More 2021 Crime Fiction Awards and Shortlists

Many crime fiction award announcements have been posted in the past few weeks.

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The winner of the 2021 Spotted Owl Award was announced on March 25. The award is for a mystery published during the previous calendar year by an author whose primary residence is Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho or the Province of British Columbia. The complete list of finalists is here.

  • WINNER: The Last Agent, by Robert Dugoni (Thomas & Mercer)

Dugoni has won the Spotted Owl twice before—in 2020 for The Eighth Sister, and in 2017 for The 7th Canon.


The 2020 Pinckley Prizes for Crime Fiction, awarded by the Women’s National Book Association of New Orleans, honor three women writers. The winners receive a financial award of $2,500 and a trip to New Orleans to accept their prizes at a ceremony at the 2021 Bouchercon.

Pinckley Prize for Distinguished Body of Work

  • C.S. Harris  

Pinckley Prize for Debut Fiction

  • Miracle Creek by Angie Kim is the winner of the

Pinckley Prize for True Crime Writing

  • Emma Copley Eisenberg  


The shortlist for the 2020 Dashiell Hammett Award for Literary Excellence in Crime Writing, which is handed out by the International Association of Crime Writers (North American Branch), has been announced. The award is given to a book, originally published in the English language in the United States or Canada, “that best represents the conception of literary excellence in crime writing.”

The finalists are:

 Murder in Old Bombay, by Nev March (Minotaur)
 The Mountains Wild, by Sarah Stewart Taylor (Minotaur)
 Three Hours in Paris, by Cara Black (Soho Crime)
 When These Mountains Burn, by David Joy (Putnam)
 Winter Counts, by David Heska Wanbli Weiden (Ecco)


CrimeFest, a crime fiction con in Bristol UK, has announced the finalists for their various awards.

Specsavers Debut Crime Novel Award

 The Creak on the Stairs, by Eva Bjorg Aegisdottir (Orenda)
 Summer of Reckoning, by Marion Brunet (Bitter Lemon Press)
 The Wreckage, by Robin Morgan-Bentley (Trapeze)
 The Thursday Murder Club, by Richard Osman (Viking)
 City of Spies, by Mara Timon (Zaffre)
 The Man on the Street, by Trevor Wood (Quercus)

Audible Sounds of Crime Award

 The Sentinel, by Lee Child and Andrew Child, read by Jeff
Harding (Transworld)
 The Guest List, by Lucy Foley, read by Olivia Dowd, Aoife McMahon, Chloe Massey, Sarah Ovens, Rich Keeble, and Jot Davies (HarperFiction)
 Troubled Blood, by Robert Galbraith, read by Robert Glenister
(Little, Brown)
 Moonflower Murders, by Anthony Horowitz, read by Lesley Manville and Allan Corduner (Penguin Random House Audio)
 Find Them Dead, by Peter James, read by Daniel Weyman (Pan)
 The Invisible Girl, by Lisa Jewell, read by Rebekah Staton (Penguin Random House Audio)
 Buried, by Lynda La Plante, read by Alex Hassell and Annie
Aldington (Zaffre)
 The Catch, by T.M. Logan, read by Philip Stevens (Zaffre)
 The Thursday Murder Club, by Richard Osman, read by Lesley Manville (Viking)
 A Song for the Dark Times, by Ian Rankin, read by James
Macpherson (Orion)

Courtesy of sponsor Audible UK, the winning author and audiobook reader(s) share the £1,000 prize equally and each receives a Bristol Blue Glass commemorative award.

