Monday, August 14, 2017

Expanding Appreciation for Kiwi Crime

There’s plenty of new blood (appropriately) to be found among the finalists for New Zealand’s 2017 Ngaio Marsh Awards. As awards convenor Craig Sisterson explains, “None of our previous winners were in the running. In fact, 18 of the 19 different Kiwi authors who’ve been finalists for our awards in the past were missing.” This prize competition, which Sisterson founded in 2010, is meant to “recognize the best in New Zealand crime writing”—fiction and now, for the first time, non-fiction as well.

Sisterson says the shortlist of this year’s contenders was drawn from among 54 submissions (the longlist of Best Novel rivals to be found here). “Entries in our fiction categories were up 50 percent,” he explains, “and the quality and variety has been really outstanding. New Zealand readers love crime, and our local authors are offering plenty of world-class writing, both traditional detective tales and books stretching the borders.”

Without further ado, here are the 2017 Ngaio Marsh Award contenders:

Best Crime Novel:
Pancake Money, by Finn Bell (e-book)
Spare Me the Truth, by C.J. Carver (Zaffre)
Red Herring, by Jonothan Cullinane (HarperCollins)
Marshall’s Law, by Ben Sanders (Allen & Unwin)
The Last Time We Spoke, by Fiona Sussman (Allison & Busby)

Best First Novel:
Dead Lemons, by Finn Bell (e-book)
Red Herring, by Jonothan Cullinane (HarperCollins)
The Ice Shroud, by Gordon Ell (Bush Press)
The Student Body, by Simon Wyatt (Mary Egan)
Days Are Like Grass, by Sue Younger (Eunoia)

Best Non-Fiction:
In Dark Places, by Michael Bennett (Paul Little)
The Scene of the Crime, by Steve Braunias (HarperCollins)
Double-Edged Sword, by Simonne Butler with Andra Jenkin
(Mary Egan)
The Many Deaths of Mary Dobie, by David Hastings (AUP)
Blockbuster!, by Lucy Sussex (Text)

The winners in each category will be declared during a special WORD Christchurch event in New Zealand, to be held on October 28.

Congratulations to all of the nominees!

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