Tuesday 16 April 2024

CrimeFest Awards Short Lists Announced

CrimeFest, one of Europe’s leading crime writing conventions, has announced the shortlists for its annual awards.

The awards began 16 years ago when CrimeFest launched in 2008; they honour the best crime books released in the UK in the last year, and feature the hotly-contended Specsavers Debut Crime Novel Award which offers a £1,000 cash prize.

Authors in contention for the £1k prize include the Times Radio presenter and former editor of the Times Literary Supplement, Stig Abell, for his fiction debut, Death Under a Little Sky. Jo Callaghan is nominated for her BBC Between the Covers Book Club pick, In the Blink of An Eye, a daring, original debut featuring an AI detective. Jo Callaghan works as a senior strategist researching the future impact of AI and geonomics. 

Also, up for the debut award are Megan Davis described by Waterstones as an ‘eclectic, cut throat new voice in thriller writing’ with The Messenger; Jenny Lund Madsen with her darkly funny Thirty Days of Darkness, the critically acclaimed historical crime debut Needless Alley by Natalie Marlow; and the pitch-black Death of a Bookseller, by Alice Slater.

Adrian Muller, Co-host of CrimeFest, said: “The Specsavers Debut Novel Award has become one of the most highly anticipated awards of the genre, and we’d like to thank Specsavers for their on-going support in celebrating new talent.

The shortlist for the CrimeFest H.R.F. Keating Award for the best biographical or critical book includes explorations of icons of the genre including Steven Powell for Love Me Fierce in Danger: The Life of James Ellroy; Nicholas Shakespeare for Ian Fleming: The Complete Man, and Adam Sisman for The Secret Life of John Le Carré

CrimeFest’s Last Laugh Award for best humorous crime novel sees bestselling authors in contention, including Mark Billingham for The Last Laugh; Mick Herron with The Secret Hours; and Elly Griffiths for The Great Deceiver. They’re joined by authors Mike Ripley, Jesse Sutanto and Antti Tuomianen.

Nominated for the best crime fiction e-book published in 2023 for the E-Dunnit Award are Rachel Abbott’s Don't Look Away; Jane Casey for The Close; Marin Edwards’ Sepulchre Street; Christina Koning for Murder at Bletchley Park; Laura Lippman’s Prom Mom; and The Devil's Playground by Craig Russell.

This nominees for the CrimeFest Best Crime Novel for Young Adults (aged 12-16) include Jennifer Lynn Barnes for her TikTok sensation, The Brothers Hawthorne, which combines puzzles, plot twists, and romance. 

She’s up against the bestselling author Ravena Guron, the ‘trailblazing’ blockbuster Promise Boys by Nick Brooks; the international bestseller Karen M. McManus for One of Us is Back; and Elizabeth Wein’s 1937 murder mystery featuring solo female pilot Stella North, Stateless. 

Adrian Muller said: “We are proud to be one of the few genre awards that recognise and celebrate children, and young adult crime fiction. This category has really boomed in recent years. The top-selling female author of crime fiction in the UK last year was Holly Jackson, and we’re thrilled to host Holly and fellow author, Robin Stevens, at talks for state schools in Bristol this May. The genre is a fantastic gateway into reading.

Robin Stevens is also shortlisted for the CrimeFest Award for Best Crime Novel for Children (ages 8-12) for The Ministry of Unladylike Activity 2: The Body in the Blitz, published by Puffin, which celebrates the 10th anniversary of the bestselling series that has sold 2 million copies in the UK to date. 

She’s up against a strong shortlist that includes J.T. Williams, Lis Jardine, Beth Lincoln, and the footballer Marcus Rashford for The Breakfast Club Adventures: The Ghoul in the School, co-written by Alex Falase-Koya.

Leading 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.

The winners of the 2024 CrimeFest Awards will be announced at a gala dinner hosted during CrimeFest on Saturday 11 May at the Mercure Bristol Grand Hotel.

Hosted in Bristol, CrimeFest is the biggest crime fiction convention in the UK, 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, from 9-12 May.

This year also features the CrimeFest Best Adapted TV Crime Drama Award, which celebrate dramas based on a book screened in 2023. 

Shortlisted shows include Amazon’s Reacher, based on books by Lee Child; the BBC’s Shetland, and ITV’s Vera, based on the books by Ann Cleeves; Apple TV’s Slow Horses, adapted from Mick Herron’s series; The Serial Killer’s Wife on Paramount by Alice Hunter; and Dalgliesh, based on the books by P.D. James.

