Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year 2024 - Longlist

Apologies for the delay in posting this. I will have a follow-up post shortly regarding the #theakstonssowhite controversy.

In the meantime, please find below the official press release announcing the longlist for the Theakston (Harrogate) Crime Novel of the Year. Eighteen authors have been listed (9 Female, 9 Male).

Until the 16 May you can vote for your favourite book on the longlist here.

Harrogate International Festivals announced ...the 18 titles longlisted for the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year 2024, the UK and Ireland’s most prestigious crime fiction award now in its twentieth year.

The longlist, voted for by an academy of crime writing authors, agents, editors, reviewers and members of the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival Programming Committee, features stories that transport readers from the burning heat of the Chihuahuan Desert to the chill of nineties Berlin, from down-at-heel Blackpool to the splendour of Georgian London. Crime fiction fans are now invited to vote for their favourite novels to reach the shortlist, with the winner of the coveted Award announced on the opening night of the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, Thursday 18 July.

Six former winners are vying for top honours, including 2023 champion MW Craven, who is longlisted for his high-octane US-set thriller Fearless, alongside Queen of Crime Val McDermid for cold case mystery Past Lying, and Mick Herron, the author behind Apple TV’s smash-hit series ‘Slow Horses,’ for his elegant stand-alone spy novel The Secret Hours. Also nominated are Chris Brookmyre’s edgy thriller about a murderous hen party on a remote Scottish island, The Cliff House, two times winner Mark Billingham’s The Last Dance, the first novel in his captivating new Blackpool-set detective series and Clare Mackintosh’s reality TV set thriller A Game of Lies. Ann Cleeves, who was awarded the Theakston Old Peculier Outstanding Contribution to Crime Fiction Award in 2023 adds to this illustrious list, nominated for her atmospheric detective novel The Raging Storm.

Among the five hugely talented rising stars longlisted for the first time are Jo Callaghan, nominated for her stunningly original debut In the Blink of An Eye, which introduces intriguing detective duo DCS Kat Frank and her AI colleague Lock, and William Hussey for serial-killer thriller Killing Jericho featuring crime fiction’s first Traveller detective. They are up against Jack Jordan’s addictive legal thriller Conviction, missing persons investigation The Last Goodbye by Tim Weaver, and Oxford-set detective novel The Broken Afternoon by Simon Mason.

Showcasing the range of crime fiction subgenres, Laura Shepherd-Robinson’s atmospheric Georgian-set historical crime novel The Square of Sevens, Lisa Jewell’s tantalising domestic noir None of This is True, propulsive thriller You Can Run by New Blood 2020 alumni Trevor Wood and The Last Remains, Elly Griffiths’ final Dr Ruth Gallow mystery, join the 2024 longlist.

Completing the line-up are two phenomenally talented Irish crime writers: Jane Casey for her gripping DS Maeve Kerrigan novel The Close and four-times Irish Book Award winner Liz Nugent for her unnerving thriller Strange Sally Diamond.

The full Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year 2024 longlist (in alphabetical order by surname) is:

  • The Last Dance by Mark Billingham (Sphere; Little, Brown Book Group)

  • The Cliff House by Chris Brookmyre (Abacus; Little, Brown Book Group)

  • In the Blink of an Eye by Jo Callaghan (Simon & Schuster UK)

  • The Close by Jane Casey (Harper Fiction; Harper Collins)

  • The Raging Storm by Ann Cleeves (Pan Macmillan)

  • Fearless by M W Craven (Constable; Little, Brown Book Group)

  • The Last Remains by Elly Griffiths (Quercus)

  • The Secret Hours by Mick Herron (Baskerville; John Murray Press)

  • Killing Jericho by William Hussey (Zaffre, Bonnier)

  • None of This is True by Lisa Jewell (Century; Cornerstone)

  • Conviction by Jack Jordan (Simon & Schuster)

  • A Game of Lies by Clare Mackintosh (Sphere; Little, Brown Book Group)

  • The Broken Afternoon by Simon Mason (riverrun; Quercus)

  • Past Lying by Val McDermid (Sphere; Little, Brown Book Group)

  • Strange Sally Diamond by Liz Nugent (Sandycove; Penguin Ireland)

  • The Square of Sevens by Laura Shepherd-Robinson (Pan Macmillan)

  • The Last Goodbye by Tim Weaver (Michael Joseph; Penguin Random House)

  • You Can Run by Trevor Wood (Quercus)

Simon Theakston, Chairman of T&R Theakston, said

We are delighted to announce the 2024 longlist for the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year, which truly showcases the depth and breadth of the UK and Ireland’s best crime fiction novels from the past year. The Award is an exciting part of the Festival, and with so many talented writers nominated – both new and established - we’re excited to find out who the public vote for this year.”

The Award is presented by Harrogate International Festivals and sponsored by T&R Theakston Ltd, in partnership with Waterstones and Daily Express, and is open to full-length crime novels published in paperback between 1 May 2023 to 30 April 2024. The public are invited to vote to help create a shortlist of six titles from 8am on Thursday 25 April at

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