Wednesday 31 July 2019

Criminal Histories: tales of past eras dominate 2019 Ngaio Marsh Awards

The return of a queen of crime is not the only blast from the past as several tales exploring historic eras are named among this year’s Ngaio Marsh Awards finalists. 

Now in their tenth season, the Ngaio Marsh Awards celebrate the best of New Zealand crime, mystery, thriller, and suspense writing. “It’s been a really remarkable year for our international judging panels across all three categories,” says awards founder Craig Sisterson. “For one, we never could have envisaged when we began in 2010 and chose to honour our legendary Kiwi queen of crime with our awards name that years later a book that Dame Ngaio herself began more than 75 years ago would become a finalist.”

Tokoroa-raised Stella Duffy’s brilliant resumption of Dame Ngaio’s charming Inspector Alleyn in a wartime tale set on the Canterbury plains is among five outstanding finalists for the 2019 Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Novel. Four of which are set at least fifty years ago:

THIS MORTAL BOY by Fiona Kidman (Penguin)
MONEY IN THE MORGUE by Ngaio Marsh & Stella Duffy (HarperCollins)
THE QUAKER by Liam McIlvanney (HarperCollins)
CALL ME EVIE by JP Pomare (Hachette)
THE VANISHING ACT by Jen Shieff (Mary Egan Publishing)

We’ve been blessed with a particularly rich vein of tales exploring past eras in this year’s awards,” says Sisterson, “Not only in the Best Novel category - where our finalists have collectively brought 1940s to 1960s rural and urban New Zealand and late 1960s Glasgow to vivid life, warts and all - but in our Best Non Fiction and Best First Novel categories too.”

The lone contemporary tale among this year’s Best Novel finalists is a mind-bending psychological thriller from one of the freshest voices in Kiwi literature, JP Pomare. 

The Melbourne-based author, who grew up on a horse farm outside Rotorua, is also a finalist in the Best First Novel category alongside the authors of rollicking tale set in the Old West and a hard-hitting story set against the P epidemic. The Best First Novel finalists are:

ONE FOR ANOTHER by Andrea Jacka (Red River Pony Publishing)
CRYSTAL REIGN by Kelly Lyndon (Remnant Press)
CALL ME EVIE by JP Pomare (Hachette)

The finalists for this year’s Best Non-Fiction prize, a biennial category which was first won by Michael Bennett in 2017 for his book about the wrongful conviction of Teina Pora, are:

THE GREAT NEW ZEALAND ROBBERY by Scott Bainbridge (Allen & Unwin)
BEHIND BARS by Anna Leask (Penguin)
THE CAUSE OF DEATH by Cynric Temple-Camp (HarperCollins)

Each of this year’s non-fiction entrants had the ‘gosh’ factor, was impeccably researched, and showed strong knowledge of their subject matter, says judge Douglas Skelton, a Scottish true crime author and novelist. The four finalists stood out for their superior storytelling and ability to make their true tales come to compelling life on the page.

The 2019 Ngaio Marsh Award finalists will be celebrated with two special events in Christchurch on 14 September, as part of the WORD Christchurch special spring season.

Following a free ‘Meet the Ngaio Marsh finalists’at 1pm, the Great Ngaio Marsh Game Show & Awards event will be held at 7.30pm in the TSB Space at Tūranga. The winners of the 2019 Ngaios will be announced following a hilarious night of brain teasers and laughs as two teams of local and international criminal minds compete for the title of Sharpest Knives.

We’re stoked we’ve been able to collaborate with WORD Christchurch to present our awards in Dame Ngaio’s hometown over the last decade,” says Sisterson. “Thanks to Rachael King and her team we’ve had some amazing events. This year raises the bar again.”

