Friday 22 June 2007

Something for the weekend?

Books fly off the shelves after getting picked for the Summer Read for the Richard and Judy Book Club, with some titles experiencing a 3000% increase in sales. They have announced the following titles as their summer reads
The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards
Relentless by Simon Kernick
The House at Riverton by Kate Morton
Getting Rid of Matthew by Jane Fallon
Richard Madeley said: "A cracking read can be the ultimate antidote for a summer's day, and Summer Read hands viewers eight engaging and exciting books on a plate.

RendezVous Crime announced that Barbara Fradkin has just won the Arthur Ellis Award for Best Novel 2007 for her novel Honour Among Men. Her achievement is all the more remarkable because it is the first time than an author has won for two consecutive books. Barbara also won the same award in 2005 for her previous novel, Fifth Son. The Arthur Ellis Awards are sponsored by the Crime Writers of Canada and represent the best in Canadian crime writing.

Quercus’ biography of Richard Nixon, Richard Milhous Nixon; The Invincible Quest, was reviewed early in the Evening Standard by Tom Bower, who is, of course, the author of the hostile biography of Conrad Black and his wife, Barbara Amiel, (Outrageous Fortune: The Rise and Ruin of Conrad and Lady Black ) which may result in legal action if Black is acquitted of fraud in the next couple of weeks. Tom Bower is married to Veronica Wadley, the editor of the Evening Standard.

Every festival needs a fringe and what organisers claim is the capital's first ever literary festival is no exception. While Nobel laureates and children's laureates gather at the South Bank Centre next week for the official London literary festival, an underground literary adventure is under way, courtesy of an enterprising collective of London bloggers.

Just when you thought that all the controversy over Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code was over more than a year after its premiere, the film version is being investigated by Italian state attorneys on the grounds that it is "obscene" from a religious perspective. Earlier this year, a complaint against the film was filed by a group of clergy near the Italian village of Civitavecchia, where the state prosecutor said it would open a criminal investigation into the film. The complaint says the film violates Article 528 of Italy's Penal Code.

The Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival Crime
shortlist announced

The 6 strong shortlist was voted for by the public and is as follows:
Christopher Brookmyre - All Fun and Games Until Somebody Loses an Eye (Little, Brown)
Stuart MacBride - Cold Granite (HarperCollins)
Stephen Booth - The Dead Place (HarperCollins)
Allan Guthrie - Two Way Split (Birlinn),
Graham Hurley - Blood and Honey (Orion)
Michael Jecks - The Death Ship of Dartmouth (Headline).
The winner will be announced Thursday 19th July on the opening night of the festival and will receive £3,000 and a beer barrel from sponsors Theakstons Old Peculier.

Friday 15 June 2007

R.I.P. Jill McGowan

Jill McGowan (9 August 1947- 6 April 2007)

Scottish born Jill McGowan was the author of the police procedural series featuring Chief Inspector Daniel Lloyd and Inspector Judy Hill. McGowan wrote 13 books in the series featuring the duo; the first book was A Perfect Match back in 1983 the most recent was Unlucky for Some. Lloyd and Hill subsequently become a married couple and in the last book, we see them coping with a pressurised marriage, a daughter and the fact the Lloyd’s mother was living with them. The Lloyd and Hill series were intelligently and dramatically written books, which crackled with energy and pace. One of the books, A Shred of Evidence was dramatised for television but it did not fare very well.

She also wrote a number of standalone novels one of which The Stalking Horse (1987) was a novel of revenge featuring a character that plots and systematically reeks vengeance on those responsible for him being incarcerated for a decade and a half for two murders that he was not responsible for. It was a masterful and suspenseful tale.

Under the name Elizabeth Chaplin, she also wrote a first-rate psychological novel called Hostage to Fortune. Only one of her books was set in Scotland where she was born and that was Murder Movie and it was set not unsurprisingly on the Mull of Kintyre where she spent her youth. The background of the book was set amidst where a film was being shot.

Her writing consistently elicited appreciative reviews from crime fiction reviewers and were always smart and intricately plotted.

