The winners of the 2016 Ngaio Marsh Awards were announced this past weekend, following a record number of entries this year. Trust No One, a psychological thriller about a writer with early onset Alzheimer’s who starts confessing the murders in his novels were real, earned Paul Cleave his record third Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel, while Ray Berard won the Best First Novel award for Inside the Black Horse.
Likewise, the winners were announced for the 2016 Davitt Awards, celebrating the best works by Australian women authors, and handed out annually by Sisters in Crime Australia. Resurrection Bay by Emma Viskic was a triple winner, taking home nods for Best Adult Novel, Best Debut Novel, and the Readers' Choice Award. Best Young Adult Novel went to Risk by Fleur Ferris; Best Children's Novel was won by Friday Barnes 2: Under Suspicion by R.A. Spratt; and the Best Nonfiction Book was given to Wild Man by Alecia Simmonds. Check out all the finalists via this list, courtesy of Fair Dinkum Crime.
Last, but not least, in the award winners list, the Australian Crime Writers Association handed out their annual Ned Kelly Awards this weekend. Best Fiction went to Before It Breaks by Dave Warner; Best First Fiction, Resurrection Bay by Emma Viskic; Best True Crime, Certain Admissions by Gideon Haigh; S.D. Harvey Award for Short Stories: "Flesh," by Roni O’Brien; and Lifetime Achievement: Carmel Shute. For all the winners and finalists, click on over to the official Australian CWA website.
Meanwhile, crime writers Val McDermid, Chris Brookmyre, Doug Johnston, and E.S. Thomson have been shortlisted for the McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Book of the Year. The winner of the Scottish Crime Book of the Year will be awarded The McIlvanney Prize in memory of William McIlvanney at the opening ceremony of Bloody Scotland.
Noir at the Bar is headed to Osaka Restaurant in Brookline, Massachusetts, on September 11 at 7 p.m. Hosed by Brookline Booksmith, there will be readings from David Baillie, Joe Clifford, Rory Flynn, Stephanie Gayle, Bracken MacLeod, Tony McMillen, and Kim Savage.
Dean Street Press is publishing all six mysteries by a lost English Queen of Crime called Molly Thynne. Her rarely-found novels were originally published between 1928 and 1933 and are "classically delicious examples of the form." One highlight includes The Crime at the 'Noah's Ark', a Christmas mystery from 1932 in which a number of holidaygoers are forced by a snowstorm to take refuge in a rural inn over the holidays - with entertainingly murderous results. All feature a new introduction by crime fiction historian Curtis Evans.
On the Mystery People blog, Molly Odintz updated her progress toward reading fifty books by women, and if possible, "fifty works of crime fiction by women; not just new releases, but also classic noir and domestic suspense," during 2016.
Writing for the Pacific Standard Magazine, Jared Keller took a look at the HBO adaptation of the British drama The Night Of to show how it's a reflection of America’s abiding obsession with crime and punishment. The show comes in the midst of a true-crime revolution with mega-popular series like Making a Murderer and Serial, which have both brought the legal and moral ambiguities of murder investigations to hundreds of thousands of devoted followers each week.
Speaking of our fascination with true crime, JStor delved into the bloody, 450-year-old history of the genre and how the recent TV and web-based series are "merely the most recent iteration of a genre that has always been interested in more than bloody deeds and disfigured bodies."
Crime author Val McDermid took exception to a recent study that seemed to show reading "literary" fiction makes people more empathetic, but genre fiction doesn't. As she notes, not only did the research use old stereotypes, but in recent years, "most readers and critics have acknowledged the blurring of the outdated and misguided distinction between literary fiction and other genres. Good books make us care. It really doesn’t matter whether they include murderers, aliens, philosophers or kings."
The Vancouver Sun celebrated the release of Louise Penny's latest novel featuring Chief Inspector Armand Gamache with a look at how food has served as crucial an ingredient as the clues scattered about like brioche crumbs. But, as the article goes on to note, culinary crime novels have been served with crime ever since the first mystery novels appeared in the mid-19th century. (Bonus: there are recipes.)
Taiwan's first mystery-oriented independent bookstore, Murder Ink, opened in 2014 with a variety of mystery stories encompassing romance, crime, realism, suspense and detective genres from around the world. The store also regularly lists recommended books to readers of different age groups. The store is still going strong, as the China Post reports, and filmmakers have even used the store as a movie set.
Free books are being offered to Londoners in police custody via the Books in the Nick scheme. The program is the brainchild of Metropolitan police special constable Steve Whitmore, who had nothing to offer a teenager arrested on suspicion of assault and possession who asked for a book to read while being in custody. "The range and type of books available didn’t appeal to him, so I offered him my own book, The Catcher in the Rye, and told him to keep it," said Whitmore. "The look on his face was amazing, his attitude and hostility towards me completely changed and it created common ground for us to talk about. He said he’d never been given a book before to own, and that really moved me."
Free books are also the focus of a promotion in New York City, which is in the process of adding Wifi to its subway stations. To promote the new service, NYC hit upon the gimmick of offering free ebook excerpts to passengers.
Not to be outdone, The Australian organization Books On The Rail has established a campaign asking people to leave books on trains, trams and buses in an effort to get people sharing their most loved books.
Ever wonder what kinds of things librarians find in returned library books? Well wonder no more, because Diana Garrisi has spent the last two months visiting 20 public libraries and taking pictures of more than 100 objects found inside books.
The featured crime poem at the 5-2 weekly is "Waiting for Gale Outside the Bijou" by John Grey, and the latest featured story at Beat to a Pulp is "Back Then, Our Monsters Were Real ..." by Gary Dobbs.
In the Q&A roundup, Aoife Clifford (author of the debut thriller All These Perfect Strangers) listed "10 Things I want my readers to know about me" for FemaleFirst; The National Book Review spoke with Julia Keller about the latest installment in her West Virginia mystery series, Ackers Gap; Jake Needham was interviewed by the Dorset Book Detective about his Jack Shepard and Inspector Tay novels set in Asia; and the CBC hosted Louise Penny to answer questions from readers about her writing and Armand Gamache's latest adventure, A Great Reckoning.