Monday, June 22, 2020

US Cozy Review: Murder by the Book by Lauren Elliott

Welcome to another entry in my irregular feature: US cozy review. I recently posted this review on  my library's Facebook page.

I also posted about a way to find 'US cozies' on the Birmingham Library Catalogue  which might be useful if your Library Service uses Spydus.

Murder by the Book by Lauren Elliott

Several tragedies lead Boston Librarian Addie Greyborne to move to the small New England coastal town of Greyborne Harbor. She has inherited her previously unknown great aunt’s estate including a large house and rare book collection. Addie decides to set up her own second-hand and rare books, book-shop, called ‘Beyond the Page’.

Addie has barely opened her new store when things begin to happen including nearly being run-over, a feud with her business neighbour from one side of her shop, a new friendship with her neighbour from the other side of her shop, Serena of SerenaTEA, and a burglary almost under her nose.

The action doesn’t stop there with Addie being persistently targetted at home and at work with actual and attempted break-ins. Fortunately her new friend Serena’s [handsome] brother is the chief of police…

When her friend is arrested for murder Addie decides to clear her friend’s name with or without the police’s help.

This is the first in a new series and the author’s debut. It is quite busy, with never a dull moment. The fairly complicated plot revolves around books and offers some insight into rare-book dealing. It does take a while for the main characters to catchup with the reader regarding why Addie is suffering all these events but it is an enjoyable read overall, if a little frustrating at times.

If you like crime books that don’t contain any or much swearing, mostly off the page violence and a dash of romance with the mystery then this could be for you.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

2020 Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year - Shortlist

The shortlist for the 2020 Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year has been announced. You can vote for one of them until midday 17th July. From their website:
"Have your say. Vote for the ONE shortlisted book that you feel most deserves to be crowned the 2020 Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year. If you voted during the longlist stage,  you can now vote again for your favourite shortlist book as no previous votes are counted when deciding the winner.
Voting for this stage closes at noon on the 17th July, with the winner being announced on the 23rd July in our digital awards ceremony."

The shortlist by author surname:

My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
Worst Case Scenario by Helen FitzGerald
The Lost Man by Jane Harper
Joe Country by Mick Herron
The Chain by Adrian McKinty
Smoke and Ashes by Abir Mukherjee

Friday, June 05, 2020

CWA Daggers 2020 - Longlists

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

The 2020 longlists 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.

The longlist for the CWA Gold Dagger – the award for best crime novel – sees last year’s winner, MW Craven, return with the second book in his Poe series, Black Summer. Craven is up against stiff competition with established and multi-award-winning authors including Elly Griffiths for The Lantern Men, Mick Herron with Joe Country and Abir Mukherjee’s Death in the East all on the list.

The Ian Fleming Steel Dagger is famed for showcasing blockbuster thrillers – past winners include Gillian Flynn and Robert Harris. 2020’s longlist is dominated by the new guard of the genre who are now fixtures on the awards’ calendar. It includes AA Dhand for One Way Out, the fourth in his D I Harry Virdee series set in Bradford, The Whisper Man by Alex North – a Richard and Judy book club pick dubbed the biggest thriller of 2019 (also longlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger) – and Eva Dolan with Between Two Evils. Dolan was shortlisted for the Gold Dagger in 2016. Also on the longlist is another coveted Richard and Judy pick, My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing, a riveting psychological suspense described by Marie Claire magazine as ‘the next Gone Girl’.

Linda Stratmann, Chair of the Crime Writers’ Association, said: “The CWA Dagger longlists showcase crime authors – established and new – at the top of their game. They reveal the wide and diverse nature of the genre and why it is so hugely relevant. Crime novels, stories and non-fiction can be social commentary, entertainment and escapism, an exploration of human nature and reflections of a nation’s psyche. The talent in these longlists demonstrate why crime is the UK’s most popular and enduring genre. The CWA Dagger awards are unparalleled for their reputation and longevity. We are proud to provide a platform for debut, emerging and established authors, and to honour the very best in crime writing.”

The much-anticipated John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger highlights the best debut novels. Among the new class of 2020 to watch for is Owen Matthews with Black Sun – a Sunday Times Crime Book of the Month dubbed the outstanding, page-turning thriller of 2020. Matthews is up against a similarly praised title, Little White Lies by Philippa East, acclaimed for being an addictive, unputdownable thriller. Trevor Wood, who served in the Royal Navy for 16 years, makes the list with The Man on the Street, set in his home city Newcastle, featuring a homeless veteran grappling with PTSD, dubbed by Lee Child as ‘an instant classic’.

