I'm very excited to post the Longlist for the 2012 Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel. This is the second year that I'm a 'judge.' The Award will be presented at a ceremony at The Press Christchurch Writers’ Festival in September.
The Ngaio Marsh Award is given for the best crime, mystery, or thriller novel written by a New Zealand citizen or resident, published in New Zealand or overseas during the past year.
A panel of seven local and international judges is currently considering the longlisted titles. This year the judges are from the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany, and New Zealand. The three finalists for the 2012 Ngaio Marsh Award will be announced in July.
The longlist titles are:
• COLLECTING COOPER by Paul Cleave (Simon & Schuster) • LUTHER: THE CALLING by Neil Cross (Simon & Schuster) • FURT BENT FROM ALDAHEIT by Jack Eden (Pear Jam Books) • TRACES OF RED by Paddy Richardson (Penguin) • BY ANY MEANS by Ben Sanders (HarperCollins) • BOUND by Vanda Symon (Penguin) • THE CATASTROPHE by Ian Wedde (Victoria University Press)
The longlist reflects the growing depth and breadth of contemporary New Zealand crime and thriller writing, said Judging Convenor Craig Sisterson. “This year’s longlist features everything from dark serial killer tales to the latest books in popular detective series, ‘ripped from the headlines’ psychological suspense, and a prequel to one of the most compelling TV crime series of recent years. We have the mysterious tale of a narcissistic restaurant critic’s kidnapping, penned by New Zealand’s poet laureate, and an engaging debut thriller written under a nom de plume.”
It will be a tough decision for the judging panel to narrow the field to three finalists and pick a winner, said Sisterson. “There was some exceptional crime, mystery, and thriller fiction penned by New Zealanders last year. It is great to see one of the world’s most popular forms of writing starting to flourish a little more on our own shores, though it makes our job harder.”
The Award, established in 2010, is named for Dame Ngaio Marsh, who is renowned worldwide as one of the four Queens of Crime of the Golden Age of Detective Fiction. Dame Ngaio published 32 novels featuring Inspector Roderick Alleyn between 1934 and her death in 1982. With sales in the millions, and her books still in print to this day, Dame Ngaio is one of New Zealand’s most successful authors in history.
I can't wait to read all the titles on the Longlist! It's a tough job, but someone's got to do it!