For more information on any or all of this year’s finalists or the Ngaio Marsh Awards in general, please contact founder and judging convenor Craig Sisterson,

Monday 29 July 2019

CfP - The Golden Age of Crime: A Re-Evaluation

The Golden Age of Crime: A Re-Evaluation
A 2-day international conference at the University of Chester 3-4 April 2020

The Golden Age of crime fiction, roughly defined as puzzle-based mystery fiction produced between the First and Second World Wars, is enjoying a renaissance both in the literary marketplace and in scholarship. This conference intervenes in emerging academic debates to define and negotiate the boundaries of Golden Age scholarship.

As well as interrogating the staples of ‘Golden Age’ crime (the work of Agatha Christie and/or Ellery Queen, the puzzle format, comparisons to ‘the psychological turn’), this conference will look at under-explored elements of the publishing phenomenon.

We invite proposals for 20-minute papers or panel presentations of one hour. Topics can include, but are by no means limited to, the following:

Defining the parameters of Golden Age crime
The Queens of Crime (Agatha Christie, Margery Allingham, Dorothy L. Sayers, Ngaio Marsh, Josephine Tey, Gladys Mitchell)
Significant male writers of the Golden Age (John Dickson Carr, Anthony Berkeley, Ellery Queen)
Lesser-known Golden Age practitioners
Collaborative and round robin novels
Continuation novels
The Detection Club
Parody, pastiche, and postmodernism
Psychology and psychoanalysis
Meta-fiction and self- or inter-referentiality
The language of crime fiction
The Golden Age and social value
Nostalgia and heritage
Writing the past
Gender, sexuality, and queerness
Clues and coding
Crime and the Gothic
Magic and the supernatural
Place, space, and psychogeography
Reissues and rediscovery
Archival finds and innovations
The ‘Second Golden Age’
The influence of Golden Age crime writers on subsequent and contemporary writers
Interdisciplinary perspectives
Teaching Golden Age crime fiction

Organisers: Dr J C Bernthal (University of Cambridge), Sarah Martin (University of Chester), Stefano Serafini (Royal Holloway, University of London)

We welcome academic and creative paper proposals. Please email your 200-word proposal and short biographical note to no later than 15th December. Comments and queries should be directed to the same address.

Sunday 28 July 2019

2018 Hammett Prize for Literary Excellence in Crime Writing

November Road by Lou Berney (William Morrow)

Nominees:The Lonely Witness by William Boyle (Pegasus)
Paris in the Dark by Robert Olen Butler, (Mysterious Press)
Under My Skin by Lisa Unger, (Park Row)
Cut You Down by Sam Wiebe, (Random House Canada)

This years’s finalist judges: Gary Giddins, jazz critic and author Steven Beattie, editor of Quill and Quire,Kristen Bates, bookseller at McLean & Eakin 

Join IACW as they honor Mary Frisque and all the nominees as the Hammett is presented. 11 a.m., Friday, November 1, 2019 at Bouchercon in Dallas, Texas.

Saturday 27 July 2019

2019 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction

The Winner of the 2019 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction, sponsored by the American Bar Association's ABA Journal, has been announced:

The Boat People 
by Sharon Bala

Also nominated:
Class Action by Steven B. Frank
The Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey

The Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction "was authorized by the late Harper Lee [and was] established in 2011 by the University of Alabama Hugh F. Culverhouse Jr. School of Law and the ABA Journal to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the publication of To Kill a Mockingbird. It is given annually to a book-length work of fiction that best illuminates the role of lawyers in society and their power to effect change.

Friday 26 July 2019

The Macavity Award Nominees 2019

The Macavity Awards are nominated by members of Mystery Readers International, subscribers to Mystery Readers Journal and friends of MRI for works published in 2008. 

