one of Europe’s leading crime writing conventions, has announced the shortlists
for its annual awards.
in its 16th year, the awards honour the best crime books released in 2022 in
awards feature the hotly-contended Specsavers Debut Crime Novel Award which
offers a £1,000 cash prize.
year sees former detective turned advisor, Graham Bartlett, on the debut
shortlist. Bartlett is known for advising some of the biggest authors in the
crime genre, including Peter James, Mark Billingham, and Elly Griffiths, to
help inject reality into their plots involving a crime or police officer. Now,
Bartlett has put himself on the line with his debut, Bad for Good.
not the only former member of the police on the shortlist. John
Sutherland served in a variety of ranks for the Met Police before he retired in
2018, and is shortlisted for his debut, The Siege.
face strong competition from six other shortlisted authors, including
Canada’s vice president and editorial director of the publishing house
Simon & Schuster, Nita Prose, with her debut The Maid, which was a
No.1 New York Times bestseller, a BBC Radio 4 Book at Bedtime and has
already picked up the Ned Kelly Award for Best International Crime Fiction.
eDunnit Award for the best e-book, sees giants of the genre in contention,
including Ian Rankin for A Heart Full of Headstones, Sara Gran for The
Book of the Most Precious Substance, Michael Connelly with Desert Star and
Chris Brookmyre for The Cliff House.
H.R.F Keating Award for best biographical or critical book on crime fiction
sees TV’s Queen of History, Lucy Worsley, take on the Queen of Crime with Agatha
Christie: A Very Elusive Woman.
Private Spy, The Letters of John le Carré 1945-2020, edited by Tim Cornwell, is
also shortlisted, as is crime fiction expert Barry Forshaw’s Simenon, The
Man, The Books, The Films: A 21st Century Guide on the legendary and
influential crime writer.
Last Laugh Award sees Mick Herron’s Bad Actors on the shortlist. The
Jackson Lamb series of dysfunctional British intelligence agents has become a
major adaptation for Apple TV, starring Oscar-winner Gary Oldman. Herron’s
up against Elly Griffiths with The Locked Room, Antti Tuomainen with The
Moose Paradox, and the late Christopher Fowler for Bryant and May’s
Griffiths also features in the Best Crime Novel for Children (aged 8-12)
shortlist with A Girl Called Justice: The Spy at the Window. She’s up
against the acclaimed Anthony Horowitz for Where Seagulls Dare: A Diamond
Brothers Case and M.G. Leonard’s Spark.
for the Best Crime Novel for Young Adults (aged 12-16) include Holly Jackson
with Five Survive, Finn Longman’s The Butterfly Assassin and
Sophie McKenzie’s Truth of Dare.
Muller, Co-host of CrimeFest, said: “The Specsavers Debut Novel Award has
become one of the most coveted, and we’d like to thank Specsavers for their
on-going support in celebrating new talent. We are also proud to be one of the
few genre awards that recognise and celebrate e-books, humour, children, and
Young Adult crime fiction novels. Our inclusive awards reflect the values of
our convention, and showcase the incredible diversity and reach of the genre
which dominates today’s cultural landscape.”
in Bristol, CrimeFest is one of the biggest crime fiction events in Europe, and
one of the most popular dates in the international crime fiction calendar, with
circa 60 panel events and 150 authors attending over four days.
Guests at the convention this May are Mark Billingham and Elly Griffiths.
British crime fiction reviewers and reviewers of fiction for children and young
adults, alongside the members of the School Library Association (SLA),
form the CrimeFest judging panels.
was created following the hugely successful one-off visit to Bristol in 2006 of
the American Left Coast Crime convention. It was established in 2008. It
follows the egalitarian format of most US conventions, making it open to all
commercially published authors and readers alike.
category winners will receive a Bristol Blue Glass commemorative award.
2023 Shortlists in full
DEBUT CRIME NOVEL AWARD
association with headline sponsor, the Specsavers Debut Crime Novel Award is
for debut authors first published in the United Kingdom in 2022. The winning
author receives a £1,000 prize.
