harper Fiction) – Highly Commended

IAN FLEMING STEEL DAGGER

Lou Berney: November Road (Harper Fiction)

JOHN CREASEY (NEW BLOOD) DAGGER

Trevor Wood: The Man on the Street (Quercus Fiction)

SAPERE BOOKS HISTORICAL DAGGER

Abir Mukherjee: Death in the East (Harvill Secker)

CRIME FICTION IN TRANSLATION DAGGER

Hannelore Cayre: The Godmother, translated by Stephanie Smee (Old Street Publishing)

SHORT STORY DAGGER

Lauren Henderson: #Me Too in Invisible Blood, edited by Maxim Jakubowski (Titan Books)

ALCS GOLD DAGGER FOR NON-FICTION

Casey Cep: Furious Hours (William Heinemann)

DAGGER IN THE LIBRARY

Christopher Brookmyre

DEBUT DAGGER

Josephine Moulds: Revolution Never Lies

Anna Caig: The Spae-Wife - Highly Commended

PUBLISHERS’ DAGGER

Orenda Books

DIAMOND DAGGER

Awarded every year to an author whose crime-writing career has been marked by sustained excellence, and who has made a significant contribution to the genre. Votes from CWA members go forward to be deliberated on by an independent panel.

This Dagger is announced in early spring each year and in 2020 goes to celebrated Golden Age specialist, anthology editor, reviewer and fiction writer Martin Edwards.

Monday, August 31, 2020

New Releases - August 2020

Here's a snapshot of what I think was published for the first time in paperback or hardback, in August 2020 (and is usually a UK date but occasionally will be a US or Australian date). Apologies for the continuing delay with these posts.

If I've missed anything or got the date wrong, do please leave a comment. There's been a lot of moving of dates.
Anthology - Vintage Crime (ed. Martin Edwards)
Stefan Ahnhem - X Ways to Die #5 Fabian Risk
Lin Anderson - The Innocent Dead #16 Rhona MacLeod, forensic scientist, Glasgow
Jennifer Ashley - Murder in the East End #4 Kat Holloway, Victorian Era
Claire Askew - Cover Your Tracks #3 DI Helen Birch
Kerry Barnes - Voice Of Reason
James Brabazon - Arkhangel #2 Max McLean
Graham Brack - Untrue Till Death #2 Master Mercurius
Lisa Bradley - Paper Dolls
Ros Carne - The Pupil
Will Carver - Hinton Hollow Death Trip #3 DS Pace
John Connolly - The Dirty South #18 Charlie Parker, PI, Maine
J M Dalgliesh - Kill Our Sins #3 Tom Janssen
Louisa de Lange - Nowhere to be Found # 2 DS Kate Munro
Oscar de Muriel - The Dance of the Serpents #6 Frey & McGray, Edinburgh, 1880s
Gary Donnelly - Killing in Your Name #2 DI Owen Sheen, Northern Ireland
Claire Douglas - Just Like the Other Girls
Jim Eldridge - Murder at the Natural History Museum #5 Former Detective Inspector Daniel Wilson
T P Fielden - Stealing the Crown #1 Guy Harford
Paul Finch - One Eye Open
Helen FitzGerald - Ash Mountain
Ann Marti Friedman - A Fine Tapestry of Murder
Paul Gitsham - A Price to Pay #7 DCI Warren Jones
Susanna Gregory - The Clerkenwell Affair #14 Thomas Chaloner, Restoration London
Araminta Hall - Imperfect Women
Sophie Hannah - The Killings at Kingfisher Hill #4 Hercule Poirot
Carol Hedges - Fame & Fortune #8 Victorian Detectives
Mandasue Heller - Witness
Antonia Hodgson - The Silver Collar #4 Tom Hawkins, London, 1727
Anthony Horowitz - Moonflower Murders #2 Susan Ryland
Catherine Ryan Howard - The Nothing Man
Naomi Joy - Do Her No Harm
Christobel Kent - The Viper #6 Sandro Cellini, ex-cop and private detective, Florence
Vaseem Khan - Midnight at Malabar House #1 Inspector Persis Wadia
Erin Kinsley - Innocent
JD Kirk - The Big Man Upstairs #7 DCI Logan
Lynda La Plante - Blunt Force #6 WPC Tennison
Simon Lelic - The Search Party
Simon Mayo - Knife Edge
Val McDermid - Still Life #6 Karen Pirie
Chris Merritt - Who's Next? #2 Detectives Lockhart and Green
Denise Mina - The Less Dead
Richard Osman - The Thursday Murder Club
Ben Pastor - The Night of Shooting Stars #7 Wehrmacht Captain Martin Bora, 1939
Alex Pavesi - Eight Detectives
C S Quinn - The Scarlet Code #2 Attica Morgan, English Spy, French Revoultion
Kate Riordan - The Heatwave
Jacqui Rose - Rival
Kate Simants - A Ruined Girl
Sally Spedding - Blood At Beltane #3 Delphine Rougier
A D Swanston - Chaos #2 Dr Christopher Radcliff, Elizabethan Era
Ilaria Tuti - Painted in Blood #2 Teresa Battaglia
Harriet Tyce - The Lies You Told
Paul Walker - The Queen's Devil #3 William Constable, C16
Rhiannon Ward - The Quickening
S J Watson - Final Cut
Andrew Wilson - I Saw Him Die #4 Agatha Christie

