Thursday, May 05, 2022

Prioritizing Paperbacks

Organizers of the annual Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year award have announced their 2022 nominees. As In Reference to Murder's B.V. Lawson explains, “The award, now in its 18th year, is presented by Harrogate International Festivals and recognizes the best crime novels published in the UK and Ireland in paperback over the past year. Readers can vote online for their favorite book among the listed titles, with voting closing on [Thursday] May 26.”

Girl A, by Abigail Dean (HarperFiction)
The Heron’s Cry, by Ann Cleeves (Pan)
Tall Bones, by Anna Bailey (Penguin)
Blood Ties, by Brian McGilloway (Constable)
The Cut, by Chris Brookmyre (Abacus)
The Less Dead, by Denise Mina (Vintage)
The Night Hawks, by Elly Griffiths (Quercus)
Watch Her Fall, by Erin Kelly (Hodder Paperbacks)
I Know What I Saw, by Imran Mahmood (Raven)
True Crime Story, by Joseph Knox (Penguin)
Daughters of Night, by Laura Shepherd-Robinson (Pan)
Dead Ground, by M.W. Craven (Constable)
Rabbit Hole, by Mark Billingham (Sphere)
Slough House, by Mick Herron (John Murray)
The Devil and the Dark Water, by Stuart Turton (Raven)
Midnight at Malabar House, by Vaseem Khan (Hodder Paperbacks)
The Last Thing to Burn, by Will Dean (Hodder Paperbacks)
The Trawlerman, by William Shaw (Riverrun)

The winner among these 18 books will be declared during this year’s Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, to be held in Harrogate, England, from July 21 to 24. He or she will receive a check for £3,000, plus an engraved oak beer cask, reportedly “hand-carved by one of Britain’s last coopers from Theakstons Brewery.”

I’m going to have a hard time casting my single vote here. While I’ve not read all of the 2022 nominees, I have read most. My top three would probably be Turton’s Devil and the Dark Water (which was among my favorite books of 2020), Shepherd-Robinson’s Daughters of the Night (one of my top choices last year), and Shaw’s The Trawlerman (another favorite from 2021). What to do, what to do …

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