Andrew Taylor and Abir Mukherjee flex their writing muscles appearing in two Dagger categories. Taylor’s The King’s Evil (also up for an Ian Fleming Steel Dagger) and Abir Mukherjee’s Death in the East (also longlisted for the Gold Dagger) are both on the Sapere Books Historical Dagger longlist. They contend with Metropolis, the capstone of a fourteen-book journey through the life of Philip Kerr’s signature character, Bernhard Genther, completed just before Kerr’s untimely death.

The longlist for best historical crime novel also features SG Maclean who won the Dagger last year for Destroying Angel, she returns with The Bear Pit. Lynne Truss is in contention with The Man That Got Away, as is Nicola Upson for Sorry for the Dead and Alis Hawkins for In Two Minds.

The Crime Fiction in Translation Dagger sees one of Finland’s most-acclaimed and award-winning writers, Antti Tuomainen with Little Siberia translated by David Hackston. The ‘King of Helsinki Noir’ has seen his novels translated into 25 languages. In a tightly contested longlist, he’s up against the winner of the prestigious French mystery prize 2018 Grand Prix de Littérature policière, Marion Brunet 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. The 2020 CWA Short Story Dagger sees giants of the genre go head to head. It features two short stories from Jeffery Deaver – Connecting the Dots and The Bully. He’s up against fellow American Dean Koontz, who hit the headlines for predicting the coronavirus outbreak in his 1981 novel, The Eyes of Darkness. Koontz is on the longlist for his short story, Kittens.

The ALCS Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction features 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 longlist is The Professor and the Parson by Adam Sisman which reveals how an unlikely Casanova and blacklisted clergyman conned his way around the world and was praised as a ‘white knuckle roller-coaster ride of fibs and frauds’ in the Sunday Telegraph. He joins Red River Girl by Joanna Jolly, an astonishing feat of investigation from the award-winning BBC reporter and documentary maker, focussed on the efforts to seek justice of the murder of teenager Tina Fontaine.

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 sees firm favourites from the genre including Mick Herron, Erin Kelly, Lisa Jewell and Denise Mina on the longlist.

One of the most exciting highlights of the awards is the Debut Dagger competition, open to unknown and uncontracted writers. Names to watch include Anna Caig, who also writes for the Sheffield Telegraph, for The Spae-Wife.

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 CWA Dagger shortlist will be announced later in the year before the glittering awards ceremony due to take place on 22 October with guest speaker, the TV presenter turned crime novelist, Richard Osman. The 2020 Diamond Dagger for lifetime achievement, the highest honour in British crime writing, will be awarded to Martin Edwards on the night.

The CWA has also announced that Della Millward has won the 2020 CWA Margery Allingham Short Mystery Prize for A Time to Confess. She receives £500, a selection of Margery Allingham books and two passes to the international crime writing convention CrimeFest in 2021. Highly commended were Lauren Everdell for Voices and Laila Murphy with Sting in the Tail. The Margery Allingham Society, set up to honour and promote the writings of the great Golden Age author, works with the CWA to operate and fund the writing competition.

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

The Longlists in Full:


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

Gary Bell: Beyond Reasonable Doubt (Raven Books)

Lou Berney: November Road (Harper Fiction)

MW Craven: Black Summer (Constable)

John Fairfax: Forced Confessions (Little, Brown)

Lucy Foley: The Guest List (Harper Fiction)

Elly Griffiths: The Lantern Men (Quercus Fiction)

Chris Hammer: Silver (Wildfire)

Mick Herron: Joe Country (John Murray)

SG MacLean: The Bear Pit (Quercus Fiction)

Patrick McGuinness: Throw Me to the Wolves (Jonathan Cape)

Abir Mukherjee: Death in the East (Harvill Secker)

Alex North: The Whisper Man (Michael Joseph)

Scott Phillips: That Left Turn at Albuquerque (Soho Crime)

Michael Robotham: Good Girl, Bad Girl (Sphere)

Tim Weaver: No One Home (Michael Joseph)


Lou Berney: November Road (Harper Fiction)

Tom Chatfield: This is Gomorrah (Hodder & Stoughton)

Karen Cleveland: Keep You Close (Bantam Press)

AA Dhand: One Way Out (Bantam Press)

Eva Dolan: Between Two Evils (Raven Books)

Helen Fields: Perfect Kill (Avon)

Oliver Harris: A Shadow Intelligence (Little, Brown)

Peter Heller: The River (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)

Greg Iles: Cemetery Road (Harper Fiction)

David Koepp: Cold Storage (HQ)

Adrian McKinty: The Chain (Orion Fiction)

Alex North: The Whisper Man (Michael Joseph)

Andrew Taylor: The King’s Evil (Harper Fiction)


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

Sherryl Clark: Trust Me, I'm Dead (Verve Books)

Samantha Downing: My Lovely Wife (Michael Joseph)

Philippa East: Little White Lies (HQ)

