Wednesday, September 9, 2009

And the winners are... [insert drumroll]...

Thank you to everyone who entered the first ever Crime Watch competition - we had a great response, with 20 entrants from all over the world - Australia, UK, Ireland, Denmark, Italy, Russia, South Africa, and many different states in the USA.

Due to that great response, I'd decided to give away 3 prizes, each being a recent NZ crime fiction title. I will also be looking to run more competitions in future, so please keep checking in at this blog regularly, and tell your crime/thriller fiction loving friends.

The random draw was made a few minutes ago by a friend of mine who is a literary fiction reviewer, and who has nothing to do with this competition, or this blog. She drew 3 names from the 20 valid entries. So, without further ado, the winners of the first Crime Watch competition are...

Jen from Ohio, USA. Jen also has her own book blog. In her entry Jen said: "I'm always looking for diversity in my crime fiction library. I read a lot of crime fiction that is created outside the US but published by an American publisher. However, I don't think I've read anything from New Zealand - ever. So, if I won I'd probably ask you to choose a police procedural or a P.I. novel that you highly recommend."

Congratulations Jen! For you I've chosen THE DARKNESS LOOKING BACK by Andrea Jutson. This is a police procedural with some paranormal elements, a similar blend to what is seen in hit TV shows like Medium or The Mentalist (where there is some paranormal stuff, but it's still basically a cop story). It has a nice sense of setting in Auckland, New Zealand.

Richard A King from Cork, Ireland. I believe Richard found this competition via the forums on crime writer Mark Billingham's website. In his entry, Richard said: "The only antipodean author I have read is Peter Temple, from your neighbouring “island”. I enjoyed reading crime fiction set on the opposite side of the world. It was refreshing change to the UK and US scenarios I normally read... Should I win your competition, I would leave the choice of prize up to you... I expect Paul Cleave would be the sort I would enjoy. In fact, he is on my list of authors to start collecting."

Congratulations Richard! I am going to send you Paul Cleave's debut THE CLEANER, which has been a smash hit in Germany, but hasn't been released in the UK yet. Cleave's third novel, CEMETERY LAKE is being released in the UK later this month, so I'll send you his debut instead (since that's harder for you to get, yet). THE CLEANER is very dark, and has plenty of dark humour, so hopefully you will enjoy it. It also has a great (if dark) sense of place in terms of its Christchurch setting.

Fred Runk from Tucson, Arizona, USA. Fred, who was the very first entrant, said: "I'm trying to break out and see what the rest of the world has to offer. The only Kiwi mystery writer that I've read is Dame Ngaio Marsh and that was decades ago, so I really can't comment on them--except to say that I enjoyed reading them and also am now enjoying Inspector Alleyn on TV. As I know nothing about NZ crime fiction, I will leave the choice up to you, with the comment that I prefer police procedurals. It should also be set in New Zealand."

Congratulations Fred! I am going to send you Vanda Symon's THE RINGMASTER, the second in her Sam Shephard series. It's a little more of a police procedural than Symon's first novel OVERKILL, as Sam is working as a junior/probationary detective in a bigger city, whereas in the debut she is a sole charge rural cop. This book also gives you a nice sense of Dunedin, which is a student city in New Zealand. Vanda has also kindly offered to personally sign this for you.

So those are your winners from the first ever Crime Watch competition. Thanks to everyone who took part - I hope all of you will get a chance to read some quality New Zealand crime fiction in the future. As for our 3 winners, if you could please message me your postal addresses, I will get those prizes on the way to you.

Thoughts and comments on the competition welcome. I will be looking to run some more in the future, so any feedback will be appreciated. Kia Kaha from Aotearoa, and happy reading!


  1. Craig,

    Thanks much for the opportunity to meet a new writer in a new environment. I'm looking forward to settling down and turning the first page.