Thursday, 5 July 2012

Colin Dexter to receive Outstanding Contribution Award and Theakston's Short List Announced



Chilling suspense thrillers lead the way on this year’s Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award shortlist.  One of the most prestigious crime writing prizes in the country, the 2012 shortlist reflects the ever increasingly popularity of psychological and suspense-driven narratives.

In a move away from the grittier whodunits that have long dominated the crime fiction genre, this year’s shortlist is comprised of four thrillers out of six: SJ Watson’s smash hit debut Before I Go To SleepThe Burning Soul by veteran author John Connolly; SJ Bolton’s multi-layered, page-turner Now You See Me; and Steve Mosby’s horror-tinged tale Black Flowers.

The two non-thriller titles are Where the Bodies Are Buried and The End of the Wasp Season by Chris Brookmyre and Denise Mina respectively, both of whom have based their plots on the streets of Glasgow and have focused on a police procedural style.  The presence of two Scots on the list also reaffirms the consistent level of success enjoyed by crime writers north of the border.

The shortlist in full:
·       Now You See Me by SJ Bolton (Transworld)
·       Where the Bodies are Buried by Chris Brookmyre (Little, Brown)
·       The Burning Soul by John Connolly (Hodder & Stoughton)
·       The End of the Wasp Season by Denise Mina (Orion)
·       Black Flowers by Steve Mosby (Orion)
·       Before I Go to Sleep by SJ Watson (Transworld)

Now in its eighth year, the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award, in partnership with Asda - who will promote the shortlisted titles in stores nationwide from today - and in association with the Daily Mirror, was created to celebrate the very best in crime writing and is open to British and Irish authors whose novels were published in paperback from 1st June 2011 to 31st May 2012.

The overall winner will be decided by a public vote and a panel of experts which this year comprises DI Tom Thorne actor David Morrissey, Festival chair Mark BillinghamDaily Mirror Literary Editor and crime novelist Henry Sutton, Asda Fiction Buyer Ruth Lewis, and Simon Theakston, Executive Director of T&R Theakston Ltd.

The public vote opens today, Thursday 5th July, and closes on Tuesday 17th July at

The winner of the prize will be announced by title sponsor Simon Theakston at an award ceremony hosted by radio broadcaster and Festival regular Mark Lawson on Thursday 19th July, the opening night of the 10th Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival. The winner will receive a £3,000 cash prize as well as a handmade, engraved beer barrel provided by Theakstons brewery.

On the same night a special presentation will be made to the winner of the third Theakstons Old Peculier Outstanding Contribution to Crime Fiction Award, which this year is awarded to Colin Dexter, creator of Inspector Morse.

Born in Lincolnshire in 1930, Dexter won a scholarship to the local grammar school and, after completing his National Service, went on to study at Cambridge. Since 1966 he has lived in Oxford with his wife, with whom he has two children. After retiring from a 13-year teaching career, he began writing mysteries in 1973 while on a family holiday. His debut novel, Last Bus to Woodstock, was published in 1975 and introduced the world to Inspector Morse for the first time. One of the most iconic detectives ever to have been created, Morse’s crime-solving talents found a whole new audience in the successful TV series, bringing further acclaim for Dexter. Inspector Morse has appeared in 13 novels and numerous short stories. Dexter has won many awards for his novels, including the CWA Silver Dagger twice and the CWA Gold Dagger for both The Wench is Dead and The Way Through the Woods. In 1997, he was presented with the CWA Diamond Dagger for outstanding services to crime literature and, in 2000, was awarded the OBE in The Queen's Birthday Honours.

Dexter said: "Never had I thought that the gods would be kindly enough to give me such a huge honour so late in my life. Yet here I am, in my early eighties, feeling a profound and heartfelt gratitude for the great honour bestowed on me.”

Simon Theakston, Executive Director of T&R Theakston, said:
"The variety of narratives within crime fiction means that every year we have a shortlist that reflects the diversity of the genre; this year, the thriller seems to be the popular choice. It’s great to see crime writing in such rude health, although it doesn’t make the job of picking a winner any easier!

I’m also delighted and privileged to welcome Colin Dexter to Harrogate to collect his much- deserved Outstanding Contribution to Crime Fiction Award. Few writers are as prolific as Colin has been over his long and varied career and even fewer create a character as iconic and well-loved as Morse. This award acknowledges Colin’s huge contribution to crime fiction and to British culture.

For further information or to request interviews with any of the authors please contact Liz Hyder on 07939 372 865 / or Preena Gadher on 07833 431


5th July: shortlist titles on promotion in 252 Asda stores nationwide

19th July: 10th Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival opens in Harrogate

19th July: Winner of the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award announced; Colin Dexter collects award

2011 – 61 Hours by Lee Child
2010 - A Simple Act of Violence by RJ Ellory
2009 – Death Message by Mark Billingham
2008 – The Tenderness of Wolves by Stef Penney
2007 – Two Way Split by Allan Guthrie
2006 – The Torment of Others by Val McDermid
2005 – Lazy Bones by Mark Billingham

2011 – PD James
2010 – Reginald Hill

·       Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch (Gollancz)
·       Darkside by Belinda Bauer (Corgi)
·       Now You See Me by SJ Bolton (Corgi)
·       Where the Bodies Are Buried by Christopher Brookmyre (Abacus)
·       The Burning Soul by John Connolly (Hodder Paperback)
·       The Calling by Neil Cross (Simon & Schuster)
·       The Hanging Shed by Gordon Ferris (Corvus)
·       Bryant and May and the Memory of Blood by Christopher Fowler (Bantam)
·       Blue Monday by Nicci French (Michael Joseph)
·       The Fear Index by Robert Harris (Arrow)
·       The Retribution by Val McDermid (Sphere)
·       The End of the Wasp Season by Denise Mina (Orion)
·       Black Flowers by Steve Mosby (Orion)
·       Collusion by Stuart Neville (Vintage)
·       The Impossible Dead by Ian Rankin (Orion)
·       Mice by Gordon Reece (Pan Books)
·       Agent 6 by Tom Rob Smith (Simon & Schuster)
·       Before I Go To Sleep by SJ Watson (Black Swan)

The Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival is Europe’s largest event dedicated to the celebration of crime fiction. Taking place annually over four days each July, the Festival programmes over 70 best-selling UK and international crime authors and over 20 events.  It is promoted by the north of England’s leading arts festival organisation, Harrogate International Festivals.  Ranked in the top three literary festivals in the UK by the Guardian, it is also featured in the Independent ‘50 Best Festivals’.

Title sponsor of the Festival since 2005, Theakstons Old Peculier ale is produced by T & R Theakston Ltd.  It is one of the country’s most famous and highly regarded traditional ale brewers.  Theakstons was established in Masham, North Yorkshire in 1827 by Robert Theakston.  After a brief period in the 1980s when the company was acquired by Scottish & Newcastle plc, the company has been back under family ownership since Autumn 2003.  It now operates as an independent brewer producing five permanent brands in the Theakstons range including the iconic Old Peculier – its best-known beer with a rich, dark flavour, celebrated by ale enthusiasts all over Britain and around the world.  The brewery also produces twelve seasonal cask ales, together with keg and bottled brands.  Now appreciated by real ale lovers on the other side of the Atlantic, thanks to a recent agreement between the brewer and Latis Imports of Connecticut Theakstons Old Peculier is once again available in eighteen States in the USA.

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