CRIMEFEST, one of Europe’s leading crime writing conventions, has announced the shortlists for its annual awards.
The awards feature the Specsavers Debut Crime Novel Award, the winner of which receives a £1,000 prize.
A further £1,000 prize fund is also awarded to the Audible Sounds of Crime Award, sponsored by Audible.
Up for the hotly-contended Specsavers Debut Crime Novel Award is Richard Osman, who ruled the bestseller lists with his smash-hit, The Thursday Murder Club. The shortlist also features Trevor Wood, who won the CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger in 2020, for The Man on the Street.
Sheila Michell's biography of her husband - and namesake of the H.R.F. Keating Award – is in contention for the best biographical or critical book in the genre. Michell’s HRF Keating: A Life of Crime has been hailed as the definitive portrait of the artist and man.
The H.R.F Keating Award also
features Martin Edwards, editor of HowDunit: A Masterclass in Crime
Writing by Members of the Detection Club, which has also been nominated for the
2021 Edgar Allen Poe Award. Also in contention is Heather Martin, an academic,
linguist and author of the definitive Lee Child biography, The Reacher
The Last Laugh Award sees
debut-author Richard Osman return as he is pitted against stalwarts of the
genre, including Elly Griffiths and Carl Hiaasen.
Osman, who dominates the shortlists, is also up for the Audible Sounds of Crime Award. The Pointless TV-star is up against veritable giants of the genre, including Robert Galbraith, Ian Rankin and Lynda La Plante. Voted by Audible subscribers, the shortlist also sees last year’s winner Lee Child return, with his brother Andrew, for The Sentinel, read by Jeff Harding.
Laurence Howell, Vice
President, Content at Audible said: “We are delighted to continue as sponsor of
the Audible Sounds of Crime Award. With the isolation and social distancing of
the last year, audio books have been a great comfort to many because of the
intimate, immersive nature of audiobooks. Crime and thriller audiobooks remain
one of our bestselling genres, as perhaps more of us seek escapism and
entertainment in these trying times. Congratulations to all award nominees.”
The eDunnit Award, for best e-book, sees
established names of the genre Ian Rankin, Michael Connelly and James Lee Burke
up against the young Australian Gabriel Bergmoser, a multi-award-winning
screenwriter, playwright and author who is already a phenomenon in his own
Best Crime Novel for Children, aged 8-12, features giant of the genre Anthony Horowitz for Nightshade, from the popular Alex Rider series. The shortlist also sees the founder of Making Herstory, a human rights organisation working to end trafficking and abuse, and bestselling children’s author, Onjali Q. Rauf, for The Night Bus Hero.
Best Crime Novel for
Young Adults, aged 12-16, features Enola Holmes: The Case of the Missing
Marquess by Nancy Springer, which was released last year to coincide with
the Netflix adaptation, starring Millie Bobby Brown. The list also features the
multi-award-winning author Patrice Lawrence, who won the CRIMEFEST award
in 2018 for Indigo Donut. Lawrence is in contention this year for Eight
Pieces of Silva, an addictive tale of a teenager’s hunt for her missing sister.
Now in its 14th year, the awards honour the best crime books released in 2020 in the UK.
Adrian Muller, Co-host of CRIMEFEST, said: “CRIMEFEST usually takes place in May, and although we had to cancel our physical convention this year, it’s important to continue these awards. They’ve built up a strong reputation after so many years, and we are thankful to both Audible and to Specsavers for their on-going support.”
had to postpone its 2020 and 2021 conventions, due to Covid restrictions.
Hosted in Bristol, it is one of the biggest crime fiction events in Europe, and one of the most popular dates in the international crime fiction calendar, with circa 60 panel events and 150 authors over four days.
In light of Covid-19,
the 2021 winners will be announced online at
and via its social media pages this summer.
All category winners will receive a Bristol Blue commemorative Glass Award.
Leading British crime fiction reviewers and reviewers of fiction for children and young adults form the CRIMEFEST judging panels, aside from Audible Sounds in which Audible listeners establish the shortlist and the winning title.
Co-host of CRIMEFEST, Donna Moore, added: “As well as the debut awards, we are one of the few genre awards that recognise e-books and audiobooks, humour, children and Young Adult crime fiction novels. We aim to be the most inclusive of awards to reflect the values of our convention.”
created following the hugely successful one-off visit to Bristol in 2006 of the
American Left Coast Crime convention.
It was established in 2008. It follows the egalitarian format of most US conventions, making it open to all commercially published authors and readers alike.