Best Novel 
November Road by Lou Berney (William Morrow)
If I Die Tonight by Alison Gaylin (William Morrow)
The Lost Man by Jane Harper (Flat Iron Books)
Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier (Minotaur Books)
Hiroshima Boy by Naomi Hirahara (Prospect Park Books)
Under My Skin by Lisa Unger (Harlequin - Park Row Books)

Best First Novel 
My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite (Doubleday)
Dodging and Burning by John Copenhaver (Pegasus Books)
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens (G.P. Putnam’s Sons)
Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman (Ballantine)
The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor (Crown)

Best Nonfiction 
The Metaphysical Mysteries of G.K. Chesterton: A Critical Study of the Father Brown Stories and Other Detective Fiction by Laird R. Blackwell (McFarland)
Conan Doyle for the Defense: The True Story of a Sensational British Murder, a Quest for Justice, and the World’s Most Famous Detective Writer by Margalit Fox (Random House)
Classic American Crime Fiction of the 1920s by Leslie S. Klinger (Pegasus Books)
I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara (HarperCollins)
Agatha Christie: A Mysterious Life by Laura Thompson (Pegasus Books)
The Real Lolita: The Kidnapping of Sally Horner and the Novel That Scandalized the World by Sarah Weinman (HarperCollins)

Best Short Story 
Race to Judgment” by Craig Faustus Buck (Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Nov/Dec 2018)
All God’s Sparrows” by Leslie Budewitz (Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, May/Jun 2018)
Bug Appétit” by Barb Goffman (Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Nov/Dec 2018)
Three-Star Sushi” by Barry Lancet (Down & Out: The Magazine, Vol.1, No. 3)
The Cambodian Curse” by Gigi Pandian (The Cambodian Curse and Other Stories)
 “English 398: Fiction Workshop” by Art Taylor (Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Jul/Aug 2018)

Sue Feder Memorial Award for Best Historical Mystery 
A Lady's Guide to Etiquette and Murder by Dianne Freeman (Kensington)
City of Ink by Elsa Hart (Minotaur)
Island of the Mad by Laurie R. King (Bantam)
The Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey (Soho Crime)
A Dying Note by Ann Parker (Poisoned Pen)
A Forgotten Place by Charles Todd (William Morrow)

Congratulations to all the nominated authors. The winners will be announced at opening ceremonies at Bouchercon in Dallas, TX, October 31, 2019.

Thursday 25 July 2019

Capital Crime Announces Amazon Publishing Readers Awards Shortlist

Capital Crime and Amazon Publishing have partnered to present innovative new awards that give readers the power to honour their favourite books, films & TV

London 25th July 2019 - Capital Crimeis pleased to announce the shortlists for the 2019 Amazon Publishing Readers’ Awards. The awards are a celebration of the crime and thriller genre and in a UK festival first, recognise excellence in film and television as well as books. The shortlists were decided by Capital Crime’s advisory board of authors, industry leaders and reviewers, but readers will have the final say on who wins in each category.

David Headley, co-founder of Capital Crime said, ‘Capital Crime is all about the readers. With panels focused on entertaining and engaging, and events and parties that are open to all, it was only natural we give readers the ultimate say over who wins our awards.’

Capital Crime has invested in an innovative voting system which gives festival passholders the ability to decide their favourite books, film and TV series. The Amazon Publishing Readers’ Awards are decided by real crime and thriller fans.

Adam Hamdy, author and screenwriter, and co-founder of Capital Crime said, ‘Amazon leads the way in technology innovation and it’s fitting that our awards make use of new technology to put the power in the hands of crime and thriller fans.’

Capital Crime festival pass holders will be able to vote for the winner in each category from today until 19 September 2019.

Hatty Stiles, Senior Marketing Manager, Amazon Publishing, said, ‘We’re delighted to be sponsoring the Capital Crime Reader’s Awards, and excited to be part of this new festival that celebrates the crime and thriller community. As soon as we heard about Capital Crime’s innovative approach and stellar line-up, we were eager to be involved.’

The winners of the awards will be announced at Capital Crime on Saturday 26th September at a gala reception that marks the close of the festival.

