Thursday, December 07, 2023

You’ve Gotta Love CFL’s Enthusiasm

Following on from CrimeReads’ picks of this year’s foremost crime, mystery, and thriller novels, we come to this morning’s big announcement of which books, TV programs, and authors have won the 2023 Crime Fiction Lover Awards. There are seven categories here, and in six of them, readers were asked to vote for their favorite nominees, with the CFL team adding an Editor’s Choice Award.

Book of the Year Winner:
The Last Remains, by Elly Griffiths (Quercus)
Book of the Year Editor’s Choice: Strange Sally Diamond, by Liz Nugent (Sandycove)

Best Debut Winner:
You’d Look Better as a Ghost, by Joanna Wallace (Viper)
Best Debut Editor’s Choice:
City Under One Roof, by Iris Yamashita (Berkley)

Best in Translation Winner:
Thirty Days of Darkness, by Jenny Lund Madsen; translated by Megan E. Turney (Orenda)
Best in Translation Editor’s Choice:
The Sins of Our Fathers, by Åsa Larsson; translated by Frank Perry (MacLehose Press)

Best Indie Novel Winner:
Scratching the Flint, by Vern Smith (Run Amok Crime)
Best Indie Novel Editor’s Choice:
The Associate, by Victoria Goldman (Three Crowns)

Best Crime Show Winner:
Only Murders in the Building, Season 3 (Hulu)
Best Crime Show Editor’s Choice:
Happy Valley, Season 3 (BBC One)

Best Crime Author Winner:
Michael Connelly
Best Crime Author Editor’s Choice:
Mick Herron

Beyond those, CFL’s British editors have designated American fictionist James Ellroy as the recipient of their very first Crime Fiction Lover Life of Crime Award. “Without James Ellroy,” they enthuse, “there wouldn’t be a site called Crime Fiction Lover. It’s as simple as that. His down and dirty scat man prose is what hooked the founders of our site on crime fiction—and most of our contributors too. Novels like The Black Dahlia and L.A. Confidential are beyond compare for the author’s use of language and his storytelling. We see the noble and the venal sides of Ellroy’s characters, and he was unafraid of showing huge chunks of Los Angeles history, and indeed American history, that many would rather forget. Here in the world of literary criticism, we often talk about books where the setting becomes a character. With James Ellroy, the prose itself is like another character in the story, running from coarse and aggressive to gentle and empathetic in a style that is unique, and unmistakably so.”

Click here to see all of the contenders in this third-annual Crime Fiction Lover Award contest. Congratulations to the victors!

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