Ayo Onatade

Thursday 14 June 2007

Ian Rankin Investigates: Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde – Saturday 16 June, 9.55pm, BBC Four
A notorious Edinburgh warlock, who led a double life as a pillar of the community, was a prototype Jekyll and Hyde, according to a new documentary, Ian Rankin Investigates: Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde from BBC Scotland. The documentary, presented by Ian Rankin, reveals the author Robert Louis Stevenson was horrified as a child by tales of Scotland's most notorious wizard Major Thomas Weir.

Seemingly an upstanding preacher and Captain of the Town Guard, Major Weir shocked his flock when at the age of 70 he revealed he had for decades practised incest, bestiality and sorcery. Together with his sister Jean, he was sentenced to be strangled and burned at the stake in a trial that shocked the Edinburgh of 1670.

According to local lore, his walking stick had a life of its own and when thrown onto the funeral pyre, burned only with great difficulty. Local legend also has it that his ghost haunts the West Bow area of Edinburgh, where he lived. Ian Rankin Investigates: Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde reveals Robert Louis Stevenson had nightmares in the wake of tales about the Major told by his nanny, who he called Cummy.

Rankin says: "Stevenson had always suffered from nightmares – they began as a child growing up in Heriot Row, Edinburgh. What made Cummy's bedtime stories for young Louis so terrifying was that they really happened – just outside his bedroom window on the haunted streets of Edinburgh. One of Cummy's favourite bedtime stories was about Edinburgh's most famous witch Thomas Weir. As covenantors, Thomas and his sister Jean made a great show of piety and godliness and excelled at prayer. In time, they even became the unofficial leaders of one group who called themselves 'The Saints'. But Thomas and Jean had a secret. When both Thomas and his sister Jean confessed to a string of sexual offences, the outraged congregation reported the pair to the authorities."

Weir, born near Carluke in Lanarkshire, was reputed to have said on the day of his execution, when he was burned at the stake: "Let me alone. I have lived as a beast and I must die as a beast."

The documentary goes out on Saturday 16 June at 9.55pm on BBC Four, immediately after the first episode of BBC One's new drama Jekyll, starring James Nesbitt. Over and above Cummy's tales, which it is believed included other infamous Edinburgh characters such as grave robbers Burke and Hare and Deacon Brodie, Edinburgh itself is also credited as being very much part and parcel of Stevenson's inspiration for his creation. The "two sides" of the city with the New and Old Town – where Stevenson consorted with prostitutes – also fuelled his imagination and helped create the Jekyll and Hyde legend.

Rankin says: "It wasn't just Edinburgh characters like Major Weir who led double lives, the city itself has a split personality." But the city lost out as the location for the tale because Stevenson thought the home of a famous anatomist, who lived in London, was a great setting. "In the story, Stevenson describes Dr Jeykll as having bought his house 'from the heirs of a celebrated surgeon'", says Rankin.
"In the book, Stevenson gives a detailed description of the layout of Dr Jekyll's home. It is identical to John Hunter's."

Hunter, who was originally from Glasgow, had a beautiful town house on one street, where he welcomed his clients, which connected through to an anatomy theatre which then connected to another building in a separate street on the other side, through which it is reckoned thousands of cadavers were delivered for dissection.

Rankin adds: "Like Dr Jekyll in his quest to push scientific boundaries, Hunter was completely driven. Hunter's obsession with cutting up everything and anything he could lay his hands on gave him the skills that earned his famous nickname – The Knife Man – but he was also one of London's most sought after doctors and was appointed Surgeon Extraordinary to King George III. Despite his fame and respectability, Hunter still demanded a constant supply of cadavers for his growing anatomy collection and teaching. Naturally Hunter's new home, in Leicester Square, was purpose-built for a surgeon's double life."

Ali Karim talks to author of The Accident Man, Tom Cain

According to Ali Karim, Shots' Assistant Editor, he is expecting great things of Tom Cain's The Accident Man, citing it as one of his best reads of 2007. Tom Cain could be known as David Thomas but he's not confirming the fact. In the first of a slew of books being published about the conspiracies behind the death of Diana, Princess of Wales The Accident Man introduces us to a new James Bond style hero in Samuel Carver. At an unknown location, and behind closed doors, Ali and Tom spoke about the book and the dark world of conspiracy theories.