Andrew James Greig: Whirligig (Fledgling Press)

AS Hatch: This Dark Little Place (Serpent's Tail)

James Von Leyden: A Death in the Medina (Constable)

Deborah Masson: Hold Your Tongue (Corgi)

Owen Matthews: Black Sun (Bantam Press)

Felicity McLean: The Van Apfel Girls Are Gone (Point Blank)

Robin Morgan-Bentley: The Wreckage (Trapeze)

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


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)

SW Perry: The Serpent’s Mark (Corvus)

Alex Reeve: The Anarchists’ Club (Raven Books)

Gareth Rubin: Liberation Square (Michael Joseph)

SD Sykes: The Bone Fire (Hodder & Stoughton)

Andrew Taylor: The King’s Evil (Harper Collins)

Lynne Truss: The Man That Got Away (Raven Books)

Nicola Upson: Sorry for the Dead (Faber & Faber)

Ovidia Yu: The Paper Bark Tree Mystery (Constable)


Edoardo Albinati: The Catholic School, translated by Anthony Shugaar (Picador)

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)

Johana Gustawsson: Blood Song, translated by David Warriner (Orenda Books)

Jørn Lier Horst: The Cabin, translated by Anne Bruce (Michael Joseph)

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

Leonardo Padura: Grab a Snake by the Tail, translated by Peter Bush (Bitter Lemon Press)

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


Fiona Cummins: Dead Weight in Exit Wounds, edited by Paul B Kane and Marie O’Regan (Titan Books)

Jeffery Deaver: Connecting the Dots in Invisible Blood, edited by Maxim Jakubowski (Titan Books)

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)

Christopher Fowler: Bryant and May and The Devil's Triangle in Bryant and May: England's Finest (Doubleday)

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)

Dean Koontz: Kittens 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)


Casey Cep: Furious Hours (William Heinemann)

Julia Ebner: Going Dark: The Secret Social Lives of Extremists (Bloomsbury Publishing)

Peter Everett: Corrupt Bodies (Icon Books)

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

Joanna Jolly: Red River Girl (Virago)

Jodi Kantor & Megan Twohey: She Said (Bloomsbury Circus)

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)

Fred Vermorel: Dead Fashion Girl: A Situationist Detective Story (Strange Attractor Press)


Benjamin Black

Christopher Brookmyre

Jane Casey

Paul Finch

Alex Gray

Mick Herron

Quintin Jardine

Lisa Jewell

Erin Kelly

Adrian McKinty

Denise Mina

James Oswald


Barbara Austin: Lowlands

Anna Caig: The Spae-Wife

Loraine Fowlow: Undercut

Leanne Fry: Whipstick

Kim Hays: Pesticide

Jack Kapica: Blogger’s End

Nicholas Morrish: Emergency Drill

Josephine Moulds: Revolution Never Lies

Michael Munro: Bitter Lake

Karen Taylor: Grim Fairy Tale

Jane Wing: Dark Pastimes

Sarah Yarwood-Lovett: A Generation of Vipers


Allison & Busby

Bitter Lemon

Harvill Secker

Head of Zeus


Michael Joseph



Pushkin Vertigo


Severn House


Thursday, June 04, 2020

TV News: Pointless & Agatha Raisin returns

This Saturday's Pointless Celebrities (7.30pm, BBC1), features writers, including two crime authors:
"A writers special featuring Martina Cole, Mark Billingham, Liz Pichon, Nick Sharratt, Juno Dawson, Nadia Shireen, Adam Kay and Ian McMillan."

And Agatha Raisin, based on the books by the late M C Beaton, returns to Sky One on Wednesday 10 June at 9pm. The opening two-parter is based on Agatha Raisin and the Haunted House.

Wednesday, June 03, 2020

New Releases - May 2020

Here's a snapshot of what I think was published for the first time in paperback or hardback, in May 2020 (and is usually a UK date but occasionally will be a US or Australian date). Apologies for the delay. I hope to get June's list up soon.

