2020 Ned Kelly Awards Shortlists

The Australian Crime Writing Association announced the shortlists for the 2020 Ned Kelly Awards on August 25.

The Ned Kelly Awards are Australia’s oldest and most prestigious prizes for crime fiction and true crime writing, established in 1995.

This year, for the first time, the Ned Kelly Awards include a category for Best International Crime Fiction published in Australia.



  • Death of a Typographer by Nick Gadd (Australian Scholarly Publishing)
  • The Strangers We Know by Pip Drysdale (Simon & Schuster Australia)
  • The Scholar by Dervla McTiernan (Harlequin Enterprises Australia)
  • The Wife and the Widow by Christian White (Affirm Press)
  • Rivers of Salt by Dave Warner (Fremantle Press)
  • True West by David Whish-Wilson (Fremantle Press)


  • Present Tense by Natalie Conyer (Clan Destine Press)
  • Eight Lives by Susan Hurley (Affirm Press)
  • Where the Truth Lies by Karina Kilmore (Simon & Schuster Australia)
  • The Nancys by RWR McDonald (Allen & Unwin)
  • Six Minutes by Petronella McGovern (Allen & Unwin)
  • Lapse by Sarah Thornton (Text Publishing)


  • Bowraville by Dan Box (Penguin Random House Australia)
  • Dead Man Walking: The murky world of Michael McGurk and Ron Medich by Kate McClymont (Penguin Random House Australia)
  • Shark Arm by Phillip Rooper and Kevin Meagher (Allen & Unwin)
  • Snakes and Ladders by Angela Williams (Affirm Press)


  • Cruel Acts by Jane Casey (Harper Collins Australia)
  • The Night Fire by Michael Connelly (Allen & Unwin)
  • The Chain by Adrian McKinty (Hachette Australia)
  • The Last Widow by Karin Slaughter (Harper Collins Australia

[Thanks to Cora Buhlert for the story.]

2019 Crime Fiction Awards News

MCILVANNEY PRIZES. Two award winners were announced at the Bloody Scotland International Crime Writing Festival  in Stirling, Scotland on September 20.

Scottish noir is celebrated by the McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Book of the Year.  

And the winner of the 2019 McIlvanney Debut Prize is —

NED KELLY AWARDS. The 2019 Ned Kelly Awards, given by the Australian Crime Writing Association, were presented on September 6.

Best True Crime

  • Eggshell Skull by Bri Lee

Best First Fiction

  • The Rúin by Dervla McTiernan

Best Fiction

  • The Lost Man by Jane Harper

DAVITT AWARDS. The winners of the 2019 Davitt Awards, handed out by Sisters in Crime Australia, were named on August 31. (List obtained with an assist from crime fiction news site Shots.)

Best Adult Crime Novel

  • The Rúin by Dervla McTiernan (HarperCollins Australia)

Best Young Adult Crime Novel

  • Small Spaces by Sarah Epstein (Walker Books)

Best Children’s Crime Novel

  • Wakestone Hall by Judith Rossell (ABC Books)

Best Non-fiction Crime Book

  • The Arsonist by Chloe Hooper (Penguin Random House)

Best Debut Novel

  • Eggshell Skull by Bri Lee (Allen & Unwin)

Readers’ Choice

  • The Lost Man by Jane Harper (Pan Macmillan Australia)

PINCKLEY PRIZES. The 2019 Pinckley Prizes for Crime Fiction, awarded by the Women’s National Book Association of New Orleans, honor two women writers. Both winners will receive both a financial award of $2,500 and a trip to New Orleans to accept their prize at a ceremony on October 10.

The Pinckley Prize for Distinguished Body of Work 

  • Megan Abbott

The Pinckley Prize for Debut Novel

  • Sarah St. Vincent

[Thanks to Cora Buhlert for the story.]

More 2019 Mystery Awards

Some of the awards we’ve been tracking have reached the stage of picking the winners, while others are just now unfurling longlists and shortlists.

2019 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction

The winner of the 2019 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction, sponsored by the American Bar Association’s ABA Journal, has been announced:

  • The Boat People by Sharon Bala

The prize, established in 2011, is given annually to a book-length work of fiction that “best illuminates the role of lawyers in society and their power to effect change.”

2018 Hammett Prize for Literary Excellence in Crime Writing

The winner of the 2018 Hammett Prize for Literary Excellence in Crime Writing has been announced by North American Branch of the International Association of Crime Writers. The trophy goes to “the book of the year that best represents the conception of literary excellence in crime writing.”

  • WINNING NOVEL Lou Berney, November Road (William Morrow) 

The award will be presented November 1 at Bouchercon.

CWA Dagger Awards Shortlist

British Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) announced the 2019 CWA Dagger Awards Shortlist. The winners will be announced in London, England, on October 24.

Congratulations to Lavie Tidhar’s whose “Bag Man”, in The Outcast Hours anthology, edited by Mahvesh Murad and Jared Shurin, has made the shortlist in the CWA Short Story Dagger Award category.