Friday, August 28, 2020

New Releases - July 2020

Here's a snapshot of what I think was published for the first time in paperback or hardback, in July 2020 (and is usually a UK date but occasionally will be a US or Australian date). Apologies for the continuing delay with these posts.

If I've missed anything or got the date wrong, do please leave a comment. There's been a lot of moving of dates.
Sarah Alderson - The Weekend Away
Ingrid Alexandra - Across the Water
Rachel Amphlett - Turn to Dust #9 Detective Kay Hunter
Ross Armstrong - The Falling Men
Andrew Barrettt - This Side of Death #6 CSI Eddie Collins
B Baskerville - Roll The Dice # 3 DCI Erica Cooper
Mark Billingham - Cry Baby #17 DI Tom Thorne, London
Rebecca Bradley - Perfect Murder
Rebecca Bradley - Kill For Me #5 DI Hannah Robbins
Rebecca Bradley - A Deeper Song #6 DI Hannah Robbins
David Bradwell - The Blood Of Angels #1 Clare Woodbrook
J C Briggs - The Redemption Murders #6 Charles Dickens and Superintendent Jones
Matt Brolly - The Descent #2 Detective Louise Blackwell
Michel Bussi - Never Forget
John Carson - Devil to Pay #6 DCI Harry McNeil
Chris Carter - Written in Blood #11 Homicide Detective Robert Hunter, LA
Karen Cole - Deny Me
Adam Croft - What Lies Beneath #1 Rutland crime series
Morgan Cry - Thirty-One Bones
P C Doherty - Hymn to Murder #21 Hugh Corbett
Sabine Durrant - Finders, Keepers
T W Ellis - A Knock at the Door
M J Ford - Watch Over You #3 DS Josie Masters
Christopher Fowler - Bryant & May - Oranges and Lemons #17 Inspectors Bryant and May, London
Michelle Frances - Sisters
Caz Frear - Shed No Tears #3 DC Cat Kinsella, London
Dianne Freeman - A Lady's Guide to Mischief and Murder #3 Countess of Harleigh, Victorian England
Charlie Gallagher - The Deadly Houses #6 Detective Maddie Ives
D J Gatwood - Grimm Up North #1 DCI Harry Grimm
David Gilman - The Englishman
G R Halliday - Dark Waters #2 DI Monica Kennedy, Inverness
David Jackson - The Resident
Ed James -Flesh and Blood #2 DS Vicky Dodds
P D James - The Part-Time Job (Novella)
Peter James - Find Them Dead #16 Detective Superintendent Roy Grace, Brighton
Amanda Jennings - The Storm
Olivia Kiernan - If Looks Could Kill #3 DCS Frankie Sheehan
Dorothy Koomson - All My Lies Are True #2 The Ice Cream Girls
Stephen Leather - Slow Burn #17 Dan Shepherd, SAS trooper turned undercover cop
M J Lee - Where the Innocent Die #4 DI Ridpath
Charlotte Levin - If I Can't Have You
Peter Lovesey - The Finisher #19 Peter Diamond, Bath
Shona MacLean - The House of Lamentations #5 Damian Seeker, agent of the Lord Protector, 1654
Gillian McAllister - How to Disappear
Simon McCleave - The Berwyn River Killings #5 DI Ruth Hunter
Louise McCreesh - Cracked
Andy McDermott - Operative 66
Kathleen McGurl - The Secret of the Chateau
Kate McQuaile - Broken Flowers
G J Minett - The Syndicate
Caroline Mitchell - Left For Dead #3 Detective Amy Winter
Lottie Moggach - Brixton Hill
Catherine Moloney - Crime in the Ballroom #9 DI Gilbert Markham
Allison Montclair - A Royal Affair #2 Sparks and Bainbridge, London, Post WW2
Margaret Murphy - Before He Kills Again #1 DC Cassie Rowan, Liverpool
Barbara Nadel - A Time to Die #7 PI Lee Arnold and his assistant, Mumtaz Hakim. East End London
Chris Nickson - The Anchoress of Chesterfield #4 John the Carpenter, 1361
Alex North - The Shadow Friend
David Pearson - Lethal in Small Doses #4 The Dublin Homicides
Christoffer Petersen - The Bolivian Girl
Charlotte Philby - A Double Life
Brian L Porter - A Liverpool Lullaby #8 Mersey Murder Mysteries
Suzy K Quinn - Not My Daughter
Khurrum Rahman - Ride or Die #3 Jay Qasim
Rod Reynolds - Island of Secrets
Michael Robotham - When She Was Good #2 Cyrus Haven
Michael Russell - The City Under Siege #6 Garda Detective Stefan Gillespie
Leigh Russell - Deadly Revenge #14 DI Geraldine Steel
Eva García Sáenz - The Silence of the White City #1 Inspector Unai Lopez de Ayala
Nicholas Shakespeare - The Sandpit
William Shaw - Grave's End #3 DS Alexandra Cupidi
Yrsa Sigurdardottir - Gallows Rock #4 Children's House series
Rob Sinclair - Imposter 13 #3 Sleeper 13 series
Alex Smith - Whip Crack #4 DCI Robert Kett, Norfolk
Cath Staincliffe - Quiet Acts of Violence
Lisa Stone - Taken
Linda Stratmann - His Father's Ghost #5 Mina Scarletti, Brighton, 1871
Oliver Tidy - The Harm Farm
Marion Todd - See Them Run #1 DI Clare Mackay
Marion Todd - In Plain Sight #2 DI Clare Mackay
Peter Tremayne - The Shapeshifter's Lair #29 Sister Fidelma
Camilla Trinchieri - Murder in Chianti #1 Nico Doyle, Chianti, Italy
Harriet Walker - The New Girl
Jemma Wayne - To Dare