If I've missed anything or got the date wrong, do please leave a comment. There's been a lot of moving of dates.
Austin, Stephanie - From Devon with Death #3 Juno Browne
Bannister, Jo - Dangerous Pursuits #4 Detective Constable Hazel Best & Gabriel Ash
Barkworth, Hazel - Heatstroke
Barnes, Kerry - Raising a Gangster
Barnes, Kerry - The Rules #2 Hunted
Boyd, Damien - Down Among the Dead #1 DI Nick Dixon
Bradby, Tom - Double Agent # 2 Kate Henderson
Bradley, Vicki - Before I Say I Do
Brimson, Dougie - In The Know #3 Billy Evans, football hooligan
Burnside, Heather - Crystal #3 Working Girls
Chase, Eve - The Glass House
Clarke, Wendy - The Bride
Corry, Jane - I Made a Mistake
Curtis, Gayle - Safe No Longer
Dams, Jeanne M - Death Comes to Durham #23 Dorothy Martin
Dazieri, Sandrone - Kill the King #3 Colomba Caselli and Dante Torre
Dowd, Victoria - The Smart Woman's Guide to Murder
Emery, Anne - Postmark Berlin #11 Collins & Burke
Feeney, Alice - His & Hers
Foenkinos, David - The Mystery of Henri Pick
Gibney, Patricia - Buried Angels #8 Detective Lottie Parker
Grace, Ed - Kill Them Quickly #2 Jay Sullivan
Grant, Tracy - The Tavistock Plot # 19 Rannoch Fraser
Green, Simon R - The House on Widows Hill #9 Ishmael Jones
Greenwood, Ross - The Soul Killer #2 DI Barton
Hamdouchi, Abdelilah - The Butcher of Casablanca #2 The Butcher of Casablanca
Hausmann, Romy - Dear Child
Hawkswood, Sarah - Faithful Unto Death #6 Bradecote and Catchpoll, Worcestershire, C12
Hayes, Samantha - The Happy Couple
Helm, Kate - The House Share
Holton, Noelle - Dead Wrong #2 DC Maggie Jamieson
Huber, Linda- The Runaway
Jeong, You-Jeong - Seven Years of Darkness
Johannsen, Anna - Death on the Beach #2 DI Lena Lorenzen
Kavanagh, Emma - The Devil You Know
Kovach, Carla - Her Last Mistake #6 Detective Gina Harte
Lee, M J - Where the Innocent Die (ebook only) #4 DI Ridpath
Linley, Sarah - The Beach
Maitland, Iain - The Scribbler
Marrs, John - What Lies Between Us
Marsons, Angela - Killing Mind #12 DI Kim Stone
McCleave, Simon - The Devil's Cliff Killings #4 DI Ruth Hunter
Moloney, Catherine - Crime at Home #8 DI Gilbert Markham
Morgan, Phoebe - The Babysitter
Nadel, Barbara - Blood Business #22 Cetin Ikmen, Policeman, Istanbul
Organ, Emily - The Gang of St Bride's #9 Penny Green, Victorian Era
Parks, Adele - Just My Luck
Patis, Vikki - Girl, Lost
Penner, Stephen - Homicide in Berlin #12 David Brunelle
Pyun, Hye-young - The Law of Lines
Robb, Candace - A Choir of Crows #12 Owen Archer
Rogers, Gemma - Reckless
Rubin, Gareth - The Winter Agent
Sharp, Zoe - Bones in the River #2 CSI Grace McColl and DC Nick Weston, Lake District
Shibli, Adania - Minor Detail
Sivers, Dave - In Ink #1 DI Nathan Quarrel
Slater, K L - Little Whispers
Spencer, Sally - Daughters of Darkness #3 Jennie Redhead, PI, Oxford, 1974
Steiner, Susie - Remain Silent #3 Detective Sergeant Manon Bradshaw, Cambridgeshire
Sten, Viveca - In the Name of Truth #8 Sandhamn Murders
Stimson, Tess - One in Three
Swallow, James - Rogue #5 Marc Dane
Teague, Paul J - Friends Who Lie
Teague, Paul J - No More Secrets
Teague, Paul J - One Last Chance
Teague, Paul J - So Many Lies
Teague, Paul J - Two Years After
Thomson, Lesley - Death of a Mermaid
Walker, Martin - A Shooting at Chateau Rock #13 Bruno, Chief of Police, France
Waller, Anita - Gamble
Walters, Alex - Small Mercies (ebook only) #1 DI Annie Delamere, Derbyshire

Tuesday, June 02, 2020

CrimeFest Awards 2020 - Shortlists

Hot off the press here are the shortlisted titles for the various CrimeFest Awards:
CRIMEFEST, one of Europe’s leading crime writing conventions, has announced the shortlists for its annual awards.

Now in its 13th year, the awards honour the best crime books released in 2019 in the UK.

New for 2020, in association with its headline sponsor Specsavers, is the Specsavers Debut Crime Novel Award. The winner will receive a £1,000 prize.

Adrian Muller, Co-host of CRIMEFEST, said: “Specsavers are passionate about the crime genre thanks to its founder Dame Mary Perkins, and their support ensures new voices in the genre will be recognised. We have really diverse awards reflecting the depth and breadth of the crime genre. Categories recognise e-books and audiobooks, humour, children and Young Adult crime fiction novels. We aim to be the most inclusive of awards to reflect the values of our convention.”

A further £1,000 prize fund is also awarded to the Audible Sounds of Crime Award, sponsored by Audible UK. Eligible titles are submitted by publishers, and Audible UK listeners establish the shortlist and the winning title.