The Shortlists (as a list in full)
SPECSAVERS DEBUT CRIME NOVEL AWARD
Eva Bjorg Aegisdottir for The Creak on the Stairs (Orenda Books)
Marion Brunet for Summer of Reckoning (Bitter Lemon Press)
Robin Morgan-Bentley for The Wreckage (Trapeze)
Richard Osman for The Thursday Murder Club (Viking)
Mara Timon for City of Spies (Zaffre)
Trevor Wood for The Man on the Street (Quercus)
AUDIBLE SOUNDS OF CRIME AWARD
Lee and Andrew Child for The Sentinel, read by Jeff Harding (Transworld)
Lucy Foley for The Guest List read by Olivia Dowd, Aoife McMahon, Chloe Massey, Sarah Ovens, Rich Keeble and Jot Davies (HarperFiction)
Robert Galbraith for Troubled Blood read by Robert Glenister (Little, Brown Book Group)
Anthony Horowitz for Moonflower Murders read by Lesley Manville and Allan Corduner (Penguin Random House Audio)
Peter James for Find Them Dead read by Daniel Weyman (Pan)
Lisa Jewell for The Invisible Girl read by Rebekah Staton (Penguin Random House Audio)
Lynda La Plante for Buried read by Alex Hassell and Annie Aldington (Zaffre)
TM Logan for The Catch read by Philip Stevens (Zaffre)
Richard Osman for The Thursday Murder Club read by Lesley Manville (Viking)
Ian Rankin for A Song for the Dark Times read by James Macpherson (Orion)
H.R.F. KEATING AWARD
Mark Aldridge for Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Greatest Detective in the World (HarperCollins)
Martin Edwards (editor) for Howdunit: A Masterclass in Crime Writing by Members of the Detection Club (Collins Crime Club)
Colin Larkin for Cover Me: The Vintage Art of Pan Books: 1950-1965 (Telos Publishing)
Andrew Lycett for Conan Doyle’s Wide World (Tauris Parke)
Heather Martin for The Reacher Guy (Little, Brown Book Group)
Sheila Mitchell for HRF Keating: A Life of Crime (Level Best Books)
Craig Sisterson for Southern Cross Crime: The Pocket Essential Guide to the Crime Fiction, Film & TV of Australia and New Zealand (Oldcastle Books)
Peter Temple for The Red Hand: Stories, reflections and the last appearance of Jack Irish (riverrun)
LAST LAUGH AWARD
Ben Aaronovitch for False Value (Gollancz)
Christopher Fowler for Bryant & May - Oranges and Lemons (Doubleday)
Elly Griffiths for The Postscript Murders (Quercus)
Carl Hiaasen for Squeeze Me (Little, Brown Book Group)
Richard Osman for The Thursday Murder Club (Viking)
Malcolm Pryce for The Corpse in the Garden of Perfect Brightness (Bloomsbury Publishing)
Khurrum Rahman for Ride or Die (HQ)
Olga Wojtas for Miss Blaine's Prefect and the Vampire Menace (Contraband)
Gabriel Bergmoser for The Hunted (Faber)
Sharon Bolton for The Split (Trapeze)
J. P. Carter for Little Boy Lost (Avon, HarperCollins)
Steve Cavanagh for Fifty-Fifty (Orion Fiction)
Michael Connelly for Fair Warning (Orion Fiction)
James Lee Burke for A Private Cathedral (Orion Fiction)
Ian Rankin for A Song for the Dark Times (Orion Fiction)
Holly Watt for The Dead Line (Raven Books)
BEST CRIME NOVEL FOR CHILDREN (ages 8-12)
Sophie Deen for Mission Shark Bytes (Walker Books)
Elly Griffiths for A Girl Called Justice - The Smugglers' Secret (Imprint - Quercus Children's Books)
Anthony Horowitz for Nightshade (Walker Books)
Jack Noel for My Headteacher is an Evil Genius (Walker Books)
Serena Patel for Anisha, Accidental Detective (Usborne Publishing)
Serena Patel for School's Cancelled (Usborne Publishing)
Onjali Q. Rauf for The Night Bus Hero (Imprint - Orion Children's Books)
Dave Shelton for The Pencil Case (David Fickling Books)
BEST CRIME NOVEL FOR YOUNG ADULTS (ages 12-16)
William Hussey for Hideous Beauty (Usborne Publishing)
Lauren James for The Reckless Afterlife of Harriet Stoker (Walker Books)
Matt Killeen for Devil Darling Spy (Usborne Publishing)
Patrice Lawrence for Eight Pieces of Silva (Imprint - Hodder Children's Books)
Simon Lelic for Deadfall (Imprint - Hodder Children's Books)
Robert Muchamore for Hacking, Heists & Flaming Arrows (Hot Key Books)
Patrick Ness for Burn (Walker Books)
Nancy Springer for The Case of the Missing Marquess (Hot Key Books)