Friday 30 September 2022

Winners of the Fingerprint Awards 2022




The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse named Crime Book of the Year 2021

Blacktop Wasteland by S.A. Cosby named Thriller of the Year 2021

Laura Purcell’s The Shape of Darkness wins Historical Crime Book of the year 2021

Abigail Dean wins Debut Book of the Year 2021 for Girl A

The Burning Girls by C.J. Tudor is named Genre-busting Book of the Year 2021

The Girl Who Died by Ragnar Jónasson, narrated by Amanda Redman, wins Audiobook Book of the Year 2021

Industry Award of the Year 2021 is awarded to HarperCollins for their Girl A campaign

Lifetime Achievement Award is posthumously awarded to Thalia Proctor

S A Cosby Photograph credit Camilo Queipo.

The winners of the inaugural Fingerprint Awards, celebrating international crime and thriller writing, were announced by actor and author Paul Clayton last night, Thursday 29th September, at Capital Crime, in the shadow of the iconic Battersea Power Station. 

The winners of six out of eight categories were voted for online by crime and thriller fans: Crime Book of the Year 2021; Thriller of the Year 2021; Historical Crime Book of the Year 2021; Debut Book of the Year 2021; Genre-busting Book of the Year 2021 and Audio Book of the Year 2021. 

Ragnar Jonasson & Amanda Redman Photograph credit Camilo Queipo.

Notable winners included Blacktop Wasteland by S.A Cosby for Thriller of the Year 2021; Girl A by Abigail Dean for Debut Book of the Year 2021 and The Girl Who Died by Ragnar Jónasson, narrated by Amanda Redman, for Audiobook Book of the Year 2021.

The winners of the Industry Award of the Year and the Lifetime Achievement Award were chosen solely by the Capital Crime Advisory Board. The Industry Award of the Year was won by HarperCollins for Girl A by Abigail Dean and the Lifetime Achievement Award was posthumously awarded to editor Thalia Proctor. 

Capital Crime Festival Director Lizzie Curle said: “We were honoured to kick off the inaugural Fingerprint Awards with Paul Clayton at the helm. We are grateful for all the support we have received from publishers, authors, and most importantly, the readers, who make these awards possible.”

The Fingerprint Award Winners 

Crime Book of the Year 2021

The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse (Transworld)

Thriller Book of the Year 2021

Blacktop Wasteland by S.A. Cosby (Headline)

Historical Crime Book of the Year - 2021

Shape of Darkness by Laura Purcell (Bloomsbury)

Debut Book of the Year 2021

Girl A by Abigail Dean (HarperCollins)

Genre-Busting Book of the Year 2021

The Burning Girl by C.J. Tudor (Penguin)

Audiobook of the Year 2021

The Girl Who Died by Ragnar Jonasson & Amanda Redman (Penguin)

Industry Award the year 2021

HarperCollins for Girl A

Lifetime Achievement Award (Posthumous)

Thalia Proctor

Photographs credit Camilo Queipo.

BBC Maestro and Lee Child Team up to Launch a New action Writing Course


BBC Maestro has today (Friday 30th September) announced its latest course, Writing Popular Fiction from multi-million bestselling author Lee Child. Providing a rare look into how Lee created his iconic Jack Reacher series, Writing Popular Fiction covers everything from the power of storytelling, nailing the opening sentence and creating convincing characters, to how authors can make the best of the publishing process – and make a living from writing.

Launched in October 2020 to incredible success, the BBC Maestro platform sees world-class experts share exclusive knowledge and insight into their craft. Lee joins Edgar Wright, Alan Moore, Marco Pierre White and Gary Barlow in sharing wisdom, expertise and industry secrets. The BBC Maestro platform features a series of extended, in-depth lessons filmed in 4K with an eclectic mix of prestigious experts, and allows participants to indulge in new areas of learning from the comfort of their own home. The commercial online education platform developed and operated by Maestro Media Ltd offers individual courses which can be purchased for £80.

With well over 100 million books sold, hitting the #1 spot on the NYT and Sunday Times bestseller lists consistently since 2008, andwith fans as varied as Kate Atkinson, Stephen King, Haruki Murakami and Phillip Pullman, Lee Child has maintained a sensational level of commercial and critical success. He is the recipient of a CBE for services to literature and was named Author of the Year at the British Book Awards in 2019.

Now, for the first time, Lee will share the secrets behind his 27 books, lifting the lid on his unique creative process and showing how he put as much thought into planning his career as an author as he did into his prose. Spanning over six hours and presented in Lee’s inimitablestyle, the 35 bespoke course lessons include: Ditch the Airs and Graces, Research Is a Dish Best Served Cold, Don’t Fall in Love with Your Hero, How Not to Make Your Reader Seasick, If You Want to Be a Writer, You Have to Be a Reader First, and The Back End of a Big Machine, a unique introduction to the publishing industry!

Lee Child’s course on Writing Popular Fiction is available to pre-order from 5pm today (Friday 30th September) via 

Those who pre-order will get early access to three lessons: Lesson 3 – If You Want to Be a Writer, You Have to Be a Reader First; Lesson 5 - How I Wrote My First Book (Part 1); and Lesson 15 - Don’t Fall in Love with Your Hero.

Friday 23 September 2022

Penguin Michael Joseph Launches New Prize


Penguin Michael Joseph, an imprint of Penguin Random House, have today (Friday 23rd September 2022) revealed details of their new writers’ prize, following PMJ MD Louise Moore announcing that it was in the pipeline as part of her keynote speech at London Book Fair earlier this year.

The Penguin Michael Joseph Undiscovered Writers Prize aims to find new authors from underrepresented backgrounds who the division can bring to the widest possible readership. 

The inaugural prize (2022/2023) focusses on the crime and thriller genre, with budding writers being invited to submit tales of mysteries, crimes, jeopardy, action or adventure. 

The prize is aimed at unpublished writers aged over 18 who are currently a resident in the UK or ROI, and who are from a background that’s currently underrepresented in publishing – that includes ethnicity, sexuality, gender identity, disability or socio-economic background.

Entries – which initially need to be submitted as a 200 word synopsis and 2000 word extract – will be judged by a panel of judges led by PMJ’s Crime and Thriller publisher Joel Richardson. 

He said,

We’re so excited to be launching this new prize, seeking out the brightest and best new voices in a genre I absolutely love. I hope it inspires people who have always daydreamed about writing a book to finally give it a go, and I also hope it plays a role in broadening the range of voices we see in crime/thriller writing – the UK’s biggest book genre.’ 

Joel’s fellow judges are: bestselling author Amy McCulloch; award-winning freelance crime fiction critic/commentator, moderator and blogger Ayo Onatade; Waterstones’ Head of Fiction Bea Carvalho; award-winning bookseller, owner of Goldsboro Books and MD and agent at D H H Literary Agency, David Headley, and Syima Aslam, the founder and Director of the Bradford Literature Festival - the most socio-economically and ethnically diverse literary festival in the UK.

The winner of the Penguin Michael Joseph Undiscovered Writers Prize will receive a publishing contract with PMJ, worth at least £10,000, and representation by the DHH Literary Agency. All shortlisted writers will also receive one-to-one editorial feedback and guidance from an editor or agent. 

Applications will open on 30th September and should be submitted via All further details and T&Cs can also be found here

The deadline for submissions is 30th November 2022, and the winner of the Prize is due to be announced in August 2023.

Tuesday 20 September 2022

Strand Magazine Critics Awards


Strand Magazine Critics Awards were announced on 19th September 2022. 

Best Mystery Debut (2021)

Bullet Train by Kōtarō Isaka, Translated by Sam Malissa (Harry Abrams) 

Best Mystery Novel (2021)

Razorblade Tears by S. A. Cosby (Flatiron Books) 

Publisher of the Year

Morgan Entrekin, President and Publisher of Grove/Atlantic Inc. in New York City.

Lifetime Achievement Awards

Sandra Brown

Nelson DeMille

Congratulations to all!

Monday 19 September 2022

Extract From Harm by Sólveig Pálsdóttir

 ‘No!’ she burst out, her hands going to her mouth. The terror that enveloped every fibre of her was so forceful that she could barely draw breath. She stared at the man in the bed, snatched at him and shook him.

‘You can’t do this to me!’ she howled, as she fought to draw long, gasping breaths. ‘Ríkharður, my love, you weren’t supposed to die.’

She let go of him, and rocked herself back and forth in confusion. Her breathing was shallow and she was close to losing control. She told herself to focus, to take deep, long breaths, to stay in control and not to give way to panic that would leave her helpless. She had to be able to think, to do what was needed.

What was she supposed to do? Call 112 and ask for an ambulance? Or a doctor? She looked in desperation at the man in the bed. There was no doubt that he was dead, and she was sure she had heard that if someone died at home, the police would always attend. Would a caravan count as well? She was certain of it. The police would come, there would be an autopsy and the drugs in Ríkharður’s bloodstream would be identified.
Everything would point to her, since he was a doctor and of course would know better than to take that mix of drugs. How could she explain that she hadn’t meant to kill him, but had simply wanted him to fall into a deep sleep while she went out during the night? Who was going to believe that? No, she’d been down that road before, telling the truth to authority. They wouldn’t believe her any more than they had believed her back then. Nobody would take any notice of a woman with a past like hers. No, society would ostracise her. Crazy Diljá would be behind bars, or else locked away in a psychiatric ward. That dreadful place! She trembled with horror at the thought, shivering as if she were standing naked on a glacier.

Being locked in was the worst thing she could imagine. Nothing could be worse. She would lose custody, and she might never get to see María Líf ever again. That couldn’t be allowed to happen. No, not again! He mind was a whirl of thoughts, none of which she could bear to follow to a conclusion. All she knew was that she had to get away from here as soon as possible – get away and give herself space to think logically. The clothes she had worn the night before were in the wardrobe and she hurried to pull them on. She wiped her face with a towel, picked up her sports bag and jammed a baseball cap on her head. She was being stifled here – she had to get away, far from this nightmare.

Harm by Sólveig Pálsdóttir (Translated by Quentin Bates) Corylus Books (Out Now)

When wealthy doctor Ríkarður Magnússon goes to sleep in his luxurious caravan and doesn’t wake up, detectives Guðgeir Fransson and Elsa Guðrún are called to the Westman Islands to investigate what looks like murder. Suspicion immediately falls on Ríkharður’s young, beautiful and deeply troubled girlfriend – but there are no easy answers in this case as they are drawn into family feuds, disgruntled friends and colleagues, and the presence of a group of fitness-obsessed over-achievers with secrets of their own. As their investigation makes progress, Guðgeir and Elsa Guðrún are forced to confront their own preconceptions and prejudices as they uncover the sinister side of Ríkharður’s past. Harm is the third novel featuring the soft-spoken Reykjavík detective Guðgeir Fransson to appear in English. Sólveig Pálsdóttir again weaves a complex web of intrigue that plays out in the Westman Islands, remote southern Iceland and Reykjavík while asking some searching questions about things society accepts at face value – and others it is not prepared to tolerate.

Saturday 17 September 2022

Ghosts, Shipwrecks and Murder by Guy Morpuss


Vancouver Island is a land of ghosts and shipwrecks.

Hauntings abound: the woman in a white ballgown seen on the stairs at Craigdarroch Castle; a crying girl who floats out to sea each morning; Kanaka Pete, a murderer hanged at Gallows Point, whose restless spirit wanders the beaches at dusk.

The western coast of the island is known as the Graveyard of the Pacific. Hundreds of ships have been wrecked in its treacherous waters, and countless lives lost.

The wreck of the Valencia, in January 1906, was one of the most tragic. En route from San Francisco to Seattle in bad weather, her captain overshot the entrance to the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and struck a reef near Pachena Bay. As the ship slowly sank, a hundred metres offshore, the screams of the women and children could be heard over the sound of the rain and the wind. Only a handful of men survived.

Months later, a local fisherman found a lifeboat containing eight skeletons in a sea-cave next to the bay, the mouth of the cave blocked by a large boulder. There were also several reports of a lifeboat seen on the open sea, rowed by a crew of skeletons.

In late 2019 I had just returned from a trip to Vancouver Island, and my agent was about to put my first novel, Five Minds, out on submission to publishers. He asked me for an idea for a second novel that he could pitch at the same time. I was sitting at my desk with a blank piece of paper on which – for reasons that escape me – I had written a single word: ‘undelete’. As I wracked my brain this turned into an idea for a crime novel: a police officer trying to solve a murder in an isolated community where some members could unwind time. How would it work if whenever they got close to identifying the murderer someone turned back the clock?

For me the three most important parts of a novel are a clever plot, characters the readers want to spend time with, and an interesting location.

I had a plot; the characters would develop as I wrote; so I needed a location.

Vancouver Island has a stark beauty; it is isolated from the world, and frequently battered by fierce storms sweeping in off the Pacific Ocean. It seemed the perfect setting for a classic murder mystery: a group of people trapped in a remote mansion by bad weather, one of them murdered, and one of them a killer.

A friend of mine who comes from the island told me about Black Lake, near Pachena Bay, and the famously tragic shipwreck that had occurred there.

So Black Lake Manor starts with a shipwreck inspired by the story of the Valencia. Mine takes place a hundred years earlier. What follows also draws on the rich mythology of the local First Nations people.

In Black Lake Manor a single lifeboat escapes the sinking of the Pride of Whitby in 1804, but the survivors find themselves trapped in a cave. Only one escapes alive, having survived by eating the flesh of his companions. He is rescued by the Mowachaht, the local First Nations people, who realise that he has been visited by an island spirit and acquired a unique ability, which his descendants will share: once in their lives they can turn back time by six hours.

Two hundred and forty years later, when the locals close ranks around a possible murderer, this presents real problems for the investigating officer. Each time she has almost solved the murder she has to start again, with no recollection of what she discovered last time round – and each time her investigation goes off in a different direction. So, unusually, the reader knows more than the protagonist. But which of her possible solutions is the correct one?

Black Lake Manor features cannibalism, live heart removal, a chess set (which may or may not be a red herring), and a pet octopus.

It draws heavily on its location: the incredible beauty and harshness of the island; and the dark mythology of its people. I hope that I have done justice to it, and perhaps even will inspire some readers to visit the Graveyard of the Pacific.

Black Lake Manor by Guy Morpuss (Profile Books) Out Now

A locked room. A brutal murder. And a killer who can unwind time… In the former mining town of Black Lake, there is an old story about a shipwreck with only one survivor. His descendants have a unique ability: once in their lives – and only once – they can unwind the events of the previous six hours. More than two hundred years later, part-time police constable Ella Manning is attending a party at Black Lake Manor, the cliff-top mansion belonging to the local billionaire. When a raging storm sweeps in from the Pacific, she and several other guests find themselves trapped. And when their host is discovered brutally murdered in his study the next morning, the door locked from the inside, they turn to her to solve the crime. Pushing her detective skills to the limit, against the odds Ella is sure she has identified the killer… but then someone undoes time. With no memory of what she discovered before, her investigation begins again, with very different results. Which of her suspects is guilty? And is there something even more sinister she is yet to uncover? Can she solve the mystery before time runs out… again?

Friday 16 September 2022

Joffe Books Prize becomes UK’s largest crime fiction award


Joffe Books Prize becomes UK’s largest crime fiction award with £25,000 support from Audible

Joffe Books is thrilled to announce that Audible has committed to supporting the Joffe Books Prize, with a £25,000 audiobook deal for the winner of the prize for the next three years, making it one of the most significant prizes for crime fiction in the UK.

The prize aims to find brilliant unagented crime writers of colour, and to support these authors in their journey to build a sustainable career.

The winner of the prize will now receive a £25,000 audiobook offer from Audible for the first book, in addition to a two-book publishing deal with Joffe Books and a £1,000 cash prize. The winner will additionally receive an editorial consultation with one of the judges and a two-year membership to the Society of Authors.

Audible has also extended the audiobook offer to include Northumberland-based debut novelist Christie J. Newport, winner of the Joffe Books Prize 2021.

In celebration of this partnership, the submission period for 2022 has been extended to midnight on 31 October 2022.

This year, the judging panel includes Oyinkan Braithwaite, critically acclaimed, award-winning author of the bestselling My Sister, the Serial Killer, and Ella Diamond Kahn, co-founder and partner of the Diamond Kahn & Woods Literary Agency.

The prize, launched in 2021, is a direct response to the paucity of diverse voices being published in crime fiction. It invites submissions from un-agented authors from Black, Asian, Indigenous and minority ethnic backgrounds writing in crime fiction genres including electrifying psychological thrillers, cosy mysteries, gritty police procedurals, twisty chillers, unputdownable suspense mysteries and shocking domestic noirs.

Full Terms & Conditions can be found at

Emma Grundy Haigh, Editorial Director at Joffe Books, says: “I am absolutely thrilled by Audible’s commitment to not just our prize, but to amplifying underrepresented voices in a very real way. Their involvement is utterly gamechanging — it promises to make this one of the most significant crime fiction prizes in the UK. Audible’s enthusiasm and advocacy has been evident right from the start. It’s been a pleasure to work with them so far, and I can’t wait to see what we can achieve.

Aurelie de Troyer, Senior Vice President, International English Content says: “Audible is delighted to be able to offer the winner of the Joffe Books Prize this additional opportunity. We are passionate believers in the power of storytelling and want those stories to come from the widest possible range of people. We hope that our support will help set the winner on the path to a sustainable long-term writing career and look forward to giving them a well-deserved platform in audio.

Thursday 15 September 2022

2022 Ngaio Marsh Awards Winner Announced

 Giving victims a voice: debut novel sweeps 

2022 Ngaio Marsh Awards

History was made at a special WORD Christchurch event on Thursday night as Taranaki author Jacqueline Bublitz’s first novel was revealed as the winner of both categories of the 2022 Ngaio Marsh Awards

In the thirteenth instalment of Aotearoa’s annual awards celebrating excellence in crime, mystery, and thriller writing, Bublitz scooped both the Best First Novel and Best Novel prizes for Before You Knew My Name (Allen & Unwin). It is the first time any Kiwi storyteller has won both fiction categories.

Beautifully heart-breaking, stylishly written, and boldly pushing the envelope of crime fiction,” said the international judging panels. “Bublitz delivers a beguiling tale with great characterisation: Alice and Ruby are wonderful. This is a tragic but warm-hearted crime novel that gives victims agency and voice.

Ngaio Marsh Awards founder Craig Sisterson noted that while a few excellent debuts have been shortlisted for both categories over the past several years, Before You Knew My Name is the first book to ever win two Ngaio Marsh Awards. Bublitz also joins Christchurch author and international bestseller Paul Cleave, a three-time Best Novel winner, as the only Kiwi storytellers with multiple Ngaios. So far.

It’s a remarkable achievement by Jacqueline,” added Sisterson, “especially given the strength of the Best Novel category this year, which included past Ngaios winners in Cleave and RWR McDonald, a four-time finalist in Ben Sanders, a two-time Ockhams longlistee in Kirsten McDougall, and a many-times New York Times bestseller in Nalini Singh. Our judges really loved many different books, it was a tough decision.

The international judging panels for this year’s Ngaio Marsh Awards comprised leading crime fiction critics, editors, and authors from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, England, Scotland, and the United States.

While Before You knew My Name shares an inciting incident familiar to any viewer of US cop shows – a jogger in New York City finds the body of a young woman – in her debut Bublitz flips the script by taking readers deep into the lives of Alice and Ruby, the victim and the jogger, rather than the detectives.

On Thursday night, Bublitz was presented with the Best First Novel prize by bestselling Australian author Michael Robotham, then the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Novel by Scottish queen of crime Val McDermid. Before the audience found out whowunnit, Robotham and McDermid had entertained attendees in a thrilling panel with past Ngaios winner JP Pomare, as part of the trio’s Crime After Crime tour of New Zealand.

The two Ngaio Marsh Awards add to a list of accolades for Bublitz’s debut that include winning General Fiction Book of the Year at the ABIA Awards, being shortlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger in the UK, and winning the Debut Crime and Readers’ Choice prizes at the Davitt Awards of Sisters in Crime Australia.

Before it was published, Bublitz worked on Before You Knew My Name for several years, including living in New York City, “ostensibly for research” in 2015, and persisting through dozens of rejections. She finally completed the novel in the aftermath of her beloved father’s death in 2019, after returning to New Zealand from two decades in Melbourne. “I realised what I was trying to say, which is look at what we lose when this kind of crime happens,” she said. “I was going through my own experience of loss and thinking about mortality, and I changed some of the narrative and became a lot more clear on Alice’s journey.”