Laurence Howell, Vice President, Content at Audible said: “We are delighted to continue as sponsor of the Audible Sounds of Crime Award. This is a prize that is very close to our heart and important for our members who are passionate fans of crime audiobooks. Crime and thriller remains one of our bestselling genres because of the intimate, immersive nature of audiobooks. Congratulations to all award nominees!”

All other category winners, which are judged by panels of leading British crime fiction reviewers, receive a Bristol Blue Glass commemorative award.

The 2020 CRIMEFEST Awards were due to be presented at a Gala Dinner during the convention at the Bristol Grand Mercure Hotel this June. In light of Covid-19, the winners will be announced online at and via its social media pages on Tuesday 7 July.

Specsavers Crime Fiction Debut Award

One of the most anticipated categories showcases the next big names in the genre.

Shortlisted Holly Watt has already picked up the 2019 CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award for her debut, 'To The Lions'. Another high-profile debut star is Alex Michaelides with 'The Silent Patien't, which sold over a million copies and was a 'Richard and Judy' book club pick.

Engineer Fiona Erskine’s debut 'Chemical Detective' is also in contention for the best debut, alongside Katja Ivar for 'Evil Things'. Katja who was born in Moscow, lives in Paris and has a Masters in Contemporary History; her debut takes place in Finland at the height of the Cold War with the Soviet Union.

Carolyn Kirby’s 'The Conviction of Cora Burns' was chosen by The Times as an historical fiction book of the month and was longlisted for the HWA debut crown award. Laura Shepherd-Robinson worked in politics for nearly twenty years before writing her thrilling debut historical crime novel, 'Blood & Sugar', set in 1781 amidst the British slavery industry also makes the shortlist.

Audible Sounds of Crime Award

The Audible shortlist features bestselling novels including Kate Atkinson’s 'Big Sky', read by Jackson Brodie actor Jason Isaacs, Lee Child’s 'Blue Moon' narrated by Jeff Harding and 'The Silent Patient' by Alex Michaelides featuring Sherlock actress Louise Brealey and Jack Hawkins.

The British-Nigerian actress Weruche Opia narrates Oyinkan Braithwaite’s Booker-longlisted 'My Sister, The Serial Killer'. Also, in contention are Alex Callister’s 'Winter Dark', 'The Family Upstairs' by Lisa Jewell, T.M. Logan’s 'The Holiday', and Peter May’s 'The Man with No Face'.

H.R.F. Keating Award

Barry Forshaw, one of the UK’s leading experts on the genre, is shortlisted for the H.R.F Keating Award for the best biographical or critical book related to crime fiction for his guide to the genre, 'Crime Fiction: A Reader’s Guide'. He’s up against John Curran’s' The Hooded Gunman', a celebration of the 2000 books published by the iconic imprint Collins’ Crime Club. Also on the shortlist is Ursula Buchan with 'Beyond The Thirty-Nine Steps'. Ursula, the granddaughter of John Buchan, who wrote the classic thriller famously adapted to film by Alfred Hitchcock, draws on recently discovered family documents in her illuminating biography.

Last Laugh Award

Previous winners of the Last Laugh Award return on the 2020 shortlist as Christopher Fowler, the author of fifty novels and short stories, is shortlisted for his Bryant & May mystery, 'The Lonely Hou'r. Fowler won the Last Laugh Award in 2009. L.C. Tyler also won the award in 2010. He returns with his novel, 'The Maltese Herring'.

Also battling for the best humorous crime novel is the king of Helsinki noir, Antti Tuomainen, William Boyle for 'A Friend is a Gift you Give Yourself' and Hannah Dennison with 'Tidings of Death at Honeychurch Hall'. Helen FitzGerald joins the shortlist for 'Worst Case Scenario', a deliciously dark, unapologetically funny psychological thriller by the international bestselling author 'The Cry'.

eDunnit Award

Holly Watt ('To The Lions'), Helen FitzGerald ('Worst Case Scenario') and L.C. Tyler ('The Maltese Herring') are all shortlisted in their second category of the CRIMEFEST awards – the eDunnit award for best electronic crime novel. They’re up against Sarah Hilary’s 'Never Be Broken' – her sixth book in the DI Marnie Rome series and Andrew Taylor for 'The King’s Evil', the hugely successful series from an author considered one of the best historical crime writers today. Also shortlisted is the American giant of twenty-one acclaimed, award winning international bestsellers, Don Winslow, for 'The Border', the concluding part of his Cartel trilogy.

Best Crime Fiction Novel for Children

Dark deeds, piratical plots and dastardly villains feature in the shortlist for the best children’s crime novel.

