Saturday, July 02, 2011

A Very Peculier Practice

The shortlist of nominees for the 2011 Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award was announced yesterday. It pits one debut novelist (William Ryan) against several old hands, all of them male, except for Lancashire-born S.J. Bolton. As the news release passing along these names explained, the Old Peculier Award, “now in its seventh year,” was “created to celebrate the very best in crime writing and is open to British and Irish authors whose novels were published in paperback between 1st January 2010 and 31st May 2011.”

Without further ado, here are the six finalists:

From the Dead, by Mark Billingham (Little, Brown)
Blood Harvest, by S. J. Bolton (Bantam Press)
61 Hours, by Lee Child (Bantam Press)
Dark Blood, by Stuart MacBride (HarperCollins)
The Holy Thief, by William Ryan (Mantle)
The Anatomy of Ghosts, by Andrew Taylor (Michael Joseph)

That news release goes on to tell that “The winner of the prize will be announced by radio broadcaster and festival regular Mark Lawson on the opening night of the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate on Thursday 21st July. The winner will receive a £3,000 cash prize, as well as a handmade, engraved beer barrel provided by Theakstons Old Peculier.

“On the same night, a special presentation will be made to the winner of the second Theakstons Old Peculier Outstanding Contribution to Crime Fiction Award, which this year is presented to P.D. James.”

The longlist of 18 contenders for the 2011 award was publicized in mid-May, and can be found here. Last year’s winner was R.J. Ellory (A Simple Act of Violence).

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