The 2019 Amazon Publishing Readers’ Award Nominees are:

Jane Casey – Cruel Acts
Anthony Horowitz – The Sentence is Death
Ragnar Jonasson – The Island
Philip Kerr – Metropolis
Ian Rankin – In A House of Lies

Steve Cavanagh – Twisted
Mick Herron – London Rules
Gregg Hurwitz – Out of the Dark
Manda Scott – A Treachery of Spies
Matt Wesolowski – Changeling

Oyinkan Braithwaite – My Sister, The Serial Killer
Lesley Kara – The Rumour
Laura Shepherd-Robinson – Blood & Sugar
Harriet Tyce – Blood Orange
Holly Watt – To The Lions

Amer Anwar – Brothers in Blood
Mark Edwards – Last of the Magpies
Alex Michaelides – The Silent Patient
Liane Moriarty – Nine Perfect Strangers
CL Taylor – Sleep

Robert Galbraith – Lethal White – Read by Robert Glenister
Anthony Horowitz – The Sentence is Death – Read by Rory Kinnear
Catherine Steadman – Something in the Water – Read by Catherine Steadman
Stuart Turton – The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle – Read by Jot Davies
Harriet Tyce – Blood Orange – Read by Julie Teal

Edward Carey - Little
Will Carver - Good Samaritans
Will Dean – Red Snow
Jean Levy – What Was Lost
Matt Wesolowski – Changeling

Louise Candlish – Our House
Ray Celestin – The Mobster’s Lament
MW Craven – The Puppet Show
Erin Kelly – Stone Mothers
Ian Rankin – In a House of Lies

American Animals
John Wick 3
The Sisters Brothers

Killing Eve
Line of Duty

Tickets for the festival are now on sale here:

CWA Unveil 2019 Dagger Shortlist

As the summer is upon us, and we plan to pack our reading for the annual vacation, it might be useful to have a glance at what The Crime Writers Association’s judging committees have come up with, as the best of the best. All worthy books, so a round of applause to the writers, their editors, literary agents, publishers, librarians and booksellers, so without further ado, here’s the list from The CWA, London England.

The author behind one of the biggest shows on TV, a world-renowned forensic anthropologist and the son of ‘the godfather of tartan noir’ have been shortlisted for the prestigious CWA Dagger awards.

The ten Daggers awarded annually by the CWA are regarded by the publishing world as the foremost British awards for crime-writing.

Luke Jennings is shortlisted for the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger for Killing Eve: No Tomorrow, a Sunday Times thriller of the month and the basis for the major BBC TV series Killing Eve starring Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer.

Professor Sue Black, who was awarded an OBE for her international human identification work on mass graves, makes the CWA ALCS Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction for All That Remains. Black is also the expert forensics adviser to the ‘Queen of Crime’ Val McDermid.
The CWA Sapere Books Historical Dagger sees Liam McIlvanney in the running for The Quaker, which has already won the 2018 McIlvanney Prize, named in honour of his father the godfather of tartan noir, William McIllvanney. He’s up against CJ Sansom with his acclaimed Shardlake series and the award-winning Abir Mukherjee for Smoke and Ashes, the third novel in his historical crime series set in Calcutta.

The world-famous Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) Daggers, which honour the very best in crime writing, are the oldest awards in the genre. Created in 1955, the CWA Daggers have been synonymous with quality crime writing for over half a century.

The award-winning poet, Claire Askew, has been shortlisted for two Daggers for her debut novel All the Hidden Truths hailed by The Times as a ‘thought-provoking’ entry into crime fiction. Askew is in contention for the CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger - given to the best crime novel by a first-time author. She’s up against Laura Shepherd-Robinson’s Blood & Sugar, hailed by the Financial Times as ‘a novel of astonishing skill.’

Askew is also in the running for the CWA Gold Dagger – the award for the best crime novel, alongside M W Craven with The Puppet Show. Craven served in the armed forces and became a probation officer before crediting the CWA Debut Dagger competition in 2013 for giving him a career as an author. Craven said: “I can draw a direct evolutionary line from being shortlisted in 2013 to the two book deal I signed with Little, Brown in January 2017. Being on the shortlist opened a door.”