Welsh author P.G. Bell is shortlisted for 'The Great Brain Robbery', the second in his Train to Impossible Places Series. Acclaimed children’s author Vivian French is in contention for her adventures of a family theatre-troupe touring Victorian England by train in 'The Steam Whistle Theatre Company'.

Librarian and author Sophie Green makes the list with her unusual investigative duo chasing ghostly goings-on in 'Potkin and Stubbs'. Also shortlisted is A.M. Howell whose 'The Garden of Lost Secret's set in 1916 on a country estate was a Times Children’s Book of the Week.

'The Haven', an adrenalin-fuelled adventure by top thriller writer Simon Lelic, also makes the shortlist, along with 'Malamander' by Thomas Taylor, a quirky fantasy with a cast of characters in pursuit of a sea monster. An illustrator and writer, Taylor’s first job was the cover for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

Best Crime Fiction Novel for Young Adults

An icon of the crime genre synonymous with the modern legal thriller, John Grisham, makes the shortlist for his Young Adult novel 'Theodore Boone: The Accomplice' featuring a nosy thirteen-year-old half-boy, half-lawyer.

Grisham is up against last year’s winner for the best crime fiction novel for young adults, Nikesh Shukla. Shukla hopes to hold onto the title with 'The Boxer', the story of seventeen-year-old Sunny who takes up boxing to protect himself after a racist attack.

Simon Mason, who won the CRIMEFEST Best Young Adult novel in 2017 for 'Kid Got Shot' is also back with 'Hey Sherlock!' which stars teen slacker and crime-solving genius Gavin Smith.

Kathryn Evans is no stranger to awards as her debut 'More of Me won the Edinburgh International Book Festival First Book Award – the first Young Adult novel to do so. Her latest, 'Beauty Sleep', a dark thriller that plunges a pre-tech girl into a futuristic world, makes the shortlist. Also, in contention is the dark, twisty, fairy tale world of Samuel J. Halpin’s 'The Peculiar Peggs of Riddling Woods' and 'Heartstream', a taut thriller about obsession, fame and betrayal by Tom Pollock.


- Fiona Erskine for The Chemical Detective (Point Blank)

- Katja Ivar for Evil Things (Bitter Lemon Press)

- Carolyn Kirby for The Conviction of Cora Burns (No Exit Press)

- Alex Michaelides for The Silent Patient (Orion Fiction)

- Laura Shepherd-Robinson for Blood & Sugar (Mantle)

- Holly Watt for To The Lions (Raven Books)


- Kate Atkinson for Big Sky narrated by Jason Isaacs (Penguin Random House Audio)

- Oyinkan Braithwaite for My Sister, the Serial Killer narrated by Weruche Opia (W F Howes)

- Alex Callister for Winter Dark narrated by Ell Potter (Audible Studios)

- Lee Child for Blue Moon narrated by Jeff Harding (Penguin Random House Audio)

- Lisa Jewell for The Family Upstairs narrated by Tamaryn Payne, Bea Holland, Dominic Thorburn (Penguin Random House Audio)

- T.M. Logan for The Holiday narrated by Laura Kirman (Zaffre)

- Peter May for The Man with No Face narrated by Peter Forbes (Quercus, Fiction)

- Alex Michaelides for The Silent Patient narrated by Louise Brealey, Jack Hawkins (Orion)


- Ursula Buchan for Beyond The Thirty-Nine Steps (Bloomsbury Publishing)

- John Curran for The Hooded Gunman (HarperCollins Crime Club)

- Barry Forshaw for Crime Fiction: A Reader's Guide (No Exit Press)


- William Boyle for A Friend is a Gift you Give Yourself (No Exit Press)

- Hannah Dennison for Tidings of Death at Honeychurch Hall (Constable)

- Helen FitzGerald for Worst Case Scenario (Orenda Books)

- Christopher Fowler for Bryant & May - The Lonely Hour (Transworld)

- Antti Tuomainen for Little Siberia (Orenda Books)

- L.C. Tyler for The Maltese Herring (Allison & Busby)


- Helen FitzGerald for Worst Case Scenario (Orenda Books)

- Sarah Hilary for Never Be Broken (Headline)

- Andrew Taylor for The King's Evil (HarperFiction)

- L.C. Tyler for The Maltese Herring (Allison & Busby)

- Holly Watt for To The Lions (Raven Books)

- Don Winslow for The Border (HarperFiction)


- P.G. Bell for The Great Brain Robbery (Usborne Publishing)

- Vivian French for The Steam Whistle Theatre Company (Walker Books)

- Sophie Green for Potkin and Stubbs (Bonnier Books)

- A.M. Howell for The Garden of Lost Secrets (Usborne Publishing)

- Simon Lelic for The Haven (Hodder Children's Books)

- Thomas Taylor for Malamander (Walker Books)


- Kathryn Evans for Beauty Sleep (Usborne Publishing)

- John Grisham for Theodore Boone: The Accomplice (Hodder & Stoughton)

- Samuel J. Halpin for The Peculiar Peggs of Riddling Woods (Usborne Publishing)

- Simon Mason for Hey Sherlock! (David Fickling Books)

- Tom Pollock for Heartstream (Walker Books)

- Nikesh Shukla for The Boxer (Hodder Children's Books)

Monday, June 01, 2020

International Dagger Speculation (2020)

What with one thing and another, I'm very tardy with my International Dagger Eligibles list. The longlist is to be announced on Friday, 5 June.