Wednesday 13 June 2007

Shamus Award Winner Edward Wright's new crime book is called DAMNATION FALLS, in which a disgraced Chicago newspaper columnist agrees to ghost write a biography of his childhood friend and former Tennessee governor, but instead finds himself investigating a series of ghastly murders and a town legend from the Civil War in the Tennessee hills.

On Saturday 23rd June from 2pm Dean Koontz will be signing copies of ‘The Good Guy’ published by HarperCollins in hardback, priced £17.99 from his home in Newport Beach , California for customers at Waterstone’s Piccadilly, (203-206 Piccadilly, London W1V 9LE). The signing will start at 2pm GMT.
The LongPen TM – the world’s first long distance, pen-and-ink signing device is the invention of Margaret Atwood. Carbon neutral, and one of the most exciting developments in the literary world, it enables booklovers from around the world to have contact with authors they would never otherwise meet. LongPen TM operates over the Internet, incorporating video conferencing to facilitate trans-Atlantic conversations between writers and their fans.
Not only is this the commercial launch of LongPen TM to the UK public, but the first time that this hugely prolific writer has undertaken a signing event for UK fans: a genuinely groundbreaking moment. But we know that our man, Ali Karim had the benefit of being one of the first people at this year’s London Book Fair to use the LongPen, and had Koontz ‘sign’ his copy of The Good Guy.

The visual language of design - the ability to communicate what the book is about, who it is for - is something publishers are all too aware of, as they watch their books do battle on increasingly cluttered bookshop (and supermarket) shelves, competing for our attention and, let's face it, our money. Images and typography play as great a part in the mind of a potential book buyer than do endorsements on the jackets, be they blurbs from fellow writers, or a sticker from Richard and Judy.
Item in The Guardian

Bestselling author John Grisham will publish a new novel this autumn about an American football player in Italy, it was announced today. The book, entitled Playing for Pizza, will be published simultaneously by Doubleday in the US and Century in the UK.
Playing for Pizza is a short novel about a fallen American football star who can no longer get work in the National Football League and whose agent, as a last resort, signs a deal for him to play for the Parma Panthers, in Parma, Italy. The quarterback’s move to a small city in a foreign land leads to a series of cultural misadventures. The idea for the novel grew out of time Grisham spent in Italy researching his last novel, The Broker, which was set in Bologna.
“I was pleasantly surprised to find real American football in Italy,” says Grisham, “and as I dug deeper a novel came together. The research was tough – food, wine, opera, football, Italian culture – but someone had to do it.”
John Grisham is the author of 18 novels and the recent bestselling work of non fiction, The Innocent Man. Arrow will publish The Innocent Man in paperback on 15th November, Century will publish Grisham’s next legal thriller in spring 2008.
Playing for Pizza will be published as a Century hardback on September 25th with an Arrow paperback the following year.

Wednesday 6 June 2007


Last night (5th June)The Crime Writers’ Association announced the shortlists for this year’s Daggers - the prestigious awards that celebrate the very best in crime and thriller writing in 2007. This is the second year of the Duncan Lawrie Dagger - formerly the CWA Gold Dagger for Fiction - with a prize of £20,000. This is now the largest award for crime fiction in the world. Duncan Lawrie Private Bank also sponsor the Duncan Lawrie International Dagger for the best crime novel translated into English, with £5000 going to the author and £1000 to the translator.

The results will be announced on Thursday, July 5 2007

The shortlists, by category, in alphabetical order, are as follows:

£20,000 prize money, sponsored by Duncan Lawrie Private Bank

Giles Blunt - FIELDS OF GRIEF - HarperCollins
Judges’ comments: ‘This is a novel with a great sense of place that intertwines what are apparently disparate plot lines into an unexpected resolution.’