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Royalty in crime (the Windsors)

I've written a couple of brief posts on The Queen's involvement in fictional crime and I've recently come across a couple more recent and upcoming crime and non-crime novels set in Royalty-land, two involving The Queen and Prince Philip.

This series by Allison Montclair, featuring Iris Sparks and Gwendolyn Bainbridge of The Right Sort Marriage Bureau, had completely passed me by but the second book A Royal Affair which has just been published (in the US), caught my eye:

Blurb from amazon:
In London 1946, The Right Sort Marriage Bureau is just beginning to take off and the proprietors, Miss Iris Sparks and Mrs. Gwendolyn Bainbridge, are in need of a bigger office and a secretary to handle the growing demand. Unfortunately, they don't yet have the necessary means. So when a woman arrives - a cousin of Gwen's - with an interesting and quite remunerative proposition, they two of them are all ears. The cousin, one Lady Matheson, works for the Queen in 'some capacity' and is in need of some discreet investigation. It seems that the Princess Elizabeth has developed feelings for a dashing Greek prince and a blackmail note has arrived, alluding to some potentially damaging information about said prince. Wanting to keep this out of the palace gossip circles, but also needing to find out what skeletons might lurk in the prince's closet, the palace has quietly turned to Gwen and Iris. Without causing a stir, the two of them must now find out what secrets lurk in the prince's past, before his engagement to the future Queen of England is announced. And there's more at stake than the future of the Empire - there is their potential new office that lies in the balance.

Flora Harding's Before The Crown comes out in ebook next month and paperback in December. I received a review copy via Netgalley. It's not a crime novel but is an enjoyable, easy read fictionalising the courtship of Elizabeth and Philip. It's full of short chapters, initially alternating between the two leads and then stays with each character for a few chapters at a time when they are separated. It's the sort of book where you don't know how much is true so sends you scurrying off to google:

Blurb from amazon:
Before the crown there was a love story…
Windsor Castle, 1943

As war rages across the world, Princess Elizabeth comes face to face with the dashing naval officer she first met in London nine years before.

