It may just be that I'm now becoming more aware of the Kiwi crime/thriller/mystery writers we have here in New Zealand, but to me it seems that there is a pleasantly (if slowly) growing amount. More importantly perhaps, it seems that publishers are possibly increasingly open to new Kiwi crime writers.
Before I went overseas for an extended period in early 2007, it seemed to me that New Zealand had few if any true heirs to Dame Ngaio Marsh (who herself was perhaps unappreciated here in NZ for her crime writing talents - considering she received her damehood for her theatrical contributions rather than the fact she was one of the original 'Queens of Crime' alongside Agatha Christie, Margery Allingham and Dorothy Sayers). While there were talented writers such as Chad Taylor (who pens dark and twisted noir tales) and Paul Thomas (who wrote some crime books amongst his other writing), we seemed to be suffering from a lack of numbers when it came to consistent crime writing. Meanwhile other relatively small and peaceful countries like Sweden and Scotland produce quality crime fiction in massive amounts every year.
When I came back from our adventures and travels, I was lucky enough to stumble across recent books by two fantastic new-ish Kiwi crime writers (CEMETERY LAKE by Paul Cleave and THE RINGMASTER by Vanda Symon) on the bookshelves of my then-local library. And since then I have found that not only were there more Kiwi crime/mystery/thriller writers than I realised (e.g. Joan Druett with her 'Wiki Coffin' maritime mysteries set in colonial times), but that gradually more and more are joining the published ranks. Dunedin-based Paddy Richardson released A YEAR TO LEARN A WOMAN late last year. Then Nelsonian Lindy Kelly's equine thriller BOLD BLOOD topped the Kiwi adult fiction charts in March.
And now another new face is joining them on booksellers' shelves - Aucklander Alix Bosco with her debut CUT & RUN (released this month): http://www.penguin.co.nz/webfiles/PenguinGroupNZ/files/Cut__Run_press_release.pdf
I know little about Ms Bosco at this stage, but will do my best to find out more about both her and her new book and share it on this blog as soon as I can. It is always good to see more Kiwi crime writers being published, and hopefully her Auckland-set tale of a legal researcher caught up in a vicious murder will be an enjoyable read.