The verdicts are in: female storytellers dominate this year’s Ngaios finalists.
Decades after Ngaio Marsh ruled as a ‘Queen of Crime’ on the global stage, her literary heirs are laying siege to the local throne with the 2018 Ngaio Marsh Awards finalists named today.
Now in their ninth year, the Ngaio Marsh Awards celebrate the best New Zealand crime, mystery, thriller, and suspense writing. “It’s been a year of record-breaking numbers of entries, and our judges were faced with tough decisions among a really diverse array of tales spread across varying styles, settings, and subgenres,” says awards founder Craig Sisterson. “Some books our judges loved missed out, which underlines the growing strength and depth of our local writing. Kiwi readers devour tales of crime, thrills, and mystery. They’ve got lots of great choices here to encourage them to give our own storytellers more of a try.”
The finalists for the 2018 Ngaio Marsh Awards are:
BEST CRIME NOVEL • Marlborough Man by Alan Carter (Fremantle Press) • See You in September by Charity Norman (Allen & Unwin) • Tess by Kirsten McDougall (VUP) • The Sound of Her Voice by Nathan Blackwell (Mary Egan Publishing) • A Killer Harvest by Paul Cleave (Upstart Press) • The Hidden Room by Stella Duffy (Virago)
BEST FIRST NOVEL • The Floating Basin by Carolyn Hawes • Broken Silence by Helen Vivienne Fletcher (HVF Publishing) • All Our Secrets by Jennifer Lane (Rosa Mira Books) • The Sound of Her Voice by Nathan Blackwell (Mary Egan Publishing) • Nothing Bad Happens Here by Nikki Crutchley (Oak House Press)
The finalists will be celebrated and winners announced at special events on 1 September as part of the 2018 WORD Christchurch Festival. The awards will be presented by top international crime writers.
The WORD programme launches on 17 July at 7pm. “We’re really looking forward to this year’s festival, and are grateful to Rachael King, Marianne Hargreaves and their team for their ongoing support,” says Sisterson. “It’s lovely to celebrate our best crime, mystery, and thriller writers in Dame Ngaio’s hometown.”
Recent Ngaios winners Fiona Sussman, Paul Cleave, and Liam McIlvanney will be appearing at the Bloody Scotland festival later in September, thanks in part to an exchange established with WORD Christchurch.