Bublitz’s prizes include two trophies, $1,000 courtesy of WORD Christchurch, long-time partner of the Ngaio Marsh Awards, and a cash prize from the Ngaios. Her book is released in US hardcover in November.

A Strange Topic for a Thriller by J P Delaney

I was researching real-life accounts of people’s interactions with social workers for a previous novel when I noticed how many were about adopted teenagers who’d tracked down their birth families online. Sometimes the stories had happy outcomes – the teenagers were able to get some answers about who they were and where they’d come from. But there were enough that were messy, or simply fraught with peril, to make me jot down in my ideas book: Adoption reunion - goes wrong?

Coming back to that note months later, I dug into the topic some more, and discovered something that to me seemed extraordinary. Here in the UK, adoptees’ birth certificates are sealed until they turn eighteen, and contact after that is meant to be possible only if both parties separately sign up for a government register. But the reality, according to the Adoption Society, is that over a quarter of adoptees now contact their birth families before then. The reason they can do this is the unintended consequence of a well-meant policy: since 2005, it has been a statutory requirement for social workers to leave a ‘Later Life letter’ with the adoptive parents, explaining exactly who the child’s birth parents were, and the circumstances surrounding their adoption.

The Later Life letter is written for the adopted child to read when they’re old enough to understand it. The exact timing is left up to the adoptive parents, but according to the guidance they’re given, that’s usually when the child is about twelve. (The notion that under-sixteens or under-eighteens are ‘minors’ has now largely been replaced in our legal system by the idea that capacity and responsibility is a sliding scale, the so-called ‘Gillick competency’ rule; ironically, named after a campaigner who thought the very opposite – Victoria Gillick was trying to prevent under-sixteens from being given contraception without their parents’ consent.)

The Later Life letter therefore gets read at a time in life when any young person is beginning to wrestle with their identity, and to pull away from their family unit as they become more independent. For children who were adopted, that natural process can be exacerbated. Therapists use the term ‘ghost kingdoms’ to describe the way some create seductive fantasies of what their ‘real’ parents might be like. Add to that the fact that some will also have attachment issues stemming from early neglect, or simply from the process of being taken into care, and you can see why the urge to break away can be a powerful one.

It works the other way round, too. For mothers whose babies were adopted, it can leave a hole in their life which never entirely shrinks. It’s a claim much repeated (though also much contested) that the UK carries out more ‘forced’ adoptions – that is, adoptions by court order against the parent’s wishes – than any other European country. Many of those mothers may also be searching for traces of their birth children. 

As I began fleshing out my research and giving it the shape of a thriller, I was acutely aware that I was dealing with issues that, for many people, are all too real. My Darling Daughter is about a rebellious fifteen-year-old who finds her birth mother online, and discovers that she appears to have the perfect life – married to a rock musician, wealthy, with a gorgeous Instagram-worthy house and no other children. But it turns out there are details in the Later Life letter that don’t quite tally with the glamorous image the mother’s been presenting, and there are hidden dangers for both characters as their very different worlds collide.

Adoption in fiction is of course nothing new – it was a staple of Victorian ‘sensation’ writers like Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins, who used it to explore issues relevant to the age, such as status and social mobility. But in the era of Facebook and Instagram, adoption also throws up new questions of the kind central to any domestic noir – questions of identity, loyalty and trust, not to mention how well we really know our nearest and dearest, with nothing less than your whole family unit at stake. It’s a sensitive subject – one I’ve tried to approach tactfully – but it’s also a fascinating one, and a cracking starting point for a psychological drama. My characters certainly aren’t typical – most adoptions are successful, as are most adoption reunions – but they are meant to be authentic, and I hope my readers will enjoy the twisty and sometimes mind-bending journey they’re about to embark on together.

My Darling Daughter by J P Delaney (Quercus) Out Now

The child you never knew knows all your secrets... Out of the blue, Susie Jukes is contacted on social media by Anna, the girl she gave up for adoption fifteen years ago. But when they meet, Anna's home life sounds distinctly strange to Susie and her husband Gabe. And when Anna's adoptive parents seem to overreact to the fact she contacted them at all, Susie becomes convinced that Anna needs her help. But is Anna's own behaviour simply what you'd expect from someone recovering from a traumatic childhood? Or are there other secrets at play here - secrets Susie has also been hiding for the last fifteen years?

