Wednesday, July 27, 2016

A Wide Range of Kiwi Crime

This week has already delivered news about a couple of other varieties of Down Under crime-fiction prizes, the Australian Davitt Awards and Ned Kelly Awards. Now, organizers of New Zealand’s Ngaio Marsh Awards competition have announced the finalists in two categories—one of which, Best First Novel, is new this year.

Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel:
Inside the Black Horse, by Ray Berard (Mary Egan)
Made to Kill, by Adam Christopher (Titan)
Trust No One, by Paul Cleave (Upstart Press)
The Legend of Winstone Blackhat, by Tanya Moir (RHNZ Vintage)
American Blood, by Ben Sanders (Allen & Unwin)

Ngaio Marsh Award for Best First Novel:
Inside the Black Horse, by Ray Berard (Mary Egan)
The Fixer, by John Daniell (Upstart Press)
The Gentlemen’s Club, by Jen Shieff (Mary Egan)
Twister, by Jane Woodham (Makaro Press)

Craig Sisterson, who acts as judging convener for these prizes (and also founded the Ngaio Marsh Award back in 2010) is quoted in a press release as saying, “We had a record number of entrants this year, which gave several headaches to our international judging panel. Not only are our local authors producing novels of exceptional international quality, they are breaking the shackles of convention and stretching the boundaries of genre to explore crime storytelling in unique and exciting ways. We were comparing apples with feijoas.” Sisterson tells me there were “12 entrants to the Best First Novel Award [competition]” this year, and 18 for Best Crime Novel—that list of contestants cut down to nine in early June.

Winners will be declared on August 27 during the Great New Zealand Crime Debate at WORD Christchurch Writers & Readers Festival.

Paul Cleave won last year’s Marsh Award for Five Minutes Alone.

This is the first time in the last four years that I have not served as a judge for the Ngaio Marsh Award contest. I was very grateful to Sisterson for inviting me to take part, and I greatly enjoyed my service as an adjudicator. But I was simply too busy with other reading assignments to participate this time around. So I’m only now hearing about the shortlisted titles, just like the rest of you. We’ll all have to keep our eyes out for some of these contenders in the future.

No comments: