Thursday 30 April 2020

Edgar Awards 2020

The 2020 Edgar Awards have been announced online by the Mystery Writers of America.  

The full list of nominations can be found here.

The winners of the awards are as follows as they were announced.

The Night Visitors by Carol Goodman (HarperCollins – William Morrow)

Borrowed Time by Tracy Clark ( Kensington Publishing)

Season 5, Episode 4” – Line of Duty, Teleplay by Jed Mercurio (Acorn TV)

Me and Sam-Sam Handle the Apocalypse by Susan Vaught (Simon & Schuster Children’s Books – Paula Wiseman Books)

Catfishing on CatNet by Naomi Kritzer (Tom Doherty Associates – Tor Teen)

Hitchcock and the Censors by John Billheimer (University Press of Kentucky)

The Less People Know About Us: A Mystery of Betrayal, Family Secrets, and Stolen Identity by Axton Betz-Hamilton (Hachette Book Group – Grand Central Publishing)

One of These Nights," from Cutting Edge: New Stories of Mystery and Crime by Women Writers by Livia Llewellyn (Akashic Books)

The Hotel Neversink by Adam O’Fallon Price (Tin House Books)

Miracle Creek by Angie Kim (Farrar Straus and Giroux)

The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

There’s a Riot Goin’ On," from Milwaukee Noir by Derrick Harriell (Akashic Books)

Left Coast Crime

Kelley Ragland

Congratulations to all the winners and nominated authors.
The Edgar Awards, or “Edgars,” as they are commonly known, are named after MWA’s patron saint Edgar Allan Poe and are presented to authors of distinguished work in various categories. MWA is the premier organization for mystery writers, professionals allied to the crime-writing field, aspiring crime writers, and those who are devoted to the genre. The organization encompasses some 3,000 members including authors of fiction and non-fiction books, screen and television writers, as well as publishers, editors, and literary agents. For more information on Mystery Writers of America, please visit the website:

Wednesday 29 April 2020

Bloody Scotland Update

Hello friends,

It may not come as a surprise but we’re very sad to announce that Bloody Scotland will not be taking place in Stirling this year due to the global Coronavirus pandemic. The safety of our team, participants and audiences is paramount and even if social distancing restrictions are lifted by September, we feel we cannot proceed as normal without knowing safety can be absolutely assured.

Though we will greatly miss celebrating the finest local and international crime writing at the festival, we hope to bring you a wee taste of that classic Bloody Scotland atmosphere in the form of online events which we are currently in the process of plotting. More about that will be announced on a later date so make sure you’re following us on all the usual channels and in this very mailing list.

Until then, please stay home and stay safe.

All the very best from the Bloody Scotland team. 

If you have any questions please send them through to

Dates for Bloody Scotland 2021 are currently scheduled as 17 - 19 September, should circumstances deem it possible closer to the time.

Monday 27 April 2020

National Crime Reading Month Goes Digital for May Lockdown

The month of May sees the return of National Crime Reading Month (NCRM), a unique, UK-wide literary festival, designed to connect authors and readers and promote the crime genre.

The festival, which is a major annual initiative co-ordinated by the Crime Writers’ Association and Crime Readers’ Association, normally promotes live author events up and down the country. During lockdown, the initiative has moved online with crime authors posting vlogs and blogs on the website

Linda Stratmann, Chair of the CWA, explained: “We’ve – quite literally – created Crime Writers in Residence by asking authors to post films from their homes while in lockdown. It’s a kind of criminally-good Through the Keyhole! Readers love the personal insights from meeting authors in person, and most crime authors love to connect to their readers. With all the major crime writing festivals, as well as author events in libraries and bookshops, cancelled for spring and summer, we felt it was important to step in and offer a digital alternative.

Festivals allow readers to meet established writers and discover new authors to widen and enrich their reading life. They also play an important role for aspiring authors, as well as help forge new friendships.

Linda said: “Reading and writing are of course solitary acts but you’re never alone with a book. There’s a real connection on the page that is passionately celebrated in our festivals and author events. The crime genre is perhaps the most accessible and democratic of all, which makes our community a very sociable and inclusive one. We understand how important those connections are, so we’re encouraging CWA members to join in and submit videos from their homes to reach out to readers in lockdown.

Although May is the official month for mayhem and murder with NCRM, the CWA began collating vlogs in April in response to lockdown.