More information about J P Delaney can be found on his website.

Wednesday 14 September 2022

PBS Masterpiece - 7 Fictional Female Detectives to Discover Now

Over on the PBS Masterpiece website you can find a wide range of information on their various shows including schedules, podcasts and special features. Their latest post is about fictional detectives.

(From the website)

With three separate take-charge women solving crimes and defying stereotypes on MASTERPIECE on PBS this fall, now’s the perfect time to explore the fascinating range of similar protagonists—from books. We asked crime fiction reviewers, authors, and insiders for their favorite female crime fighters, and they delivered a list stretching from an 11-year-old sleuth to a forensic archeologist. Whether you’re interested in cozy mysteries or futuristic police procedurals, there’s plenty to love in these seven recommendations.

Some well known authors, mystery folk and reviewers (Including myself) have contributed to some surprising choices.

The 7 fictional female detectives can be seen here.

Tuesday 13 September 2022

2022 Mo Siewcharran Prize shortlist

The 2022 Mo Siewcharran Prize shortlist has been revealed! Please join us in congratulating our shortlisted writers, selected by our judging panel.

The winner will be announced on 28th September 2022

Saturday 10 September 2022

Anthony Award Winners 2022

The Anthony Awards were presented at Bouchercon, the World Mystery Convention, in Minneapolis. 

The winners are as follows -

Best Novel

Razorblade Tears by S. A. Cosby (Flatiron)

Best First Novel

Arsenic and Adobo by Mia P. Manansala (Berkley Prime Crime)

Best Paperback/Ebook/Audiobook Oriignal

Bloodline by Jess Lourey (Thomas & Mercer)

Best Anthology

This Time for Sure: Bouchercon Anthology 2021, Edited by Hank Phillippi Ryan (Down & Out)

Best Short Story

"Not My Cross to Bear" by S.A. Cosby (from Trouble No More: Crime Fiction Inspired by Southern Rock and the Blues, edited by Mark Westmoreland; (Down & Out))

Best Critical/Non-Fiction

How to Write a Mystery: A Handbook from Mystery Writers of America edited by Lee Child with Laurie R. King (Simon & Schuster)

Best Children's/Young Adult

I Play One on TV by Alan S. Orloff (Down & Out)

Congratulations to all the winners and the nominated authors.

Friday 9 September 2022

Deadly Pleasures Magazine:- Barry Awards Announced


Deadly Pleasures Magazine have announced the Winners of the Barry Awards at the Opening Ceremonies at the Minneapolis Bouchercon. 

Best Mystery/Crime Novel
Razorblade Tears by S. A. Cosby (Flatiron Books)

Best First Mystery/Crime Novel
Sleeping Bear by Connor Sullivan (Emily Bestler/Atria)

Best Paperback Original
The Good Turn by Dervla McTiernan (Blackstone)

Best Thriller

Five Decembers by James Kestrel (HardCase Crime)

Congratulations to all the winners and nominated authors.



For works published in 2021

The Macavity Awards are nominated by members of Mystery Readers International, subscribers to Mystery Readers Journal, and friends of MRI.

The winners were announced at the opening ceremonies at the Minneapolis Bouchercon. 

Best Mystery Novel

Razorblade Tears by S. A. Cosby (Flatiron Books)

Best First Mystery Novel

Arsenic and Adobo by Mia P. Manansala (Berkley)

Best Mystery Short Story

Sweeps Week,” by Richard Helms (EQMM, July/August 2021)

Best Non-Fiction/Critical 

How to Write a Mystery: A Handbook from Mystery Writers of America edited by Lee Child with Laurie R. King (Scribner)

Best Historical Mystery: Sue Feder Memorial Award

Clark and Division by Naomi Hirahara (Soho Crime)

Congratulations to all the winners and nominated authors

Wednesday 7 September 2022



Sept. 7, 2022 — Angry Robot Books announced today the launch of Datura Books, a new crime fiction imprint focused on titles with a strong sense of voice and place that push the boundaries of the genre, while playing with readers’ favourite tropes. 