So here are the translated crime novels published between 1 April 2019 and 31 March 2020 ie the period of eligibility. There's 69, cf 98 last year.

NB. The CWA website has the list of official submissions of which there are 44 (which I've marked with an *. I'm assuming this is an up to date list).

In the list below I've also included the country of birth and gender of the author(s) plus the translator's name (where known) and the publisher.

The breakdown by gender is 48 Male, 20 Female, 1 Male & Female team.
Authors are from 19 countries. The most represented country is Sweden (13) followed by Germany (9), Italy (8) and Norway (8). Over 50 translators (including pairs of translators) brought you these titles, with at least 10 individuals having translated more than one. (I've put "tbc" when I cannot find the name of the translator.)

April 2019 - March 2020


Jussi Adler-Olsen - The Washington Decree (Denmark, M) (tr. Steve Schein, Quercus)
Jussi Adler-Olsen - Victim 2117 (Denmark, M) (tr. William Frost, Quercus)*
Stefan Ahnhem - Motive X (Sweden, M) (tr. Agnes Broomé ,Head of Zeus)
Boris Akunin - Not Saying Goodbye (Russia, M) (tr. Andrew Bromfield, W&N)*
Edoardo Albinati - The Catholic School (Italy,  M) (tr.  Antony Shugaar, Picador)*

Heine Bakkeid - I Will Miss You Tomorrow (Norway, M) (tr. Anne Bruce, Raven Books)*
Enzo Bartoli - Six Months to Kill (France, M) (tr. Alexandra Maldwyn-Davies, Thomas & Mercer)
Lina Bengtsdotter - For the Dead (Sweden, F) (tr. Agnes Broomé, Orion)
Mattias Berg - The Carrier (Sweden, M) (tr. George Goulding, MacLehose Press)*
Katarzyna Bonda - Girl at Midnight (Poland, F) (tr. Filip Sporczyk, Hodder & Stoughton)

Oliver Bottini - The Dance of Death (Germany, M) (tr. Jamie Bulloch, MacLehose Press)*
Marion Brunet - Summer of Reckoning (France, F) (tr. Katherine Gregor, Bitter Lemon Press)*
Simone Buchholz - Mexico Street (Germany, F) (tr. Rachel Ward, Orenda Books)*

Andrea Camilleri - The Other End of the Line (Italy, M) (tr. Stephen Sartarelli, Mantle)*
Massimo Carlotto - Blues for Outlaw Hearts and Old Whores (Italy, M) (tr. Will Schutt, World Noir)
Donato Carrisi - Into the Labyrinth (Italy, M) (tr. Katherine Gregor, Little, Brown)*
Hannelore Cayre - The Godmother (France, F) (tr. Stephanie Smee, Old St Publishing)*

Luca D'Andrea - Sanctuary (Italy, M) (tr. Howard Curtis & Katherine Gregor, MacLehose Press)*
Maurizio De Giovanni - Cold for the Bastards of Pizzofalcone (tr. Italy, M) (Antony Shugaar, World Noir)

M T Edvardsson - A Nearly Normal Family (Sweden, M) (tr. Rachel Willson-Broyles, Pan Macmillan)

K Ferrari - Like Flies from Afar (Argentina, M) (tr. Adrian Nathan West, Canongate Books)*
Ivo Fornesa - Death in Saint-Chartier (Spain, M) (tr. Allen Young, Allison & Busby)*
Agnete Friis - The Summer of Ellen (Denmark, F) (tr. Sinead Quirke Kongerskov, Soho Press)

Jorge Galan - November (El Salvador, M) (tr. Jason Wilson, Constable)*
Johana Gustawsson - Blood Song (France, F) (tr. David Warriner, Orenda Books)*

Alexander Hartung - Blood Ties (Germany, M) (tr. Fiona Beaton Thomas & Mercer)
Alexander Hartung - Broken Glass  (Germany, M) (tr. Fiona Beaton Thomas & Mercer)*
Chan Ho-Kei - Second Sister (Hong Kong, M) (tr. Jeremy Tiang, Head of Zeus)*
Anne Holt - A Grave for Two (Norway, F) (tr. Anne Bruce, Corvus)*
Jorn Lier Horst - The Cabin (Norway, M) (tr.  Anne Bruce, Michael Joseph)*
Jorn Lier Horst & Thomas Enger - Death Deserved (Norway, M) (tr. Anne Bruce, Orenda Books)*