The convention will feature a panel that pays homage to P.D. James with author Frances Fyfield, the Sunday Times chief fiction critic Peter Kemp, playwright and crime author, Simon Brett, and PD James’ granddaughter, Dr Beatrice Groves. 

Featured Guests for 2024 are author of the international hit Murdle - G.T. Karber - who will host a live Murdle event in a rare UK appearance; Diamond Dagger winners James Lee Burke and Lynda La Plante, the acclaimed American author Laura Lippman; and the seminal Scottish author, Denise Mina. 

The line up also features Ajay Chowdhury, Cathy Ace, Janice Hallett, Abir Mukherjee, Vaseem Khan, Holly Jackson, Kate Ellis, Ruth Dudley Edwards, and Martin Edwards.

CrimeFest was created following the hugely successful one-off visit to Bristol in 2006 of the American Left Coast Crime convention. Established in 2008, it follows the egalitarian format of most US conventions, making it open to all commercially published authors and readers alike.

All category winners will receive a Bristol Blue Glass commemorative award.


The 2024 CrimeFest Award Shortlists in full:


SPECSAVERS DEBUT CRIME NOVEL AWARD

In association with headline sponsor, the Specsavers Debut Crime Novel Award is for debut authors first published in the United Kingdom in 2023. The winning author receives a £1,000 prize. 

Death Under a Little Sky by Stig Abell (Hemlock Press/HarperCollins)

In The Blink Of An Eye  by Jo Callaghan (Simon & Schuster)

The Messenger by Megan Davis  (Zaffre)

Thirty Days of Darkness by Jenny Lund Madsen translated by Megan Turney (Orenda Books)

Needless Alley by Natalie Marlow (Baskerville)

Death of a Bookseller by Alice Slater  (Hodder & Stoughton)


H.R.F. KEATING AWARD


The H.R.F. Keating Award is for the best biographical or critical book related to crime fiction first published in the United Kingdom in 2023. 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.

Contemporary European Crime Fiction: Representing History and Politics by M, J, F & A Dall'Asta, Migozzi, Pagello & Pepper (Palgrave)

Ocular Proof and the Spectacled Detective in British Crime Fiction by Lisa Hopkins (Palgrave)

 How To Survive a Classic Crime Novel  by Kate Jackson (British Library Publishing)

Love Me Fierce In Danger: The Life of James Ellroy by Steven Powell (Bloomsbury Academic)

Ian Fleming: The Complete Man by Nicholas Shakespeare (Harvill Secker)

The Secret Life of John Le Carré by Adam Sisman (Profile Books)


LAST LAUGH AWARD

The Last Laugh Award is for the best humorous crime novel first published in the United Kingdom in 2023.

The Last Dance by Mark Billingham (Sphere)

The Great Deceiver by Elly Griffiths (Quercus)

The Secret Hours by Mick Herron  (Baskerville)

Mr Campion's Memory by Mike Ripley (Severn House)

Vera Wong's Unsolicited Advice for Murderers by Jesse Sutanto (HQ)

The Beaver Theory by Antti Tuomianen  (Orenda Books)


eDUNNIT AWARD 


For the best crime fiction ebook first published in both hardcopy and in electronic format in the United Kingdom in 2023.

Don't Look Away  by Rachel Abbott (Wildfire)

The Close by -Jane Casey (HarperCollins)

Sepulchre Street by Martin Edwards(Head of Zeus)

Murder at Bletchley Park by Christina Koning (Allison & Busby)

Prom Mom by Laura Lippman (Faber & Faber)

The Devil's Playground by Craig Russell (Constable)


BEST CRIME FICTION NOVEL FOR CHILDREN

This award is for the best crime novel for children (aged 8-12) first published in the United Kingdom in 2023.

Mysteries At Sea: Peril On The Atlantic by A.M. Howell  (Usborne Publishing)

The Detention Detectives by Lis Jardine  (Penguin Random House Children's UK)

The Swifts by Beth Lincoln (Penguin Random House Children's UK)

 The Breakfast Club Adventures: The Ghoul in the School by Marcus Rashford (with Alex Falase-Koya) (Macmillan Children's Books)

The Ministry of Unladylike Activity 2: The Body in the Blitz by Robin Stevens (Penguin Random House Children's UK)

The Lizzie and Belle Mysteries: Portraits and Poison by J.T. Williams (illustrated by Simone Douglas) (Farshore)


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 2023.

The Brothers Hawthorne by Jennifer Lynn Barnes  (Penguin Random House Children's UK)

Promise Boys by Nick Brooks (Macmillan Children's Books)

This Book Kills by Ravena Guron (Usborne Publishing)

Catch Your Death by Ravena Guron (Usborne Publishing)

One of Us is Back by Karen M. McManus (Penguin Random House Children's UK)

Stateless by Elizabeth Wein (Bloomsbury YA)


THALIA PROCTOR MEMORIAL AWARD FOR BEST ADAPTED TV CRIME DRAMA


This award is for the best television crime drama based on a book, and first screened in the UK in 2023. 

Dalgliesh (series 2), based on the Inspector Dalgliesh books by P.D. James (Channel 5)

Reacher (series 2), based on the Jack Reacher books by Lee Child (Amazon Prime)

Shetland (series 8), based on the Shetland books by Ann Cleeves (BBC)

Slow Horses (series 3), based on the Slough House books by Mick Herron (Apple)

The Serial Killer's Wife, based on the Serial Killer books by Alice Hunter (Paramount+)

Vera (series 12), based on the Vera Stanhope books by Ann Cleeves (ITV)



 

Monday 15 April 2024

Even More Killer Puzzles – The Further Return of Murdle

For all you puzzle enthusiasts that fell in love with volume 1 and volume 2 of Murdle you will be pleased to know that there will be a third volume of these exceedingly fiendish puzzles being released in May 2024.



G T Karber will be appearing this year at CrimeFest where he will be hosting a special Murdle event on CrimeFest's opening night. 

He will also take part in a panel on Columbo, alongside fellow aficionados of the iconic TV show, Laura Lippman, and Vaseem Khan, chair of the Crime Writers’ Association (CWA)

There will also be another X competition taking place to celebrate the launch of the third volume so do look out for a tweet about the competition on X.

G.T Karber’s third instalment, Murdle: Even More Killer Puzzles is published on 9 May by Souvenir Press.

Sunday 14 April 2024

2024 Lefty Award Winners

 

Left Coast Crime 2024 presented the four Lefty Awards at the 34th annual convention in Bellevue, Washington: Humorous, Historical, Debut, and Best. The awards were voted on at the convention and presented at the banquet on Saturday, 13th April at the Hyatt Regency in Bellevue. 

The Lefty nominees have been selected by convention registrants, and LCC is delighted to announce the 2024 Lefty Award winners for books published in 2023:

Lefty for Best Humorous Mystery Novel: 

Cheap Trills by Wendall Thomas (‎Beyond the Page Books)

Lefty for Best Historical Mystery Novel for books set before 1970 (Bill Gottfried Memorial):

Evergreen by Naomi Hirahara (Soho Crime)

Lefty for Best Debut Mystery Novel:

Mother-Daughter Murder Night by Nina Simon (William Morrow)

Lefty for Best Mystery Novel:  

Hide by Tracy Clark (Thomas & Mercer)

The Left Coast Crime Convention is an annual event sponsored by mystery fans, both readers and authors. Held in the western half of North America, LCC’s intent is to host an event where readers, authors, critics, librarians, publishers, and other fans can gather in convivial surroundings to pursue their mutual interests. Lefty Awards have been given since 1996. 


Thursday 11 April 2024

Dr Rhona MacLeod, Forensics and I by Lin Anderson

With the paperback of The Wild Coast due to be published on 11th April 2024 Lin Anderson talks about the Dr Rhona MacLeod and forensics. 

Driftnet, the first book to feature forensic scientist Dr Rhona MacLeod was published in 2003. The Wild Coast, the latest and the hardback of no 17 in the series was published twenty years later on the 3rd August 2023.

How has the world of forensics changed during that time?

The story of Rhona MacLeod…

My father was a Detective Inspector in Greenock when I was growing up. He never spoke about his job to his three daughters, but my mother was his confidant when dark things were happening and they would go into the kitchen to talk with the door firmly shut.

With three teenage daughters, my dad had lots to worry about. One of his favourite warnings to me was…I know what men are like, Linda.

One of his deepest concerns was that he might turn up at a scene of crime to discover one of his daughters as a victim. That fear of his became the catalyst for writing Driftnet.

I imagined someone turning up at the scene of a murder only to discover the victim is linked to them. I wondered who that someone would be. In most novels, it would be a male detective, like my dad. For some reason, I thought of a former Maths pupil of mine, Emma Hart who had gone to university to study forensic science, which back then was in its infancy. She had graduated and was now working with the forensic services in London.

So in that serendipity moment, I thought I would have a female forensic scientist and that she would think the teenage victim looked so like her, he might be the son she gave up for adoption seventeen years before.

Needless to say I knew nothing about forensic science at the time, so I set about trying to buy a book on the subject. In the current Waterstones on Princes Street, Edinburgh, back then known as Ottakers, I found only one book on the subject, The Encyclopedia of Forensic Science, which I have to this day.

Fortunately, I was also able to call on Emma, to point out what things I did right or wrong.

Driftnet became Ottakers book of the month and launched my career. I also found I loved the world of forensic science which married well with my other teaching subject of Computing Science. I fell in love with my little cast of characters, Rhona, Chrissy her side kick, DS Michael McNab, DI Wilson (who was based on my father) and Orcadian psychologist Professor Magnus Pirie(I used to live in Orkney…it’s a great place). Hence the series was born.

I didn’t make the decision to set each book in a given year and move forward in real time, like Ian Rankin did with Rebus. In truth, I hadn’t planned to write a series at all. So I just had each story start where the previous one ended. This is indicated by the season. So roughly speaking during her time in the spotlight, Rhona has aged about four years.

Shortly after Driftnet was published, I took an evening course at my former university of Glasgow entitled ‘Diploma in Forensic Science’, offered to those who might have to give evidence in court, such as police officers, mortuary technicians, social workers etc…and any other interested parties. I decided that was me and I applied. I then discovered my partner in crime (and co founder of Bloody Scotland with me), Alex Gray had also spotted the advert. After which we spent many happy hours listening to the real experts in the field of forensic science.

The experts I met through that course, together with my carefully preserved notes allow me to continue with Rhona up to now.

The Wild Coast by Lin Anderson (Pan Macmillan) PB Published 11 April 2024

A remote shoreline. A lethal killer. As lone visitors disappear from the rural northwest of Scotland, campsites are becoming crime scenes. When forensic scientist Rhona MacLeod is brought in to analyse a shallow grave on Scotland's west coast, she is disturbed by a bundle of twigs crafted into a stickman and left in the victim's mouth. Then, when a young woman is reported missing from a nearby campsite with another sinister figurine left in her van, it seems that someone is targeting wild campers. An idyllic coastline known for providing peace and serenity, now the area is a hunting ground. As her investigation proceeds, Rhona is forced to reconsider her closest bonds. Rumours of sexual assault offences by serving police officers are circling in Glasgow, which may include her trusted colleague DS Michael McNab. Could it be true, or is someone looking to put him out of action? All the while a young woman's life is on the line and the clock is ticking...

Whispers of the Dead is the eighteenth book in the Dr Rhona McLeod series is due to be published in August 2024.

Whispers of the Dead by Lin Anderson (Pan Macmillan) Published 1st August 2024.

A gangland slaying. A missing movie star. When an actor goes missing in Glasgow, the clue to his whereabouts could be in the film script itself.  In the dead of night, a man’s body is found strapped to a chair in Glasgow’s Elder Park, his identity unknown. As forensic scientist Rhona MacLeod examines the scene, the violence on display suggests a gangland feud could be the cause. At the post-mortem, a bullet engraved with a snake’s head is found in the man’s stomach, lending weight to the theory. Elsewhere in the city, a major Hollywood movie is being filmed. But shooting comes to a standstill when its lead actor is reported missing. As the news spreads, Police Scotland believe the two cases may be connected. DS Michael McNab thinks the key to finding those responsible could be the film itself. A storyline playing out in real-life on the streets of Glasgow with a killer intent on revenge at any cost. A vendetta which must be paid in blood . . .

More information about Lin Anderson and her books can be found on her website. You can also find her on “X” @Lin_Anderson on Instagram @Linandersonwriter and on Facebook.


Researching The Innocents by Bridget Walsh.

My novels often start with a little nugget of research and my second novel, ‘The Innocents’, was no different. Finding myself with time on my hands during lockdown, I came across a fascinating history of The Illustrated Police News by Linda Stratmann. And that’s where I read about the Victoria Hall disaster. 

