Blood Men by Paul Cleave won the 2011 Ngaio Marsh Award. The award was presented at the"Setting the Stage for Murder" event in Christchurch yesterday, as part of The Press Christchurch Writers Festival. Seven judges from New Zealand and across the world chose Cleave's novel above three other finalists including Neil Cross, Paddy Richardson and Alix Bosco.
The judges praised Blood Men, which was set in Christchurch, as a "gruesomely gripping story told in clean, sharp prose, with authentically laconic dialogue and flashes of dark humour". Cleave said it was the first time in six years of being published that he felt like he was being taken seriously in New Zealand. Cleave has sold 600,000 books in 19 countries, but only a tiny fraction of those sales were in New Zealand.
I really enjoyed being a judge for the Ngaio Marsh Award, particularly for being introduced to so many great new to me writers. I want to thank Craig Sisterson for all he does for Kiwi Crime and for including me in the judging.
On another Kiwi note in relationship to the Ngaio Marsh Awards, Alix Bosco's (author of shortlisted Slaughter Falls), true identiy was revealed in the Sunday Star-Times last week. Acclaimed playwright, TV screenwriter, and former Junior All Black Greg McGee 'came out' as Alix Bosco in a large feature in the Star-Times. Read the article HERE.