UK novelist Andrew Martin has won the 2011 Ellis Peters Historical Award for The Somme Stations (Faber and Faber), his seventh novel featuring early 20th-century railway detective Jim Stringer. The announcement of Martin’s win--which includes £3,000 in prize money--was made this evening during a ceremony in London.
A press release from the British Crime Writers’ Association explains that The Somme Stations “plunges into the horrors of World War One trench combat. Stringer and his unit must undertake dangerous nocturnal assignments: driving the trains taking munitions to the front. Death is everywhere, as the trains travel through blasted surrealistic landscapes, and a single-minded military policeman continues to investigate a killing that occurred before the departure for France.” The novel was released in March of this year.
Also nominated for this award were Prince, by Rory Clements (John Murray); The Red Coffin (aka Shadow Pass), by Sam Eastland (Faber and Faber); The Hanging Shed, by Gordon Ferris (Corvus); The Cleansing Flames, by R.N. Morris (Faber and Faber); and Island of Bones, by Imogen Robertson (Headline).
The Ellis Peters Award--sponsored by the Estate of Ellis Peters, Headline Book Publishing Company, and Little, Brown Book Group--is presented annually to “the best historical crime novel (set in any period up to 35 years prior to the year in which the award will be made) by an author of any nationality, and commemorates the life and work of Ellis Peters (Edith Pargeter) (1913-1995), a prolific author perhaps best known as the creator of Brother Cadfael.”
Previous winners include Rory Clements (Revenger), Philip Kerr (If the Dead Rise Not), and Laura Wilson (Stratton’s War).
(Hat tip to It’s a Crime! [Or a Mystery ...].)