The 2019 Debut Dagger competition sees five unknown and un-contracted writers shortlisted.

Linda Stratmann, Chair of the Crime Writers’ Association, said: “The Daggers are unparalleled for their longevity and reputation. Receiving a Dagger award is a something of a holy grail for authors. The CWA prides itself on supporting crime authors by not just recognising established names but as a platform for debut novelists and emerging writers.”
UK Libraries whittled down six crime authors for the prestigious Dagger in the Library prize.
M C Beaton, Mark Billingham, John Connolly, Kate Ellis, C J Sansom and Cath Staincliffe are all nominees, selected by librarians and chosen for their body of work and support of libraries.

The winners will be announced at the Dagger Award ceremony at the Grange City Hotel, London, on 24 October - widely considered as the crime writing event of the year.
Tickets are now available for the Dagger Awards gala dinner. Guest speaker on the night is the writer, broadcaster, dramatist and journalist Lynn Truss, famed for Eats, Shoots and Leaves alongside her comic crime novel, A Shot in the Dark. The night is compered by one of the UK’s leading experts on crime fiction, Barry Forshaw.

The Daggers also honour those working in short story form, as well as specific awards for international titles.

One of the UK’s most prominent societies for the promotion and promulgation of crime writing, the CWA was founded in 1953 by John Creasy; the awards started in 1955 with its first award going to Winston Graham, best known for Poldark.

On the night, Robert Goddard will also be presented with the 2019 Diamond Dagger for lifetime achievement, the highest honour in British crime writing. His 28th novel, One False Move (Bantam Press), was published in February.

Robert Goddard said: “I’m greatly honoured to be this year’s CWA Diamond Dagger recipient, particularly since it’s an award conferred by my fellow writers, who know about the challenges of the craft from the inside.”
A memory from days now passed


Claire Askew: All the Hidden Truths (Hodder & Stoughton)
M W Craven: The Puppet Show (Constable)
Christobel Kent: What We Did (Sphere)
Donna Leon: Unto Us a Son is Given (William Heinemann)
Derek B Miller: American by Day (Doubleday)
Benjamin Wood: A Station on the Path to Somewhere Better (Scribner)

Claire Askew: All the Hidden Truths (Hodder & Stoughton)
Alex Dahl: The Boy at the Door (Head Of Zeus)
Chris Hammer: Scrublands (Wildfire)
Vicky Newham: Turn a Blind Eye (HQ)
Laura Shepherd-Robinson: Blood & Sugar (Mantle)
Vanda Symon: Overkill (Orenda)

Sue Black: All That Remains (Doubleday)
Mikita Brottman: An Unexplained Death (Canongate)
Claire Harman: Murder by the Book (Viking)
Kirk Wallace Johnson: The Feather Thief (Hutchinson)
Ben Macintyre: The Spy and the Traitor (Viking)
Hallie Rubenhold: The Five (Doubleday)

Megan Abbott: Give Me Your Hand (Picador)
Dan Fesperman: Safe Houses (Head of Zeus)
Luke Jennings: Killing Eve: No Tomorrow (John Murray)
Stephen Mack Jones: Lives Laid Away (Soho Crime)
Holly Watt: To the Lions (Bloomsbury)
Tim Willocks: Memo from Turner (Jonathan Cape)

Liam McIlvanney: The Quaker (Harper Fiction)
S G MacLean: Destroying Angel (Quercus Fiction)
Abir Mukherjee: Smoke and Ashes (Harvill Secker)
Alex Reeve:  The House on Half Moon Street (Raven Books)
C J Sansom: Tombland (Mantle)
Laura Shepherd-Robinson: Blood & Sugar (Mantle)

Dov Alfon: A Long Night in Paris, tr Daniella Zamir (Maclehose Press)
Karin Brynard: Weeping Waters, tr Maya Fowler & Isobel Dixon (World Noir)
Gianrico Carofiglio: The Cold Summer, tr Howard Curtis (Bitter Lemon Press)
Keigo Higashino: Newcomer, tr Giles Murray (Little, Brown)
Håkan Nesser: The Root of Evil, tr Sarah Death (Mantle)
Cay Rademacher: The Forger, tr Peter Millar (Arcadia Books)