Datura is founded on what sets Angry Robot apart - direct connection with our readers,” said Publisher Eleanor Teasdale. “As avid readers in this genre, our team all believe that we can offer something special by using our experience with Angry Robot to choose the titles we would be so excited to pick up in a bookshop.

Along with Teasdale, Datura is led by a seasoned team of Angry Robot editors spanning a range of tastes, including Simon Spanton, Gemma Creffield, Daniel Culver and Ella Chappell, who is a judge for this year’s CWA Daggers. They are also supported by author and editor Bryon Quertermous who brings his intimate knowledge of the genre in the US to the team. 

I like well-written psychological horror and literary crime,” said Culver. “I’d also be keen to see an old-fashioned whodunit in the vein of Clue or Knives Out.” 

Teasdale is on the hunt for brilliant translation projects, reinventions of sub genres and classic police procedurals. Spanton’s passion lies in crime set in the American South during the civil rights era, as well as 1930s and 1970s/1980s settings in Britain. Chappell, who says, “A locked-door mystery with a small cast of unforgettable characters never goes amiss!” seeks gripping, modern psychological thrillers. Creffield recently commissioned a title previously set for self-publishing by a popular TikTokker due to enthusiasm on the platform, which exemplifies Datura’s mission of seeking submissions based first and foremost on what readers want.

We are delighted to be expanding our fiction publishing into the world of crime and thriller with Datura,” said Deputy Managing Director Vicky Hartley. “The launch list is an exciting mix of styles, authors, and most importantly, fantastic writing.”

Datura also aims to speak to an emerging younger readership. The imprint’s debut release Death Of a Dancing Queen is the adult debut by YA mystery author Kimberly G. Giarratano on February 14, 2023. Six titles are already committed to publish over the next year and will be distributed internationally by Penguin Random House, as well as sales, design and production support from Watkins. Find more at

Tuesday 6 September 2022

Finalists Revealed for The McIlvanney Prize 2022

Sponsored by The Glencairn Glass

Winners to be presented on Thursday 15 September 2022

In Bloody Scotland’s 10th Anniversary year, the judges are delighted to reveal the finalists for The McIlvanney Prize 2022:

Liam McIlvanney – The Heretic (HarperCollins)

Alan Parks – May God Forgive (Canongate)

Ambrose Parry – A Corruption of Blood (Canongate)

Louise Welsh – The Second Cut (Canongate)

A hat trick for Canongate and indeed for Scottish independent publishing! The McIlvanney Prize judges are Ayo Onatade, winner of the CWA Red Herring Award and freelance crime fiction critic, Ewan Wilson, crime fiction buyer from Waterstones Glasgow and Jacky Collins, otherwise known as the podcaster, Dr Noir and programmer of Newcastle Noir. They were unanimous in their praise for all four finalists:

Liam McIlvanney – The Heretic (HarperCollins) The masterful rendering of a richly layered plot makes you want to read this novel again as soon as you’ve finished it. It’s a warts and all tale with memorable characters and a great setting.

Alan Parks – May God Forgive (Canongate) This expertly handled and morally ambiguous novel paints a dark and mesmerising portrait of 1970s Glasgow. The skillfully written and complex plot builds to a thrilling and highly unconventional denouement.

Ambrose Parry – A Corruption of Blood (Canongate) A real slow burner of a novel which is a marvellous tale of murder and deception in Victorian Edinburgh. It handles some difficult subject matter with sensitivity and care and has a real feeling of authenticity

Louise Welsh – The Second Cut (Canongate) The raw, tight prose of this novel delivers an edgy glimpse into the underbelly of 21st century Glasgow. The novel feature the welcome return of Rilke from Louise’s classic debut The Cutting room in a witty and sometimes sordid tale of a rank outsider.

The winner will be revealed in Stirling on Thursday 15 September. All of the shortlisted authors will be invited to a VIP reception at the Church of the Holy Rude at 7pm and to lead the torchlit procession from Stirling Castle to The Albert Halls where the winner of both the McIlvanney and the Bloody Scotland Debut Prizes will be revealed at approximately 8.30pm. They will then be interviewed on stage by BBC Radio Scotland’s Janice Forsyth.