Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Ngaio Marsh awards

At the NZ Society of Authors Auckland branch meeting last Friday we had Craig Sisterson come and speak. Craig runs the Crime Watch blog. One of the subjects he spoke about was the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel by a New Zealand writer.

The long list for this annual event is out now.
The longlisted 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)

Great to see this award, both in its role of supporting crime writing by New Zealanders, and also it's dual role in honouring the grande dame of New Zealand crime/thriller/mystery writing, Ngaio Marsh.

Craig made a point also of grouping writers/writing/readers of the genre in wide terms. Crime/mystery/thriller. That takes into account the traditional English cozy mysteries of Agatha Christie (cozy in setting and to a degree - style, not in incident) and texts a million miles away from that, such as Lee Child and his hyper-violent Jack Reacher series of novels. Readers within the wide framework of the genre probably change their positions over time, and this range of scope reflects many different needs, expectations and styles. That's a good thing.

Here is the link to the Ngaio Marsh Awards' Facebook page, so you can keep up with developments. Best of luck to everyone, and congratulations to the organizers for setting up the awards to support and promote this field.

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