Saturday, 3 December 2011

The Somme Stations wins the Ellis Peters Historical Award

(Andrew Martin © Mike Stotter)

This year the CWA Ellis Peters Award ceremony took place in the Smoking Room of the elegant Athenaeum club. A large number of crime writers, reviewers and bloggers turned up to find out who won this year’s Ellis Peters Historical Award. Amongst those present included former Chairs of the CWA Natasha Cooper, Janet Laurence and Michael Ridpath. Also present were critics Michael Carlson, Mike Ripley, Mike Stotter. Some others present included Chris Simmonds (Crimesquad), Myles Allfrey (Crimefest) and David Headley (Goldsboro Books), Thalia Proctor, Peter Guttridge to name a few. The ceremony was organised once again by publicist Sam Eades from Headline.

The award which is sponsored by the Estate of Ellis Peters, Headline Book Publishing Group and Little, Brown Book Group is given to the best historical crime novel set in any period up to 35 years prior to the year in which the award will be made.

This year the shortlist was:-
Prince by Rory Clements (John Murray)
The Red Coffin by Sam Eastland (Faber & Faber)
The Hanging Shed by Gordon Ferris (Corvus)
The Somme Stations by Andrew Martin (Faber & Faber)
The Cleansing Flame by R N Morris (Faber & Faber)
Island of Bones by Imogen Robertson (Headline)

(Eileen Roberts © Mike Stotter)

After a brief introduction by Jane Morpeth from Headline and Claire McGowan a Director at the CWA the Chair of the panel Eileen Roberts gave a short speech before announcing the winner. She noted that whilst every year it gets harder and harder to choose a winner as the standard keeps on getting better and better, this year the winner had stood out.

The judging panel consisted of –
Eileen Roberts (Chair)
Geoffrey Bailey
Barry Forshaw
Sir Bernard Ingham
Jake Kerridge

This year the winner of the Ellis Peters Historical Award was “Andrew Martin with his novel The Somme Stations. The judging panel said of The Somme Stations: Andrew Martin’s novels featuring railway detective Jim Stringer reveal their treasures in subtle fashion with a winning synthesis of period atmosphere, intriguing plotting and a passion for steam railways.

(Eileen Roberts & Andrew Martin © Mike Stotter)

On accepting the award, Andrew Martin said that he was very pleased to win the award and the recognition that it gave. He was extremely pleased to win as it had been an extremely strong list.

The Somme Stations is set during the horrors of World War One and the trenches. Stringer and his unit find themselves undertaking dangerous night assignments which included taking munitions to the front by train late at night. Death is still everywhere and Stringer finds himself investigating a killing before the departure for France.

Congratulations go to Andrew Martin for winning the Ellis Peters Historical Award and also to the other shortlisted authors.

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