Sunday, August 22, 2010

On the case: Ngaio Marsh Award and Kiwi crime fiction highlighted by major New Zealand newspapers

In the lead-up to the inaugural Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel, the growth and quality of New Zealand crime and thriller fiction is pleasantly getting itself in the mainstream news a little more. Following on from last weekend's excellent "Fiction: It's a Crime Wave" overview by Mark Broatch in the Sunday Star-Times (read here), this weekend there is a three-page feature by Philip Matthews in the glossy 'Your Weekend' lifestyle magazine supplement, which is included in the weekend editions of the Dominion Post and The Press (and, I understand, possibly the Waikato Times as well).

In an article entitled "On the case", Matthews notes "There's a spree of crimewriting going on in New Zealand, culminating in the inaugural Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel at the Christchurch Writers Festival next month" before getting comments from the likes of Graham Beattie, Chad Taylor, Vanda Symon, and yours truly (talk about your donkey running with thoroughbreds) about the state of the Kiwi crime novel, and the gradual move towards a greater appreciation for the mystery, crime and thriller genre in this country.

It's an interesting read. So if you're anywhere we you can get your hands on the weekend editions of the Dominion Post, The Press, or the Waikato Times, grab a copy and turn to page 12 of 'Your Weekend'., and then let me know what you think. For everyone overseas, if the article isn't placed online on the Fairfax website in the coming days (, I will see whether I can get permission to republish it online, here on Crime Watch.

Who are your favourite Kiwi crime writers? Which authors have you heard of and would like to try? Who should win the inaugural Ngaio Marsh Award? Thoughts and comments welcome.


  1. Dame Ngaio is certainly on the case. Have just finished re-reading her thriller Death at the Dolphin. A great thriller, (which saw me keep with it until the dawn hours), steeped and set among her beloved theatre people in a small dilapidated London bankside theatre - and its resurrection. A contemporary feel too. What an ability for crafting great tales. She's right up at the top among classic crime writers, and fitting that she continues to receive accolades and honours.(NZ's own tulsitala).

  2. Craig, you deserve some of the credit for the renewed local interest in crime fiction. This blog has done a lot to focus interest, in particular on newer authors. It would be great to see the article online if & when it becomes available.