Martin Edwards: Strangers in a Pub in ‘Ten Year Stretch’ edited by Martin Edwards and Adrian Muller (No Exit Press)
Syd Moore: Death Becomes Her in ‘The Strange Casebook’ by Syd Moore (Point Blank Books)
Danuta Reah*: The Dummies’ Guide to Serial Killing in ‘The Dummies’ Guide to Serial Killing and other Fantastic Female Fables’ (Fantastic Books)
Teresa Solana: I Detest Mozart in ‘The First Prehistoric Serial Killers and Other Stories’ by Teresa Solana (Bitter Lemon Press)
Lavie Tidhar: Bag Man in ‘The Outcast Hours’ edited by Mahvesh Murad and Jared Shurin (Solaris)
 *Danuta Kot writing as Danuta Reah.

M C Beaton
Mark Billingham
John Connolly
Kate Ellis
C J Sansom
Cath Staincliffe

(A competition for the opening of a crime novel by an uncontracted writer)
Shelley Burr: Wake
Jerry Crause: The Mourning Light
Catherine Hendricks: Hardways                                                                                
David Smith: The Firefly                                                                               
Fran Smith: A Thin Sharp Blade 
Presented to Robert Goddard.                 

Background to The Crime Writers Association's Annual Dagger Awards

This award is for the best crime novel by an author of any nationality, originally written in English, first published in the UK during the Judging Period. The broadest definition of the crime novel defines eligible books including thrillers, suspense novels and spy fiction.
It was originally created in 1955, under the name of the Crossed Red Herrings Award. The first winner was Winston Graham for The Little Walls. It was renamed the Gold Dagger in 1960 and has been awarded ever since with variations in its name depending on sponsorship.

Up to 2005 books in translation were eligible for this prize. In 2006 the CWA established a separate dagger, the International, for books in translation, recognising the work of the translator as well as that of the original author.

The CWA Diamond Dagger is selected from nominations provided by CWA members. Nominees have to meet two essential criteria: first, their careers must be marked by sustained excellence, and second, they must have made a significant contribution to crime writing published in the English language.

Ian Fleming said there was one essential criterion for a good thriller, ‘one simply has to turn the pages’. Eligible books in this category are thrillers set in any period and include, but are not limited to, spy fiction, psychological thrillers and action/adventure stories.

This award is for the best crime novel by a first-time author of any nationality first published in the UK in English during the Judging Period. ‘Best crime novel by a first time author’ means that the author must not have had a novel of any sort published before under any name whatsoever. In the case of novels with more than one author, all the authors must meet this requirement.

This award is for crime novels (defined by the broadest definition including thrillers, suspense novels and spy fiction) as long as the book was not originally written in English and has been translated into English for UK publication during the Judging Period.

This award is for any non-fiction work on a crime related theme by an author of any nationality as long as the book was first published in the UK in English during the Judging Period. This award encompasses, though is not limited to, non-fiction works relating to true crime, historical crime, crime-related biography, crime-fiction literature and critical studies.

This award is for the best historical crime novel, first published in the UK in English during the Judging Period, set in any period up to 50 years prior to the year in which the award will be made. For novels that involve passages set later than this time period, at least three-quarters of the book should be set in an earlier period.

This award is for any crime short story first published in the UK in English in a publication that pays for contributions, or broadcast in the UK in return for payment, during the Judging Period. The term short story refers to a work of fiction no shorter than 1,000 and no longer than 15,000 words.

Chosen by judges: author Leigh Russell, editor Stephanie Glencross (of Gregory and Company), Editorial Director at Bonnier Zaffre Katherine Armstrong and director of literary agency A.M. Heath and Co. Oli Munson.