One of the youngest first lieutenants in the Royal Navy, Philip represents everything she has always been taught to avoid. Instability. Audacity. Adventure.

But when the king learns of their relationship, the suitability of the foreign prince is questioned by all at court.

He is the risk she has never been allowed to take. The risk not even the shadow of the crown will stop her from taking…



Back to crime and earlier than the two novels above, is TP Fielden's Stealing the Crown, which was published this month:

Blurb from amazon:
Britain is at war—but the greatest threat to the Crown might be within the Palace walls.

London, 1941: Major Edgar Brampton is found shot dead in his office in Buckingham Palace. All signs point towards a self-inflicted tragedy, but when Palace authorities hurry his body away and order staff to stay silent, fellow courtier Guy Harford’s suspicions are raised.

While the outside world faces the onslaught of war, within the Palace walls a curious mystery unfolds. Rumours swirl about Brampton’s relationship with the Queen, and there’s talk of other plots involving those closest to the King.

To get to the bottom of what really happened, Guy joins forces with some unlikely allies—Rodie Carr, a beautiful East End burglar, and Rupert Hardacre, a postman with a past—but time may be running out…for him, for the King, and for Britain. Someone has their eye on the crown, and they’ll do anything to get it.

Can Guy solve the case before more blood is spilled on the royal carpets? Or will he be the next victim?

S J Bennett's The Windsor Knot, which I mentioned in an earlier post, now has cover, blurb and release date of 29 October 2020.

Blurb from amazon:
On a perfect Spring morning at Windsor Castle, Queen Elizabeth II will enjoy a cup of tea, carry out all her royal duties . . . and solve a murder.

The morning after a dinner party at Windsor Castle, eighty-nine-year-old Queen Elizabeth is shocked to discover that one of her guests has been found murdered in his room, with a rope around his neck.

When the police begin to suspect her loyal servants, Her Majesty knows they are looking in the wrong place.

For the Queen has been living an extraordinary double life ever since her coronation. Away from the public eye, she has a brilliant knack for solving crimes.

With her household's happiness on the line, her secret must not get out. Can the Queen and her trusted secretary Rozie catch the killer, without getting caught themselves?

Miss Marple meets The Crown in The Windsor Knot, the first book in the 'Her Majesty The Queen Investigates' mystery series by SJ Bennett - for fans of The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman, Agatha Christie and M.C. Beaton's Agatha Raisin.

Monday, August 10, 2020

CWA Daggers 2020 - Shortlists

Here is the press release announcing the CWA Dagger 2020 Shortlists. The winners will be announced on 22 October.


CWA DAGGERS 2020 SHORTLISTS ANNOUNCED


The 2020 shortlists for the prestigious CWA Dagger awards, which honour the very best in the crime writing genre, have been announced.

The world-famous Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) Daggers are the oldest awards in the genre and have been synonymous with quality crime writing for over half a century.

Mick Herron’s Joe Country, Claire Askew’s What You Pay For and Lou Berney’s November Road are all in contention for the CWA Gold Dagger, awarded to the best crime novel. November Road is also on the shortlist for the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger for the best thriller, up against One Way Out by AA Dhand, Between Two Evils by Eva Dolan and the Richard and Judy pick The Whisper Man by Alex North.

Linda Stratmann, Chair of the Crime Writers’ Association, said: “As the CWA Daggers are unmatched for their reputation and longevity, these shortlists offer a showcase of the finest writing in crime fiction and non-fiction. They reveal the remarkable variety and huge relevance of the genre, which continues to dominate book sales and to shape our cultural landscape.”

The much-anticipated John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger highlights the best debut novels. Among the six shortlisted debuts are Little White Lies by Philippa East, acclaimed as ‘unputdownable’, and Trevor Wood, who served in the Royal Navy for 16 years, makes the list with The Man on the Street, featuring a homeless veteran grappling with PTSD, dubbed by Lee Child as ‘an instant classic’.

Abir Mukherjee’s Death in the East is not only shortlisted for the Gold Dagger but also the Sapere Books Historical Dagger. He contends with Metropolis, completed just before Philip Kerr’s untimely death and SG Maclean, who won the Dagger last year for Destroying Angel; she returns with The Bear Pit.

