On Tuesday I wrote about how I've received plenty of credit for the creation of the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel, including in a few media stories about the rise and growing recognition of Kiwi crime fiction (read Herald on Sunday article here, Listener article here, Fairfax magazines article here), but the truth of the matter was that it was very much a team effort to bring New Zealand's first-ever crime fiction award to fruition late last year.
Another of the terrific international judges who generously gave histime to read, rate and comment on New Zealand crime novels that (in some cases) weren't even available in his home country, was the irrepressible Mike 'the Ripster' Ripley. Along with being the author of the award-winning ‘Angel’ comic thrillers (see fansite here), Ripley is a renowned crime fiction commentator, and has helped Ostara Publishing resurrect some thriller titles that "have unjustifiably become unavailable either through the ravages of time or the forces of publishing economics". Read more about that project here.
Ripley is also the co-editor of three Fresh Blood anthologies promoting new British crime writing (with Maxim Jakubowski), for ten years was the crime fiction critic of the Daily Telegraph, and is now well known for his great “Getting Away with Murder column” in Shots Ezine.
Author, editor, publisher, commentator - Mike Ripley has been an integral part of the British crime writing scene for decades, and we were absolutely delighted to have someone of his calibre and expertise on board as a judge for the inaugural Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel.
Ripley was interviewed by Michael Gregorio of The Rap Sheet earlier this week. It's an interesting interview, and well worth a read. Gregorio and Ripley traverse a variety of interesting subjects, with plenty of dashes of the famous Ripley humour, including his own novels, his crime fiction commentary, his recovery from a stroke (and the book he wrote about it), and more. I recommend you go and have a read of the interview here.
I read and enjoyed Ripley's ANGELS IN ARMS last year, and am looking forward to reading FAMILY OF ANGELS and ANGEL CONFIDENTIAL, which I also recently acquired. Ripley has a caper-esque style that might give you a belly laugh or two while you are flipping through the pages of an interesting story filled with quirky and memorable characters.
Have you read any of Mike Ripley's 'Angel' novels? Do you like satirical or humorous crime fiction? Do you read Getting Away with Murder? Thoughts welcome.