James Lee Burke - PEGASUS DESCENDING - Orion
Judges’ comments: ‘Burke is a master of crackling dialogue and exploration into New Orleans lowlife and corrupt politics, and in the Police Department he creates a steamy world of violence and intrigue. His is unforgiving territory he knows so well in which alcoholic ex-cop, Dave Robicheaux, is drawn inexorably into another tangled story of broken families and revenge.’

Gillian Flynn - SHARP OBJECTS - Weidenfeld & Nicolson
Judges’ comments: ‘Flynn’s novel is a study of evil at the heart of the family set against a background of southern gothic American life. The reader is drawn into the macabre relationship of mother and daughter resulting in physical self harming.’

Craig Russell - BROTHER GRIMM - Hutchinson
Judges’ comments: ‘A compelling police procedural set in Hamburg, Russell’s novel is a horrific modern twist on the Brothers Grimm fairy tales. A vividly drawn and believable set of characters.’

C.J. Sansom - SOVEREIGN - Macmillan
Judges’ comments: ‘An historical thriller that brings together and original and multi-layered plot with a rich story set against a royal progress by Henry VIII to York and his dissolution of his marriage to Catherine Howard. Sansom is a masterly story teller and natural plotter.’

Peter Temple - THE BROKEN SHORE - Quercus
Judges’ comments: ‘This is a well written crime novel with excellent characterisation mingled with a subtle exploration of contemporary Australian landscape and mores. This is a first class read with a sympathetic engrossing police protagonist.’

Judging Panel
Geoff Bradley (Chair) - editor of Crime And Detective Stories (CADS) magazine
Lyn Brown MP - committee member on the London Libraries service
Steve Craggs - crime reviewer for The Northern Echo
Heather O'Donoghue - academic, linguist, crime fiction reviewer for The Times Literary Supplement, and keen reader of all crime fiction
Barry Forshaw - reviewer and editor of Crime Time magazine
Elinor Goodman - former political editor for Channel Four
Frances Gray - academic who writes about and teaches courses on modern crime fiction
Margaret Kinsman - senior lecturer in English Studies at London South Bank University
James Naughtie - BBC journalist and Radio Four Today programme presenter

£5000 prize money for the author and £1000 for the translator, sponsored by Duncan Lawrie Private Bank
For crime, thriller, suspense novels or spy fiction which have been translated into English from their original language, for UK publication.

Karin Alvtegan (Sweden) - SHAME - Canongate translated by Steven T. Murray
Judges' comments: ‘A clever psychological study of a small group of people brought together by shared experiences of abuse which they must now, finally, confront.’

Christian Jungersen (Denmark) - THE EXCEPTION - Weidenfeld & Nicolson translated by Anna Paterson
Judges' comments: ‘Something completely out of the ordinary: a thought-provoking novel in which workers in a centre monitoring human rights abuses slide into bullying office politics.’

Yasmina Khadra (Algeria) - THE ATTACK - William Heinemann translated by John Cullen
Judges’ comments: ‘A harrowing psychological novel which explores the motivations of a suicide bomber, and lifts the conventions of the whydunnit.’

Åsa Larsson (Sweden) - THE SAVAGE ALTAR - Viking translated by Marlaine Delargy
Judges' comment: ‘A fine sense of Northern Sweden with a story of mayhem in a small religious community.’

Jo Nesbø (Norway) - THE REDBREAST - Harvill Secker translated by Don Bartlett
Judges' comments: ‘Secrets from Norway’s discreditable wartime past resurface when a lone terrorist threatens an assassination.’

Fred Vargas (France) - WASH THIS BLOOD CLEAN FROM MY HAND - Harvill Secker translated by Sîan Reynolds
Judges' comments: ‘A stylish return to the shortlist for last year’s inventive winner with another unconventional police procedural.’