On 16 June 1883, at the Victoria Hall in Sunderland, toys and prizes were thrown into the stalls at the end of a children’s matinee performance. Those in the upper galleries saw they were missing out and rushed downstairs, but their way was blocked by a bolted door, leaving a gap of just twenty-two inches to squeeze through. Barely enough space for one child, never mind hundreds, and nobody realised in time exactly what was happening. The rush of children from the galleries resulted in the death by suffocation of 183 children. Frederick Graham, a caretaker on that fateful day, saved some 600 children by diverting them to another exit. 

The Victoria Hall disaster was not a one-off. In 1849, at the Theatre Royal in Glasgow, 65 people died. In 1878 a false cry of ‘fire’ at the Colosseum Theatre in Liverpool led to the deaths of 37 people. Nine years later, a fire broke out at the Theatre Royal in Exeter and 186 people died.

One of the things that facilitated tragedies like these was the sheer numbers of people who attended theatres and music halls in the 19th century. For a long time there were no limits on how many people could be admitted, so a venue ostensibly for an audience of 400 might well pack in as many as 2000 people on a busy night. And if someone shouted ‘fire’, or if performers started hurling toys into the audience, there were no procedures in place to manage the crowds. 

I started asking around, and almost no-one had heard of the Victoria Hall tragedy. Only people who lived locally, or who had a knowledge of theatre history, were aware of what happened. I wondered how such terrible events could be all but forgotten. Thinquest into Victoria Hall found no-one responsibleWas this because music halls were seen as largely the province of the working classes? Some of the newspaper illustrations of the tragedy show the children as wild-eyed and manic in their rush to get down to the stalls, with the suggestion they were perhaps culpable in what happened.

It got me thinking about what it would have been like to survive such an incident, particularly when no-one was made to pay for their part in it all. The groundwork for ‘The Innocents’ was laid, where a series of apparently unconnected murders all lead back to one terrible day. I’ve taken a bit of poetic license, changing the date and the location, but the details of the tragedy remain largely the same. And a fictionalised Frederick Graham makes an appearance, acknowledging his heroic actions.

The Innocents by Bridget Walsh (Gallic Books) Out Now

The Variety Palace Music Hall is in trouble, due in no small part to a gruesome spate of murders that unfolded around it a few months previously. Between writing, managing the music hall and trying to dissuade her boss from installing a water tank in the building, Minnie Ward has her hands full. Her complicated relationship with detective Albert Easterbrook doesn’t even bear thinking about.  But when a new string of murders tears through London, Minnie and Albert are thrown together once more. Strangely, the crimes seem to link back to a tragedy that took place fourteen years ago, leaving 183 children dead. And given that the incident touched so many people’s lives, everyone is a suspect . . .

More information about Bridget Walsh and her books can be found on her website. She can also be found on “X” at @bridget_walsh1





Wednesday 10 April 2024

Louise Hare on Writing the Women of the Past

One of my starting points for research for my novels is often reading what was written at the time. An absolute joy when writing a murder mystery set in the 1930s because it meant revisiting the Golden Age of crime, a time when female novelists ruled the genre. However, even with so many women in charge, there were very few female sleuths. Of course, from a practical point of view it makes sense. At a time when women were so constricted by social convention, not even able to open a bank account in their own name, it would have been very difficult for them to overcome those obstacles. Even Christie’s most well-known female sleuths get away with it for particular reasons: Jane Marple because she’s of a certain age, practically invisible so that people dismiss her as a threat; Tuppence Beresford who works alongside her husband Tommy.

Writing my accidental sleuth Lena Aldridge, who has had a run of the worst luck in terms of being close to murder on several occasions, I had some extra impediments to consider. A young woman who grew up in the East End of London, of mixed heritage, she’s not the usual Golden Age heroine. Her one advantage is that she’s a singer and actress. Used to playing a role and not minding if she’s the centre of attention, she survives a transatlantic crossing in her first outing, Miss Aldridge Regrets, by faking it. For the sequel, Harlem After Midnight, I began reading up on the women of the Harlem Renaissance. 

One of my favourite novels, Nella Larsen’s 1929 novel Passing, is considered a literary classic but it is also a psychological thriller. Two old acquaintances meet accidentally in a fancy hotel restaurant in Chicago after not seeing one another for years, both hiding the same secret: they’re both African American but light skinned enough to pass the hotel’s colour bar. While one of the women lives openly with her heritage, the other lives as a white woman with her openly racist husband. Of course, the rebirth of their friendship throws both women’s lives into chaos and a final tragedy that I pay homage to in Harlem After Midnight.

Larsen herself gave me permission to be freer with what Lena is able to get away with in 1930s Harlem. A former nurse and librarian, she was at the heart of the Harlem Renaissance despite her working-class background (most members of that group were of the Black middle class with university educations). After becoming the first African American woman to receive a Guggenheim Fellowship she travelled alone around Europe, staying for longer periods in Mallorca and Paris. 

If Nella Larsen could do these things, then so could Lena. What I love about history is its ability to surprise through the stories of individual people. Writing the women of the past is always interesting both in terms of those pioneers who were breaking all the rules and effecting change, but also in remembering how far we’ve come. 

Harlem After Midnight by Louise Hare.

1936, September 17th, 1am. In the middle of Harlem, in the dead of night, a woman falls from a second storey window. In her hand, she holds a passport and the name written on it is Lena Aldridge. Nine days earlier. Lena arrived in Harlem less than two weeks ago, full of hope for her burgeoning romance with Will Goodman, the handsome musician she met on board the Queen Mary. Will has arranged for Lena to stay with friends of his, and this will give her the chance to find out if their relationship is going anywhere. But there is another reason she's in Harlem – to find out what happened in 1908 to make her father flee to London. As Lena's investigations progress, not only does she realise her father lied to her, but the man she’s falling too fast and too hard for has secrets of his own. And those secrets have put Lena in terrible danger.

Harlem After Midnight by Louise Hare is published by HQ, HarperCollins in paperback, eBook and audiobook on the 11th April. 

More information about Louise Hare and her books can be found on her website. Louise Hare can also be found on “X” and on Instagram at @Lourhare. You can also find her on Facebook.


Friday 5 April 2024

Forthcoming books from Headline Publishing

 July 2024

It's the event of the year - the company summer party. Mel can't wait. Sun, sea, cocktails, her sights set on her work crush, and letting her hair down with her colleagues. One big happy family. What could go wrong? But as the Champagne flows and the sun begins to set, cracks in the team start to appear. Secrets, lies, revenge. No one is as innocent as they seem.  But could someone be guilty of murder? Mel soon realises someone is orchestrating a deadly plan. And she needs to uncover the truth if she's going to get out alive . . . The Summer Party is by Kate Gray.


August 2024

Abel Bac, a police officer, has been suspended from duty for unknown reasons. Haunted by a recurring nightmare, he walks the streets of Paris hoping to lose himself in the city, but somehow, he always finds his way home. Solitary by nature, he retreats from the extroversion of his new neighbour Elsa, and his former colleague Camille who is pained by her unrequited love for him. All that gives Abel comfort are the ninety-four orchids which populate his small apartment.  In museums across Paris something strange is happening. A white horse appears in the library of the Pompidou Centre. In a small museum, stuffed wolves are displayed in fine garments drinking tea. The police are baffled and Abel, who is somehow linked to it all, is becoming more and more unnerved.  Soon, the hidden darkness of his life will rise to the surface and lead him to Mila, the mysterious artist at the heart of this enigma. And it is not long before we discover that nothing about these events is coincidental. Artifice is by Claire Berest.

Ruby Johnson is a nanny and maid to wealthy families in Manhattan's West 74th Street. 
She knows their routines. Their secrets. One night, on her way home, Ruby witnesses a neighbour's murder. She knows the victim. She knows the killer. She makes an anonymous call to the police and names the murderer. But Ruby didn't tell the truth... Because there's something wrong with Ruby Johnson. Eddie Flynn, conman turned trial lawyer, must defend an innocent man accused of this terrible crime. As Ruby's deadly game begins, one thing is certain. It won't be the last murder this witness is involved in. Witness 8 is by Steve Cavanagh. 

Buried too Deep is by Karen Rose. Cora-Jane Winslow's father walked out on her family 23 years ago; his letters to her over the years the only connection she has had to him. When his body is discovered in an abandoned building, she is shocked to discover he has been dead all this time. What happened to him and who would cover up his murder by writing the letters? After his post-traumatic stress disorder forced him to run away from his life, Phin Bishop returns to the Burke Broussard Private Detective Agency, only to stumble upon an armed break-in. Cora-Jane is seen running from the building and his colleague Joy has been shot.  When it appears the shooting is related to Cora-Jane's father, the Agency step in to offer protection while they hunt for the perpetrator. Someone knows what really happened to Cora Jane's father and will stop at nothing to prevent their long-buried secrets being discovered . . .

Would you keep a secret for a stranger, if it meant the blood was on your hands? Celia, Juliette and Nadia are complete strangers with one thing in common: they have all been wronged by Ellis Cobain. A wealthy philanthropist on course for a knighthood, Ellis' public persona is bulletproof - but lurking beneath this veneer is a sinister side that only the women closest to him have seen. When they meet at a boutique hotel on the Cornish coast, brought together by the blind arrogance of their tormentor, they realise what connects them and form a pact: to blackmail him and free themselves from his grasp. But when he is discovered the next morning, murdered in cold blood, they are left scrambling. None of them knows who did it, and now they must desperately cover their tracks. Will they keep each other's secrets, now they are all implicated in his death? Will one turn on the others, when any of them could be next? The Last Time I saw Him is by Rachel Abbott.

September 2024

Going to the Dogs is by Pierre Lemaitre. With Mathilde, there is never a stray bullet, her work is clean and neat. Tonight was an exception. A little whim. Obviously, she could have taken the shot from a distance, done less damage; obviously she could have made the hit with a single bullet. What can I say? I don't know what came over me. This is what she will say if anyone asks. And anyway, who cares? All that matters is that the guy is dead, right?  1985. Paris. Sixty-three-year-old Mathilde Perrin is on another mission. A widow, mother and decorated hero of the Resistance, she is also a ruthless and skilled contract killer, and the most unlikely suspect. But tonight, something has changed. Mathilde is agitated, forgetful and impulsive - so much so that even Ludo, her loyal and long-suffering Dalmatian, has noticed a dangerous shift in her mood.  For Mathilde, retirement is not an option. And no superior, nor police detective nor meddling neighbour will stand in her way. But as Mathilde's mind unravels and the bodies pile up, how long will it take before the killer herself becomes the target?

It's a prize anyone would kill to win. Ten celebrities have arrived to take part in the most gruelling - and lucrative - reality survival show ever devised: two weeks completely alone on a remote Scottish island, in the depths of winter.  With a production team that seems incapable of keeping them safe, a gathering storm and the unrelenting gaze of hidden cameras, the contestants are stretched to the limit as they try and outshine their fellow competitors and hide their darkest secrets. But when a contestant winds up dead, it soon becomes clear that the players are not just fighting for the prize, but for their lives. Isolation Island is by Louise Minchin.

Twelve year old Phoebe's world is falling apart. It's the summer of 1985 and she has just buried her parents, a fire at their family home claiming both in a freak accident. Her life is uprooted in an instant, and she takes little solace in the fact that her uncle Louis and aunt Maude have generously offered to take her in at their home in the Welsh woods. Under the summer sun, though, Phoebe falls into the rhythm of life with her eccentric guardians in their curious idyllic home, the hum of her aunt Maude's beehives filling the air. While exploring the surrounding woods, she strikes up a friendship with a strange girl, Gwyneth, but when she mentions this to her aunt she tells Phoebe that there are no children by that name in the village. Over the course of the summer the two girls strike up a strong bond, though nobody else seems to believe that Gwyneth exists. Soon, Phoebe begins to see the woods for what they truly are - a strange place where the line between life and death is blurred, where spirits roam and secrets fester. But has she learned this truth too late to escape it? Broken Ghosts is by J D Oswald.

October 2024

A Reluctant Spy is by David Goodman. Jamie Tulloch is a successful exec at a top tech company, a long way from the tough upbringing that drove him to rise so far and so quickly. But he has a secret...since the age of 23, he's had a helping hand from the Legend Programme, a secret intelligence effort to prepare impenetrable backstories for undercover agents. Real people, living real lives, willing to hand over their identities for a few weeks in return for a helping hand with plum jobs, influence and access. When his tap on the shoulder finally comes, it's swiftly followed by the thud of a body. Arriving at a French airport ready to hand over his identity, Jamie finds his primary contact dead, the agent who's supposed to step into his life AWOL and his options for escape non-existent. Pitched into a deadly mission on hostile territory, Jamie must contend with a rogue Russian general, arms dealers, elite hackers, CIA tac-ops and the discovery of a brewing plan for war. Dangerously out of his depth, he must convince his sceptical mission handler he can do the job of a trained field agent while using his own life story as convincing cover. Can Jamie play himself well enough to avoid being killed - and to avert a lethal global conflict?

Guilty by Martina Cole and Jacqui Rose is due to be published in October.

November 2024


Thirty-one On The Run . . . Stephanie Plum, New Jersey's hardest working, most under-appreciated bounty hunter, returns with a bang in her latest adventure. While Stephanie's personal life is hanging by a thread, a killer case lands on her doorstep that changes everything. 

One of Us is Guilty is by Simon Kernick will be published in November.

It's 1952, and London is victorious but broken, a cityof war ruins and rationing, run by gangsters and black-market spivs. An elaborate midnight heist, the biggest robbery in British history, sends newspapers into afrenzy. Politicians are furious, the police red-faced. They have suspicions but no lead. For two families, it is more than just a sensational headline, as their fathers fail to return home on the day of the robbery. Young Addie Rowe, daughter of a missing Jamaican postman and drunk ex-club hostess mother, struggles to care for her little ssister ina dilapitaed Briston rooming house. Claire Martin increasingly rsentfu of roads not taken, strives to maake the rent and to keep her teenage son Ray from falling under unsavoury influences in Noting Dale. She finds herself caught between the interests of dangerous men who may the truth behind her husband's disappearance: Dave Lander, whose reserved nature she fnds difficult to reconcile with his reputation as a violent gang enforcer, and Teddy 'Mother' Nunn, sociopathic, evangelising outlaw and top lieutenant in Billy Hill's underworld. Drawn together through the years in the city's invisible web of crime and poverty, the fates of the broken families and violent men collide in 1958, as the West Indian community of Notting Hill's slums come under attack from thugs and Teddy Boys. For Addie, Claire, Dave and Mother, old scores will be settled and new dreams chased in the crucible of London's violent summer. White City is by Dominic Nolan.





Thursday 4 April 2024

Capital Crime Announces Fingerprint Award nominations!

 

OVERALL CRIME BOOK OF THE YEAR 2023

THE MURDER GAME by Tom Hindle

NONE OF THIS IS TRUE by Lisa Jewell

THE SECRET HOURS by Mick Herron

IN THE BLINK OF AN EYE by Jo Callaghan

STRANGE SALLY DIAMOND by Liz Nugent


THRILLER BOOK OF THE YEAR 2023

FEARLESS by M W Craven

THE SILENT MAN by David Fennell

THE RULE OF THREE by Sam Ripley

THE ONLY SUSPECT by Louise Candlish

THE HOUSE HUNT by C. M. Ewan


HISTORICAL BOOK OF THE YEAR 2023

DEATH OF A LESSER GOD by Vaseem Khan

THE SQUARE OF SEVENS by Laura Shepherd-Robinson

THE MURDER WHEEL by Tom Mead

THE GOOD LIARS by Anita Frank

THE HOUSE OF WHISPERS by Anna Mazzola

TRUE CRIME BOOK OF THE YEAR 2023

NO ORDINARY DAY by Matt Johnson

MY GIRL by Michelle Hadaway

VITAL ORGANS by Suzie Edge

UNLAWFUL KILLINGS: LIFE, LOVE AND MURDER: TRIALS AT THE OLD BAILEY by Her Honour Wendy Joseph QC

ORDER OUT OF CHAOS by Scott Walker

AUDIO BOOOK OF THE YEAR 2023

THE RUNNING GRAVE by Robert Galbraith (narrated by Robert Glenister)

THE LAST GOODBYE by Tim Weaver (narrated by Joe Coen, Brendan MacDonald, Peter Noble, Dominic Thorburn and Candida Gubbins)

THE BEDROOM WINDOW by K. L. Slater (narrated by Clare Corbett)

CONVICTION by Jack Jordan (narrated by Sophie Roberts)

OVER MY DEAD BODY by Maz Evans (narrated by Maz Evans)

GENRE -BUSTING BOOK OF THE YEAR 2023

INK BLOOD SISTER SCRIBE by Emma Torzs

THE MYSTERIOUS CASE OF THE ALPERTON ANGELS by Janice Hallett

KILLING JERICHO by William Hussey

MURDER IN THE FAMILY by Cara Hunter

THE LOOKING GLASS SOUND by Catriona Ward

DEBUT BOOK OF THE YEAR 2023

DEATH OF A BOOKSELLER by Alice Slater

THE LIST by Yomi Adegoke

GENEVA by Richard Armitage

THE BANDIT QUEENS by Parini Shroff

THIRTY DAYS OF DARKNESS by Jenny Lund Madsen


Voting is now open and you can vote for your favourite book here.