Well, it's certainly that time of year - awards season. Following on from the release of the finalists for the Ned Kelly Awards in Australia, and our own Ngaio Marsh Award here in New Zealand (along with the Davitts in Australia, and others), the shortlist for the inaugural Scottish Crime Book of the Year has been revealed:
- Charles Cumming – (Harper Collins)
- Craig Russell – (Quercus)
- Denise Mina – (Orion)
- Peter May – (Quercus)
- Philip Kerr – (Quercus)
- Will Jordan – (Random House)
Congratulations to the six finalists! Scottish crime writing is certainly in fine fettle. The winner will be announced on Sunday, September 16 2012 during Bloody Scotland, where the winner will be presented with a trophy and a cheque for £3,000.
The Scottish Crime Book of the Year award seeks to recognise and reward excellence in Scottish crime writing, first published between 1 August 2011 and 31 July 2012. Over 40 books of fiction and non-fiction were submitted by UK publishers. Eligible books were "by writers born in Scotland, by writers living in Scotland, or books set in Scotland".
That third criteria is certainly an interesting one - books set in Scotland. In future years it will be interesting to see if many non-Scottish authors, who set their books in Scotland despite living overseas, do well.
Scotland has a long and rich tradition of crime and thriller writing - not just recently with the likes of Ian Rankin and Val McDermid sparking an ever-growing wave of darkly talented storytellers since the 1990s, but dating back to William McIlvanney's Laidlaw in the 1970s, and further, back to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Robert Louis Stevenson, and further, to Scottish folk tales that were dark and mysterious.
It's great to see 'tartan noir' being recognised with Scotland's own crime writing award. I look forward to seeing who wins the inaugural prize. Have you read any great Scottish crime novels lately? Which authors and stories from 'north of the border' have captured your imagination as a reader?