Judging Panel:
Adrian Muller (non-voting Chair) - freelance journalist and an events organiser specialising in crime fiction
Peter Guttridge - crime writer and the crime fiction reviewer for the Observer
Ruth Morse - has written about post-colonial crime fiction, and is a reviewer for The Times Literary Supplement
Susanna Yager - the crime fiction reviewer for The Sunday Telegraph

£2000 prize money, sponsored by Ian Fleming Publications Ltd

‘Out of the many exciting submissions received this year, from established names and newcomers alike, the judges were particularly pleased to see some powerful fresh explorations of the genre. Themes ran from present day spies and terrorism to a focus on psychological edge, and we read explosive storylines alongside those with harrowing personal repercussions for the protagonists. The Ian Fleming Steel Dagger judges are looking for the best in any of these fields.’

Alex Berenson - THE FAITHFUL SPY - Random House
Judges’ comments: ‘A very assured first novel, exciting, well-informed and engrossing with the most mature take on the threat of terrorism from Al Qaeda in this year's crop of thrillers. An excellent read.’

Harlan Coben - THE WOODS - Orion
Judges’ comments: ‘Gripping. This departure from his usual series crackles along with excellent dialogue and fast-paced plot. A really good blend of past intrigue and present dangers.’

R.J. Ellory - CITY OF LIES - Orion
Judges’ comments: ‘Told in a unique style, peopled with highly believable characters with dialogue that is evocative of 1940s’ classic noir. New York City lives and breathes in this distinctive thriller.’

Gillian Flynn - SHARP OBJECTS - Weidenfeld & Nicolson
Judges’ comments: ‘A very good debut, atmospheric and creepy, with a complex and convincingly drawn female protagonist. The claustrophobia of small-town America in the south is portrayed exceptionally well in this dark psychological thriller.’

Michael Marshall - THE INTRUDERS - HarperCollins
Judges’ comments: ‘A book that is impossible to put down. It has pace, a marvellously believable lead character, and a plot that grips all the way through to a surprising conclusion.’

Michael Robotham - THE NIGHT FERRY - Little, Brown
Judges’ comments: ‘Very involving and accomplished, especially in the portrayal of the female Sikh lead character. Robotham handles his subject with great deftness and perception in this modern take on people smuggling.’

Karin Slaughter - TRIPTYCH - Random House
Judges’ comments: ‘Compulsive reading. Slaughter has moved away from her series to produce a skilfully and confidently written analysis of a killer and how his crimes over time have affected him and those around him. Utterly convincing and hideously believable.’

Judging Panel
Corrine Turner (Chair) - Managing Director of Ian Fleming Publications
Seraphina Granelli - head of retail with Millivres Prowler, Europe’s biggest gay and lesbian publisher and retailer, and former manager of Waterstone’s, Piccadilly
Mike Jecks - founder member of Medieval Murderers, author of the Templar series, former Chair of the CWA.
Mike Stotter - editor of Shots e-zine, award-winning children’s author
Zoë Watkins - Publishing Manager of Ian Fleming Publications
Gordon Wise - former bookseller and publisher with Pan Macmillan and John Murray, now a literary agent

For first books by previously unpublished writers, sponsored by BBC Audio Books. Formerly the CWA John Creasey Memorial Dagger
£1000 prize money

The judges remarked on the interesting, well written novels they had read. ‘There was a great deal to enjoy on the list.’

C.J. Emerson - OBJECTS OF DESIRE - Allison & Busby
Judges’ comments: ‘This is a tale of lost children, child murder and change of identity with wonderfully tense scenes.’

Gillian Flynn - SHARP OBJECTS - Weidenfeld & Nicolson
Judges’ comments: ‘This was a novel characterised by its vivid and poetic writing. A superb sense of character with an imaginative treatment of the reasons for and the problems of self-harm.’

Declan Hughes - THE WRONG KIND OF BLOOD - John Murray
Judges’ comments: ‘This fast pacy novel portrayed a family of convoluted relationships with a secret at its heart. Evocative of Dublin, the novel showed great splashes of humour.’

Brian McGilloway - BORDERLANDS - Macmillan New Publishing
Judges’ comments: ‘A wonderfully written novel with rhythmic prose. An easy and fluent style which suits the format of a fast moving crime thriller. It portrays scenes of violence among outsiders in society and reveals the seamier side of the detective’s private life which intrudes on his work.’