Featured authors include AJ Waines, a former psychotherapist who has gone on the write ten thrillers selling half a million copies, with her latest psychological thriller Cut You Dead released this April.

Fiona Veitch Smith, author of the Poppy Denby Investigates series, shortlisted for the CWA Historical Dagger in 2016, also joins the video series to talk about her life under lockdown during the Covid-19 crisis, alongside Holly Watt, who won the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger last year for To The Lions.

Holly Watt said: “One thing I am finding weird about writing at the moment is that my characters are meeting up with friends! And having dinner together! And getting on planes! And all these things suddenly seem completely alien. It’s quite hard to write several paragraphs without interjecting ‘and then he washed his hands while singing Happy Birthday’.

NCRM will also see the launch of short stories that will be free to read on the Crime Readers’ Association website, to provide a public platform for CWA authors wishing to showcase their work.

Readers and authors can join in #CrimeReadingMonth online and subscribe to the Crime Readers’ Association for free to receive the CRA Newsletter and bi-monthly e-zine, Case Files.

Join in #CrimeReadingMonth on Facebook and Twitter @The_CWA or find out more on the Crime Reading Month website.

Friday 24 April 2020

Presumed Innocent by Scott Turow and BBC Radio 4 Book Club

Fans of legal thrillers and especially of Scott Turow will be pleased to hear that he will be the BBC Radio 4 Book Club guest on 4 June and will be answering questions about his bestselling debut novel Presumed Innocent which was published in 1987.  If there are any Scott Turow fans out there that are interested in asking him a question then get in touch with  You will also have to send in a question and to have read the book Presumed Innocent.

Presumed Innocent by Scott Turow.
Prosecutor Rusty Sabich enters a nightmare world when Carolyn, a beautiful attorney with whom he has been having an affair, is found raped and strangled. He stands accused.  Fighting to prove his innocence, Rusty uncovers a tangled web of sex, corruption and betrayal. With no one to trust, it's up to Rusty to uncover who is really behind this deadly crime . . .

Quizknobs and Zoomsticks - Friday 1st May 2020

Bloody Scotland International Crime Writing Festival
 18-20 September 2020


Val McDermid, Chris Brookmyre and Mark Billingham have teamed up with two major crime writing festivals – Bloody Scotland and Bute Noir – to hold a version of their popular quiz live online.

Along with fellow authors Susi Holliday, Luca Veste and Mason Cross they will appear live on YouTube to bring some festival fun to lockdown.

Hosted by quiz master and crime writer Craig Robertson, the teams will play it for laughs as they try to outdo each other in a battle of wits and knowledge, with music rounds, charades and quickfire questions all likely to be on the menu.

Like so much of the country, authors have taken to Zoom in the last month to interact with friends and family and like so many others they’ve been doing quizzes to escape lockdown boredom. Now they’ve decided to go public and go live so that everyone else can join in the fun.

Val McDermid said: 'Quizzes are always a highlight of crime writing festivals, and now that there's no more University Challenge to divide the nation, we're virtually stepping up to the plate. Readers will be able to hurl abuse at our stupidity or marvel at our knowledge. Something for everyone, really.

Chis Brookmyre said: 'Festivals are probably the thing I am missing most about lockdown, as that is
not only the chance to speak to readers, but to catch up with my fellow writers. Given the issues with online synchronisation, I’m just hoping there isn’t a buzzer round.'

Quizknobs and Zoomsticks – the title dreamed up by Mark Billingham – will go live on Friday May 1st at 8.15pm. It will be hosted on the Crime Waves YouTube channel. Author Craig Robertson who is on the board of both Bute Noir and Bloody Scotland explained the thinking behind the quiz show and the idea to put it free on YouTube.

The quiz has proven very popular on Saturday nights at both Bloody Scotland and Bute Noir. Sadly, so many book festivals have had to be cancelled this year so we decided to get together and do the quiz live and free so that people would have something to be entertained by.

For those that haven’t been, it’s not taken seriously at all – think more like Never Mind the Buzzcocks or Mock the Week. The authors are very quick-witted and funny, and occasionally a bit sweary, so we hope we can give people a laugh and take their minds off lockdown for an hour or so.

‘There’s already been a lot of international interest in the event and we know there will be people watching from the US, Canada and the Nordic countries. We’ve been shocked by the interest in it.’