The Crime Fiction in Translation Dagger shortlist features Finland’s acclaimed and award-winning writer, Antti Tuomainen, with Little Siberia translated by David Hackston. The king of Helsinki noir is up against Marion Brunet, the winner of the prestigious Grand Prix de Littérature policière in 2018, whose novel Summer of Reckoning is translated by Katherine Gregor.

The CWA Daggers are one of the few high-profile awards that honour the short story.

Syd Moore, who was shortlisted in the category in 2019, returns with her short story ‘Easily Made’ in 12 Strange Days of Christmas. Paul Finch, a former cop and journalist turned bestselling crime writer, sees his short story ‘The New Lad’ (published in the anthology Exit Wounds) make the shortlist. They are up against established authors including Christopher Fowler, author of over fifty novels and short-story collections, and the blockbuster American mystery writer Jeffery Deaver, who won the Short Story Dagger in 2004.

The shortlist for the ALCS Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction includes Casey Cep, a staff writer at the New York Times whose first book Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud and the Last Trial of Harper Lee, has received acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic. Also on the shortlist is Caroline Goode for Honour: Achieving Justice for Banaz Mahmod. It’s the heart-breaking true story of Banaz Mahmod, the young Londoner murdered by her own family for falling in love with the wrong man, adapted for TV starring Keeley Hawes as Detective Chief Inspector Caroline Goode.

The Dagger in the Library is voted on exclusively by librarians, chosen for the author’s body of work and support of libraries. This year’s shortlisted nominees are Christopher Brookmyre, Jane Casey, Alex Gray and Quintin Jardine.

One of the anticipated highlights of the awards is the Debut Dagger competition, open to unknown and uncontracted writers. Settings for the shortlisted novels are varied and range from modern-day America, rural Australia, an organic farm near Bern, 2011 Cuba, a contemporary offshore oil platform and sixteenth century Orkney.

This year also features the Best Crime and Mystery Publisher of the Year Dagger, launched in 2019, which celebrates publishers and imprints demonstrating excellence and diversity in crime writing.

The winners of the 2020 Daggers will be announced at an awards ceremony, due to take place on 22 October.

The Shortlists in Full:

GOLD DAGGER

Claire Askew: What You Pay For (Hodder & Stoughton)

Lou Berney: November Road (Harper Fiction)

John Fairfax: Forced Confessions (Little, Brown)

Mick Herron: Joe Country (John Murray)

Abir Mukherjee: Death in the East (Harvill Secker)

Michael Robotham: Good Girl, Bad Girl (Sphere)


IAN FLEMING STEEL DAGGER

Lou Berney: November Road (Harper Fiction)

Tom Chatfield: This is Gomorrah (Hodder & Stoughton)

AA Dhand: One Way Out (Bantam Press)

Eva Dolan: Between Two Evils (Raven Books)

David Koepp: Cold Storage (HQ)

Alex North: The Whisper Man (Michael Joseph)


JOHN CREASEY (NEW BLOOD) DAGGER

Steph Cha: Your House Will Pay (Faber & Faber)

Samantha Downing: My Lovely Wife (Michael Joseph)

Philippa East: Little White Lies (HQ)

Robin Morgan-Bentley: The Wreckage (Trapeze)

Trevor Wood: The Man on the Street (Quercus Fiction)


SAPERE BOOKS HISTORICAL DAGGER

Alis Hawkins: In Two Minds (The Dome Press)

Philip Kerr: Metropolis (Quercus Fiction)

SG MacLean: The Bear Pit (Quercus Fiction)

Abir Mukherjee: Death in the East (Harvill Secker)

Alex Reeve: The Anarchists’ Club (Raven Books)

Ovidia Yu: The Paper Bark Tree Mystery (Constable)


CRIME FICTION IN TRANSLATION DAGGER

Marion Brunet: Summer of Reckoning, translated by Katherine Gregor (Bitter Lemon Press)

Hannelore Cayre: The Godmother, translated by Stephanie Smee (Old Street Publishing)

K Ferrari: Like Flies from Afar, translated by Adrian Nathan West (Canongate Books)

Jorge Galán: November, translated by Jason Wilson (Constable)

Sergio Olguín: The Fragility of Bodies, translated by Miranda France (Bitter Lemon Press)