Andrew Pepper - LAST DAYS OF NEWGATE - Weidenfeld & Nicolson
Judges’ comments: ‘A pre-Victorian bow-street runner hunts the killer of a young family. This was a novel of complex characters and sweeping themes of both persecution and religion which are as true to contemporary life as they were then.’

Camilla Way - DEAD OF SUMMER - HarperCollins
Judges’ comments: ‘A lean, pacy novel, simply but powerfully written which saw crime from the point of view of an adolescent. An excellent portrayal of a charismatic leader.’

Judging Panel
Marion Arnott (Chair) - short story writer, winner of the CWA Short Story Dagger, 2001 and shortlisted twice
Dreda Say Mitchell - winner of the 2005 CWA John Creasey Dagger
Peter Walker - who also writes as Nicholas Rhea, author of the ‘Heartbeat’ series

Nominated and judged by librarians and awarded to an author for a body of work, not one single title.
£1500 prize money, sponsored by the Random House Group

Kate Atkinson
Judges’ comments: ‘With her offbeat and eccentric stories, Kate Atkinson is taking the crime genre in a new direction. Jackson Brodie is a fine addition to the league of flawed but successful detectives. We can’t wait to read more.’

Susan Hill
Judges’ comments: ‘Her novels leave a deep impression on our readers, as sinister events seep into everyday life. Simon Serrailler is a cultured detective in the Adam Dalgleish mould, and the supporting characters are equally well drawn. But be warned, there are a few shocks along the way.’

Stuart MacBride
Judges’ comments: ‘His books tell of life in all its grim reality, but this only adds to the appeal of this truly impressive new author … the grimmest of subjects, but leavened (thankfully) with dashes of humour. He’s bad news for the Aberdeen tourist industry, but great news for crime readers.”

Barbara Nadel
Judges’ comments: ‘Well researched and with lots of added extras, plus some wonderful imagery … Sympathetic heroes, and a whole new world is exposed through her descriptions of life in Istanbul. All human life is there!’

Courttia Newland
Judges’ comments: ‘Well crafted stories and an immersion into inner-city London life … There are no certainties here, no absolute rights or wrongs, we found his books riveting and would love to read more - if you’re fond of cosy reading these aren’t for you, but this is definitely an author to push further into the limelight.’

C.J. Sansom
Judges’ comments: ‘Brilliantly researched stories about turbulent Tudor England, we like his hero Matthew Shardlake - he’s an impressive sleuth and a good man, a thoroughly likeable character. Authentic settings, entertaining and enjoyable stories - they satisfy on so many levels.’

Judging Panel
Will Cooban (Chair) - Bexley Libraries
Mark Benjamin - Northumberland Libraries
Miriam Bennett - Liverpool Library
Jonathan Gibbs - City of London Libraries
Muriel Waldt - Bedfordshire Libraries
Kim Wallis - Leicestershire Libraries

£500 prize money, sponsored by Orion
For unpublished novels by unpublished authors.

Martin Brackstone (UK) - MALESTKI’S MOTIVE
Synopsis: Emotionally fragile homicide cop Larry Kurtin and his alluring new partner Louisa Silver investigate a bizarre, seemingly motiveless murder during San Francisco’s morning commute.

Synopsis: Flavia is barely eleven, but her passion for poisons would make Lucrezia Borgia cringe.

Nesta Brzozowski (UK) - WITH A VIEW TO DEATH
Synopsis: With a View to Death is set in the Lake District and introduces DCS Jack Runcie. New to the area, Runcie heads a small team investigating a lakeside murder which has been linked to a terror campaign, waged against holiday-home owners and tourists, which threatens to destroy the local economy. Runcie is under pressure to solve this case quickly but is not helped by the tensions and conflicts within his investigating team, nor by his own position as ‘offcomer’.

Fay Cunningham (UK) - CRY BABY

Synopsis: Gina Cross is a forensic artist with a special talent, she can see the faces of the dead. Pregnant teenagers are being targeted by an agency selling babies abroad, one young girl has already been found dead just after giving birth, and now a friend’s teenage sister has gone missing.

