Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Richard and Judy and James

I’m delighted to hear that British film producer and author Peter James, about whom I last wrote in this space just a few months back, has been nominated for yet another literary award. This time his 2006 novel, Looking Good Dead (which is only now being released in the States), has been shortlisted in the Galaxy British Book Awards’ (GBBA) Thriller of the Year category. The announcement was made at central London’s fashionable Sketch restaurant by Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan, co-hosts of Britain’s popular Richard & Judy TV-magazine show. (If you’re not familiar with them, Richard and Judy are the UK equivalent of Oprah Winfrey, in terms of television book promoters.)

This nomination caps off a triumphal period for James, who has already won a succession of foreign accolades. Last year, he received Germany’s Krimi-Blitz award as Crime Novelist of the Year as well as France’s Le Prix Polar International 2006, and earlier this year he picked up the prestigious Prix Coeur Noir award for Looking Good Dead. James’ inclusion on the British Book Awards shortlist, together with Ian Rankin and Kate Atkinson (One Good Turn), only confirms his status as one of the UK’s crime-fiction heavyweights.

After hearing that he’d been shortlisted, James enthused: “None of the awards I have won abroad has given me the thrill of this nomination in my own country. In my view, this award, about the sheer joy of reading, is by far the most important UK award--I would a million times rather be shortlisted for this than the dreary Booker.”

Winners of these awards are to be chosen both by members of the GBBA Academy along with the reading public. (You can vote for Peter James to win in the Crime-Thriller category on the Galaxy British Book Awards Web site from today through March 26.) The victorious books and authors will be announced during a ceremony at London’s Grosvenor Hotel on Wednesday, March 28. The ceremony will be hosted by Richard and Judy and broadcast on Britain’s Channel 4 at 8 p.m. on Friday, March 30.

By the way, Peter James’ next novel, Not Dead Enough--the third installment in his series featuring Brighton Detective Superintendent Roy Grace--will be available from Macmillan on June 1.

READ MORE:Pistols at Dawn--the Nibbies Are Coming,” by Mike Stotter (Shotsmag Confidential).

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