CWA Gold Dagger:

  • All the Hidden Truths, by Claire Askew (Hodder & Stoughton)
  • The Puppet Show, by M.W. Craven: (Constable)
  • What We Did, by Christobel Kent (Sphere)
  • Unto Us a Son Is Given, by Donna Leon (Heinemann)
  • American by Day, by Derek B Miller (Doubleday)
  • A Station on the Path to Somewhere Better, by Benjamin Wood (Scribner)

CWA John Creasey (New Blood):

  • All the Hidden Truths, by Claire Askew (Hodder & Stoughton)
  • The Boy at the Door, by Alex Dahl (Head of Zeus)
  • Scrublands, by Chris Hammer (Wildfire)
  • Turn a Blind Eye, by Vicky Newham (HQ)
  • Blood & Sugar, by Laura Shepherd-Robinson (Mantle)
  • Overkill, by Vanda Symon (Orenda)

CWA ALCS Gold Dagger for Non-fiction:

  • All That Remains: A Life in Death, by Sue Black (Doubleday)
  • An Unexplained Death: The True Story of a Body at the Belvedere, by Mikita Brottman (Canongate)
  • Murder by the Book: A Sensational Chapter in Victorian Crime, by Claire Harman (Viking)
  • The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century, by Kirk Wallace Johnson (Hutchinson)
  • The Spy and the Traitor: The Greatest Espionage Story of the Cold War, by Ben Macintyre (Viking)
  • The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper, by Hallie Rubenhold (Doubleday)

CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger:

  • Give Me Your Hand, by Megan Abbott (Picador)
  • Safe Houses, by Dan Fesperman (Head of Zeus)
  • Killing Eve: No Tomorrow, by Luke Jennings (John Murray)
  • Lives Laid Away, by Stephen Mack Jones (Soho Crime)
  • To the Lions, by Holly Watt (Bloomsbury)
  • Memo from Turner, by Tim Willocks (Jonathan Cape)

CWA Sapere Books Historical Dagger:

  • The Quaker, by Liam McIlvanney (Harper Fiction)
  • Destroying Angel, by S.G. MacLean: (Quercus)
  • Smoke and Ashes, by Abir Mukherjee (Harvill Secker)
  • The House on Half Moon Street, by Alex Reeve (Raven)
  • Tombland, by C.J. Sansom: (Mantle)
  • Blood & Sugar, by Laura Shepherd-Robinson (Mantle)

CWA International Dagger:

  • A Long Night in Paris, by Dov Alfon; translated by Daniella Zamir (Maclehose Press)
  • Weeping Waters, by Karin Brynard; translated by Maya Fowler and Isobel Dixon (World Noir)
  • The Cold Summer, by Gianrico Carofiglio; translated by Howard Curtis (Bitter Lemon Press)
  • Newcomer, by Keigo Higashino; translated by Giles Murray (Little, Brown)
  • The Root of Evil, by Håkan Nesser; translated by Sarah Death (Mantle)
  • The Forger, by Cay Rademacher; translated by Peter Millar (Arcadia)

CWA Short Story Dagger:

  • “Strangers in a Pub,” by Martin Edwards (from Ten Year Stretch, edited by Martin Edwards and Adrian Muller; No Exit Press)
  • “Death Becomes Her,” by Syd Moore (from The Strange Casebook, by Syd Moore; Point Blank Books)
  • “The Dummies’ Guide to Serial Killing,” by Danuta Reah (from The Dummies’ Guide to Serial Killing and Other Fantastic Female Fables, by Danuta Reah [aka Danuta Kot]; Fantastic)
  • “I Detest Mozart,” by Teresa Solana (from The First Prehistoric Serial Killer and Other Stories, by Teresa Solana; Bitter Lemon Press)
  • “Bag Man,” by Lavie Tidhar (from The Outcast Hours, edited by Mahvesh Murad and Jared Shurin; Solaris)

Dagger in the Library:

  • M.C. Beaton
  • Mark Billingham
  • John Connolly
  • Kate Ellis
  • C.J. Sansom
  • Cath Staincliffe

Debut Dagger
(for the opening of a crime novel by an uncontracted writer):

  • Wake, by Shelley Burr
  • The Mourning Light, by Jerry Krause
  • Hardways, by Catherine Hendricks
  • The Firefly, by David Smith
  • A Thin Sharp Blade, by Fran Smith

Diamond Dagger Recipient

  • Robert Goddard

2019 Eleanor Taylor Bland Crime Fiction Writers of Color Award

Sisters in Crime (SinC) announced the winner of the 2019 Eleanor Taylor Bland Crime Fiction Writers of Color Award

  • Jessica Martinez of Orcutt, CA,

The award, which honors the memory of pioneering African-American crime fiction author Eleanor Taylor Bland with a $2,000 grant to an emerging writer of color, was created in 2014 to support SinC’s vision statement that the organization should serve as the voice for excellence and diversity in crime writing.

2019 Ned Kelly Award Longlists

The Australian Crime Writers Association announced the longlists for the 2019 Ned Kelly Awards. The complete lists are at the link.

2019 Ngaio Marsh Award Nominees

The 2019 Ngaio Marsh Award Nominees in all three categories are listed at the link (we previously posted the Best Novel longlist here.)