Synopsis: Rome Was Never Like This explores two fundamental issues: What is the role of the individual in a society - our society - in which civil liberties are increasingly threatened? And in such a society, how far must a man go to get the attention of a government that has murdered his child?

Synopsis: When he finds himself on the run from a phoney murder rap, Gouvernor Ness, a young, street-smart thief, is cast down a path that will lead him from the dark corners of skid row to the shiny marble halls of power, a journey that will force him to confront not only a desperate killer but the painful secrets that lie buried in his past.

David Jackson (UK) - PARIAH
Synopsis: Where do you turn when your very presence is the kiss of death to those around you? Detective Cal Doyle is about to discover just how low he is prepared to sink.

D.J. McIntosh (Canada) - THE WITCH OF BABYLON
Synopsis: As John Madison sets out on a search to recover stolen Iraqi antiquities, an even darker secret casts a long shadow over his quest.

Gerard O’Donovan (UK) - WHITE LION
Synopsis: White Lion is a novel about lust, murder and bad, bad timing in a tight-knit Suffolk community. It is a story of wholly different lives that collide for only an instant - but with horrific consequences.

James Oswald (UK) - NATURAL CAUSES
Synopsis: Someone is killing Edinburgh’s elder statesmen, cutting them open and removing bits, and it is up to Detective Inspector Anthony McLean to find whoever is responsible. But how are these deaths linked to the remains of a young girl, ritually murdered and walled up in a long-forgotten basement? And what has that to do with a series of violent suicides across the city?

Peter James Peacock (UK) - TOWERS OF LONDON
Synopsis: Two ambitious East Enders take on gangland London as they strive to rebuild their shattered city after the war.

Martie de Villiers (UK) - SOLITAIRE
Synopsis: Two women, Ingrid, a diamond thief hoping to make a fresh start, and Amanda, a cop determined to make her pay for her crimes are thrown together in a chase through the Namib desert as they attempt to escape an armed gang after 10 million dollar's worth of diamonds that Ingrid has hidden and fully intends to keep.

Judging Panel:
Philip Gooden (Chair) - author of historical mysteries and reference books on the English language, and Chair of the CWA
Emma Hargrave - Managing Editor, Tindal Street Press
Bill Massey - Editorial Director, Orion
Sara Menguc - Literary Agent
Keshini Naidoo - Assistant Editor, HarperCollins (Avon)
Sarah Turner - Senior Commissioning Editor, Transworld Publishers

THE CWA SHORT STORY AWARD - to be presented at a later date
Formerly the CWA Short Story Dagger
£1500 prize money

‘The judges debated this list with great enthusiasm, finding all four stories worthy of high commendation.’

J.A. Konrath - EPITAPH
From ‘Thriller’ edited by James Patterson, Mira UK
Judge’s comments: ‘A terminally ill hit man takes revenge in a brutal act of violence. A story with a dash of the macabre, as well as humour. Good characterisation, and good fun.’

Peter Lovesey - NEEDLEMATCH
From 'Best British Mysteries' edited by Maxim Jakubowski, Allison & Busby
Judges’ comments: ‘Set during the Wimbledon fortnight in 1981, with the Cold War raging, and a Russian tennis player's mysterious death leading to potentially global consequences. Excellent writing, evocative setting.’

James Siegel - EMPATHY
From 'Thriller' edited James Patterson, Mira UK
Judges’ comments: ‘A clever story featuring an ex-police officer, a seductive woman and a murder. Brilliantly unpredictable and original.’

From 'Best British Mysteries' edited by Maxim Jakubowski, Allison & Busby
Judges’ comments: ‘A wartime photographer takes the last photograph of his career in Palestine, and uses it to save his own life. Raises issues of media responsibility in times of war. A thoughtful, character-driven story.’

Judging Panel:
Ayo Onatade (Chair) - reviewer
Ali Karim - reviewer
Jerry Sykes - novelist and short story writer

The Ellis Peters Historical Dagger - now the Ellis Peters Award - will be announced and presented later in the year.