Mai Jia - The Message (China, M) (tr. Olivia Milburn, Head of Zeus)
Anna Johannsen - The Body on the Beach (Germany, F) (tr. Lisa Reinhardt, Thomas & Mercer)*
Ragnar Jonasson - The Island (Iceland, M) (tr. Victoria Cribb, Penguin)*

Lars Kepler - Lazarus (Sweden, B) (tr. Neil Smith, HarperCollins)*
Volker Kutscher - The Fatherland Files (Germany, M) (tr. Niall Sellar, Sandstone)*

David Lagercrantz - The Girl Who Lived Twice  (Sweden, M) (tr. George Goulding, MacLehose Press)*

Stefan Malmström - Kult (Sweden, M) (tr. Suzanne Martin Cheadle, Silvertail Books)*
Marco Malvaldi - The Measure of a Man (Italy, M) (tr. Howard Curtis, Europa Editions)
Deon Meyer - The Last Hunt (South Africa, M) (tr. K L Seegers, Hodder & Stoughton)*
Maria Luisa Minarelli - Murder in Venice (Italy, F) (tr. Lucinda Byatt, Thomas & Mercer)
Guillaume Musso - The Reunion (France, M) (tr. Frank Wynne, Weidenfeld & Nicolson)*

Jo Nesbo - Knife (Norway, M) (tr. Neil Smith, Harvill Secker)
Mads Peder Nordbo - Cold Fear (Denmark, M) (tr. Charlotte Barslund, Text Publishing)*
Andreas Norman - The Silent War (Sweden, M) (tr. Ian Giles, riverrun)*

Kristina Ohlsson - The Flood (Sweden, F) (tr. Marlaine Delargy, Simon & Schuster)
Sergio Olguin - The Fragility of Bodies (Argentina, M) (tr. Miranda France, Bitter Lemon Press)*
Riku Onda - The Aosawa Murders (Japan, F) (tr. Alison Watts, Bitter Lemon Press)*
Martin Osterdahl - Ten Swedes Must Die (Sweden, M) (tr. Peter Sean Woltemade, AmazonCrossing)*

Leonardo Padura - Grab a Snake by the Tail (Cuba, M) (tr. Peter Bush, Bitter Lemon Press)*
Mercedes Pinto Maldonado-  Letters to a Stranger (Spain, F Jennie Erikson, Lake Union Publishing (with Amazon Crossing))

Marit Reiersgaard - The Girl With No Heart (Norway, F) (tr. Paul Norlen, Gyldendal Norwegian Press)
Stein Riverton - The Iron Chariot (Norway, M) (tr. Lucy Moffatt, Lightning Books)*
Roslund-Hellstrom, Three Hours (Sweden, M) (tr. Elizabeth Clark Wessel, riverrun)*

Lars Schutz - The Alphabet Murders (Germany, M) (tr. Caroline Waight Schütz, Manilla)
Mi-ae Seo - The Only Child (Korea, F) (tr. Yewon Jung, Point Blank)*
Yrsa Sigurdardottir - The Absolution (Iceland, F) (tr. Victoria Cribb, Hodder & Stoughton)*
Lilja Sigurdardottir - Cage (Iceland, F) (tr. Quentin Bates, Orenda Books)*
Gunnar Staalesen - Wolves at the Door (Norway, M) (tr. Don Bartlett, Orenda Books)*
Jesper Stein - Die For Me (Denmark, M) (tr. Charlotte Barslund, Mirror Books)*
Viveca Sten In the Shadow of Power Sweden F Marlaine Delargy AmazonCrossing

Christer Tholin - Guilty? (Germany, M) (tr. Christina Lagaris, Christer Tholin)
Antti Tuomainen - Little Siberia (Finland, M) (tr. David Hackston, Orenda Books)*
Helene Tursten - Winter Grave (Sweden, F) (tr. Marlaine Delargy, Soho Press)

Fred Vargas - This Poison Will Remain (France, F) (tr. Sian Reynolds, Harvill Secker)

Klaus-Peter Wolf - The Oath (Germany, M) (tr. ??, Zaffre)

A Yi - Two Lives: Tales of Life, Love and Crime (China, M) (tr. Alex Woodend, Flame Tree Press)
Seishi Yokomizo - The Honjin Murders (Japan, M) (tr. Louise Heal Kawai, Pushkin Vertigo)*

Jakub Zulczyk - Blinded by the Lights (Poland, M) (tr. Marek Kazmierski, Legend Press)