- Amen Alonge for A Good Day to Die (Quercus)
- Graham Bartlett
for Bad for Good (Allison & Busby)
- Nita Prose for The Maid (HarperCollins)
- Oriana Rammuno
(translator: Katherine Gregor) for Ashes in the Snow (HarperCollins)
- Joachim B. Schmidt
(translator: Jamie Lee Searle) for Kalmann (Bitter Lemon)
- Hayley Scrivenor
for Dirt Town (Macmillan)
- John Sutherland
for The Siege (Orion Fiction)
- Stacy Willingham
for A Flicker in the Dark (HarperCollins)
eDunnit Award is for the best crime fiction ebook first published in both
hardcopy and in electronic format in the United Kingdom in 2022.
- Chris Brookmyre for The Cliff House (Abacus)
- Michael Connelly
for Desert Star (Orion Fiction)
- M.W. Craven for The Botanist (Constable)
- Sara Gran for The Book of the Most Precious Substance (Faber & Faber)
- Ian Rankin for A Heart Full of Headstones (Orion Fiction)
- Peter Swanson
for Nine Lives (Faber & Faber)
H.R.F. Keating Award is for the best biographical or critical book related to
crime fiction first published in the United Kingdom in 2022. The award is named
after H.R.F. ‘Harry’ Keating, one of Britain’s most esteemed crime novelists,
crime reviewers and writer of books about crime fiction.
J.C. Bernthal & Mary Anna Evans for The Bloomsbury Handbook to Agatha Christie (Bloomsbury
John le Carré (edited by Tim Cornwell) for A Private Spy: The Letters of John le Carré 1945-2020 (Viking)
Martin Edwards for The Life of Crime: Detecting the History of Mysteries and their
Creators (Collins Crime Club)
Barry Forshaw for Simenon: The Man, The Books, The Films (Oldcastle
Sian MacArthur for Gender Roles and Political Contexts in Cold War Spy Fiction (Palgrave
Lucy Worsley for Agatha Christie: A Very Elusive Woman (Hodder &
Last Laugh Award is for the best humorous crime novel first published in the
United Kingdom in 2022.
Christopher Fowler for Bryant & May's Peculiar London (Doubleday)
Elly Griffiths for The Locked Room (Quercus)
Mick Herron for Bad Actors (Baskerville)
Cara Hunter for Hope to Die (Viking)
Mike Ripley for Mr Campion's Mosaic (Severn House)
Antti Tuomainen for The Moose Paradox (Orenda Books)
CRIME FICTION NOVEL FOR CHILDREN
award is for the best crime novel for children (aged 8-12) first published in
the United Kingdom in 2022.
- Elly Griffiths for A Girl Called Justice: The Spy at the Window (Quercus
Anthony Horowitz for Where Seagulls Dare: A Diamond Brothers Case
Sharna Jackson for The Good Turn (Puffin)
M.G. Leonard for Spark (Walker Books)
Robin Stevens for The Ministry of Unladylike Activity (Puffin)
Sarah Todd Taylor for Alice Éclair, Spy Extraordinaire! A Recipe for Trouble (Nosy
Crow)BEST CRIME FICTION
NOVEL FOR YOUNG ADULTS
This award is for the
best crime novel for young adults (aged 12-16) first published in the United
Kingdom in 2022.
- Holly Jackson for Five Survive (Electric Monkey)
- Patrice Lawrence
for Needle (Barrington Stoke)
- Finn Longman
for The Butterfly Assassin (Simon & Schuster
- Sophie McKenzie
for Truth or Dare (Simon & Schuster Children's)
- Ruta Sepetys
for I Must Betray You (Hodder Children's Books)
- Jonathan Stroud
for The Notorious Scarlett and Browne (Walker Books)
CrimeFest runs at the
Mercure Bristol Grand Hotel from 11-14 May, 2023. For details and to book, go