Antti Tuomainen: Little Siberia, translated by David Hackston (Orenda Books)


SHORT STORY DAGGER

Jeffery Deaver: The Bully in Exit Wounds, edited by Paul B Kane and Marie O’Regan (Titan Books)

Paul Finch: The New Lad in Exit Wounds, edited by Paul B Kane and Marie O’Regan (Titan Books)

Christopher Fowler: The Washing in Invisible Blood, edited by Maxim Jakubowski (Titan Books)

Lauren Henderson: #Me Too in Invisible Blood, edited by Maxim Jakubowski (Titan Books)

Louise Jensen: The Recipe in Exit Wounds, edited by Paul B Kane and Marie O’Regan (Titan Books)

Syd Moore: Easily Made in 12 Strange Days of Christmas (Point Blank Press)


ALCS GOLD DAGGER FOR NON-FICTION

Casey Cep: Furious Hours (William Heinemann)

Peter Everett: Corrupt Bodies (Icon Books)

Caroline Goode: Honour: Achieving Justice for Banaz Mahmod (Oneworld Publications)

Sean O’Connor: The Fatal Passion of Alma Rattenbury (Simon & Schuster)

Adam Sisman: The Professor and the Parson: A Story of Desire, Deceit and Defrocking (Profile Books)

Susannah Stapleton: The Adventures of Maud West, Lady Detective (Picador)


DAGGER IN THE LIBRARY

Christopher Brookmyre

Jane Casey

Alex Gray

Quintin Jardine


DEBUT DAGGER

Anna Caig: The Spae-Wife

Leanne Fry: Whipstick

Kim Hays: Pesticide

Nicholas Morrish: Emergency Drill

Josephine Moulds: Revolution Never Lies

Michael Munro: Bitter Lake


PUBLISHERS’ DAGGER

Bitter Lemon Press

Harvill Secker

Head of Zeus

HQ

Michael Joseph

Orenda

Raven Books

Severn House

Sunday, August 09, 2020

Golden Age authors & characters living on

I recently posted this brief article about follow-ups to the Queens of Crime, written by modern authors, on my library's Facebook page:




Fans of the Golden Age queens of crime: Agatha Christie, Ngaio Marsh, Dorothy L Sayers, Margery Allingham and Josephine Tey may like to know that their characters and indeed lives carry on in a number of recent books.

Agatha Christie’s infamous 11 day disappearance in 1926 when she absconded to Harrogate has never been officially explained and she does not refer to it in her autobiography. Was it illness after the death of her mother or revenge on her philandering husband that prompted her flight? Or was it due to aliens as postulated by the Doctor Who episode, The Unicorn and the Wasp (available on iPlayer)? The Channel 5 film, Agatha & The Truth of Murder, now available on Netflix, also looks at this event. In books, rather than television, we have Andrew Wilson’s crime series featuring Agatha as the main character which begins with A TALENT FOR MURDER and has another and more sinister take on her disappearance.

If you can’t get enough of Christie’s most famous detective, Hercule Poirot, then you’ll be pleased to know that Sophie Hannah has brought him back to life in a series of books beginning with THE MONOGRAM MURDERS.

Ngaio Marsh’s debonair sleuth Roderick Alleyn returns for one last case in THE MONEY IN THE MORGUE a novel begun and abandoned by Marsh, but now completed by Stella Duffy.

Jill Paton Walsh took up the Lord Peter Wimsey mantle back in 1998 when she was invited to complete Dorothy L Sayers’s THRONES, DOMINATIONS. She has written another Wimsey book based on clues left by Sayers, plus two more from her own ideas.

Margery Allingham is probably best known for her Albert Campion series, televised in 1989/90 starring Peter Davison. Her husband, Pip Youngman Carter, continued the Campion series with two book and an unfinished one which has recently been completed by Mike Ripley as MR CAMPION’S FAREWELL. Ripley has gone on to write six more original Campion novels.

And finally Josephine Tey stars in a series of crime novels by Nicola Upson. As Gordon Daviot, Tey (real name Elizabeth MacKintosh), wrote plays including the hit ‘Richard of Bordeaux’ which starred John Gielgud. And it is this play which forms the backdrop to the first book in Upson’s series, AN EXPERT IN MURDER. In a later book in the series, FEAR IN THE SUNLIGHT, Tey is mixing with the Hitchcocks at Portmeirion.