The Dagger in the Library is a prize for a body of work by an established crime writer that has long been popular with borrowers from libraries. It also rewards authors who have supported libraries and their users.

 To view past winners, or find out more, please visit HERE
And a reminder of last year
Michael Connelly Awarded 2018 CWA DIAMOND DAGGER
Steve Cavanagh Awarded 2018 CWA Gold Dagger

And the Editor of Red Herrings Magazine together with three members of the Shots Magazine Team generously recognized by The CWA for their work promoting the Crime and Thriller Genre

Top Summer Reads by T M Logan

Whether you’re lying on the beach, lounging by the pool or whiling away the hours on a long flight, the summer holidays wouldn’t be complete without a cracking good book (or three). Especially if you’re on a group getaway – like the unfortunate families in my new thriller The Holiday– because there’s nothing like spending a couple of weeks with extended family and friends for discovering all the “quirks” they normally keep under wraps at home.

Nothing beats a good book when you need to escape from other people’s annoying kids or the bickering parents who start on the sangria straight after breakfast. I always leave plenty of space in my suitcase for half a dozen books when I go away, and consider it a success if I can get through three or four of them before heading home. So here are my crime reading recommendations for keeping the whole family happy (and occupied) by the pool this summer.

Top tips for parents
Lost You by Haylen Beck – a heart-wrenching thriller about one woman’s search for her missing son, and the secret that has put him in terrible danger. The very definition of a page-turner.

A Nearly Normal Family by MT Edvardsson – told from three perspectives as a father, mother and daughter each give their side of a story that leads to murder. I read this in a matter of days (which is quick for me!)

Top tips for grandparents
November Road by Lou Berney – one of my favourite books of the year so far. A charming gangster and a young mother on the run cross paths in the turbulent days after the assassination of JFK, in November 1963. Brilliantly evocative writing.

The Mystery of Three Quarters: The new Hercule Poirot mystery by Sophie Hannah – the moustachioed Belgian detective returns with a new mystery set in 1930s London. Agatha Christie’s famous creation gets a dazzling new lease of life in this thoroughly enjoyable tale.

Top tips for teens:
One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus – Five high school students go to detention. Only four leave alive. With this brilliant premise, the author weaves a fantastic murder mystery with numerous plot twists. My 16-year-old son LOVED this book.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas – teenaged Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed friend by a police officer. A powerful novel about truth and justice in modern America – read it before the film comes out.

Top tips for kids:
The Garden of Lost Secrets by AM Howell – set in a stately home in Suffolk at the height of the great War, this impressive debut follows the story of Clara as she explores her new home in the countryside and finds herself surrounded by secrets and mysteries at every turn. 

Murder Most Unladylike by Robin Stevens – the first book in the bestselling boarding school crime series featuring Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong, who set up their own detective agency and promptly find themselves with an Agatha Christie-style murder-mystery to solve – on school grounds.

Top tips for non-readers
They Walk Among Us– award-winning podcast examining some of the most notorious crimes ever carried out in the UK. Now in its fourth season, the series is perfect for true-crime devotees.

Murder Book– a true crime podcast hosted by the master himself, Michael Connelly. The creator of Harry Bosch examines a real murder investigation, complete with wiretap evidence, witness interviews, court recordings and comments from the LAPD detectives who worked the case.

The Holiday by TM Logan is published by Bonnier Zaffre on July 25th
Seven days, three families, one killer! It was supposed to be the perfect holiday, dreamed up by Kate as the ideal way to turn 40: four best friends and their husbands and children in a luxurious villa under the blazing sunshine of Province.  But there is trouble in paradise. Kate suspects that her husband is having an affair, and that the other woman is one of her best friends.  One of these women is willing to sacrifice years of friendship and destroy her family. But which one? As Kate closes in on the truth in the stifling Mediterranean heat, she realises too late that the stakes are far higher than she ever imagined. Because someone in the villa is prepared to kill to keep their secret hidden.