Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Ngaio Marsh Award finalists revealed

THE FINALISTS for the 2012 Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel, which will be presented on 1 September as part of the upcoming Christchurch Writers Festival, have now been announced. The award, now in its third year, is made annually for the best crime, mystery, or thriller novel written by a New Zealand citizen or resident.

“It has been a really tough decision for the judging panel,” said convenor Craig Sisterson. “There was some top notch crime, mystery, and thriller fiction penned by New Zealanders last year. All of the books on this year’s longlist received high praise from judges. It is great to see one of the world’s most popular forms of writing starting to flourish here on our own shores, though it does make our job harder.”

After much deliberation, the expert judging panel, which included authors, reviewers, publishers, editors, and festival organisers from New Zealand, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany, has settled on the following finalists:

·                     COLLECTING COOPER by Paul Cleave (Simon & Schuster);
·                     LUTHER: THE CALLING by Neil Cross (Simon & Schuster);
·                     BY ANY MEANS by Ben Sanders (HarperCollins); and
·                     BOUND by Vanda Symon (Penguin).

The judges praised COLLECTING COOPER as “dark and poetic” with “great characters and a great sense of place”; said LUTHER: THE CALLING was a “superbly crafted, brilliant novel” written in “vivid prose that brings the characters and world to startling life”; called BY ANY MEANS a “real page turner” and Sanders “a master of the short sentence and crisp dialogue”, reminiscent of Elmore Leonard; and rated BOUND as “full of surprises” and “the best yet” in Symon’s excellent Sam Shephard series, filled with “great pacing, characters, and dialogue”.

This year’s winner of the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel will be announced at a ceremony at the conclusion of “The Great New Zealand Crime Debate” event at the Geo Dome in North Hagley Park on the evening on Saturday 1 September 2012. The winner will receive a distinctive handcrafted trophy designed and created by New Zealand sculptor and Unitec art lecturer Gina Ferguson, a set of Ngaio Marsh novels courtesy of HarperCollins, and a cheque for $1,000 provided by the Christchurch Writers Festival Trust.

The Award’s namesake, Dame Ngaio Marsh, is renowned worldwide as one of the four iconic “Queens of Crime” of the Golden Age of Detective Fiction. The award was established in 2010 with the blessing of Dame Ngaio’s closest living relatives.


For more information, please contact:
Craig Sisterson, Judging Convenor:

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