H.R.F. Keating Award

 Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Greatest Detective in the World, by Mark Aldridge (HarperCollins)
 Howdunit: A Masterclass in Crime Writing by Members of the Detection Club, edited by Martin Edwards (Collins Crime Club)
 Cover Me: The Vintage Art of Pan Books: 1950-1965,
by Colin Larkin (Telos)
 Conan Doyle’s Wide World, by Andrew Lycett (Tauris Parke)
 The Reacher Guy, by Heather Martin (Little, Brown)
 H.R.F. Keating: A Life of Crime, by Sheila Mitchell (Level Best)
 Southern Cross Crime: The Pocket Essential Guide to the Crime Fiction, Film & TV of Australia and New Zealand,
by Craig Sisterson (Oldcastle)
 The Red Hand: Stories, Reflections and the Last Appearance of Jack Irish, by Peter Temple (Riverrun)

Last Laugh Award

 False Value, by Ben Aaronovitch (Gollancz)
 Bryant & May: Oranges and Lemons, by Christopher
Fowler (Doubleday)
 The Postscript Murders, by Elly Griffiths (Quercus)
• Squeeze Me, by Carl Hiaasen (Little, Brown)
 The Thursday Murder Club, by Richard Osman (Viking)
 The Corpse in the Garden of Perfect Brightness, by Malcolm
Pryce (Bloomsbury)
 Ride or Die, by Khurrum Rahman (HQ)
 Miss Blaine’s Prefect and the Vampire Menace, by Olga
Wojtas (Contraband)

eDunnit Award

 The Hunted, by Gabriel Bergmoser (Faber)
 The Split, by Sharon Bolton (Trapeze)
 Little Boy Lost, by J.P. Carter (Avon)
 Fifty-Fifty, by Steve Cavanagh (Orion)
 Fair Warning, by Michael Connelly (Orion)
 A Private Cathedral, by James Lee Burke (Orion)
 A Song for the Dark Times, by Ian Rankin (Orion)
 The Dead Line, by Holly Watt (Raven)

Best Crime Novel for Children (Ages 8-12)

 Mission Shark Bytes, by Sophie Deen (Walker)
 A Girl Called Justice: The Smugglers’ Secret, by Elly Griffiths (Quercus Children’s Books)
 Nightshade, by Anthony Horowitz (Walker)
 My Headteacher Is an Evil Genius, by Jack Noel (Walker)
 Anisha, Accidental Detective, by Serena Patel (Usborne)
 School’s Cancelled, by Serena Patel (Usborne)
 The Night Bus Hero, by Onjali Q. Rauf for (Orion Children’s Books)
 The Pencil Case, by Dave Shelton (David Fickling)

Best Crime Novel for Young Adults (Ages 12-16)

 Hideous Beauty, by William Hussey (Usborne)
 The Reckless Afterlife of Harriet Stoker, by Lauren James (Walker)
 Devil Darling Spy, by Matt Killeen (Usborne)
 Eight Pieces of Silva, by Patrice Lawrence (Hodder Children’s Books)
 Deadfall, by Simon Lelic (Hodder Children’s Books)
 Hacking, Heists & Flaming Arrows, by Robert Muchamore (Hot Key)
 Burn, by Patrick Ness (Walker)
 The Case of the Missing Marquess, by Nancy Springer (Hot Key)


The Short Mystery Society unveiled the finalists for its 2021 Derringer Awards on April 3,


  • Blackwell, C.W. “Memories of Fire.” Pulp Modern 
  • Blakey, James. “Outsourcing.” Shotgun Honey 
  • Mangeot, Robert. “Over Before It Started.” Murder Mondays 
  • Mathews, Bobby. “Quitman County Ambush.” Bristol Noir 
  • Richardson, Travis. “War Words.” Punk Noir 


  • Elwood, Elizabeth. “The Homicidal Understudy.” Ellen Hart Presents Malice Domestic: Mystery Most Theatrical 
  • Freimor, Jacqueline. “That Which is True.” EQMM: July/August 2020 
  • Jones, Eleanor Cawood. “The Great Bedbug Incident and the Invitation of Doom.” Chesapeake Crimes: Invitation to Murder.  
  • Keeline, Kim. “The Crossing.” Crossing Borders
  • Woodson, Stacy. “River.” The Beat of Black Wings: Crime Fiction Inspired by the Songs of Joni Mitchell 


  • Chen, Sarah M. “Hotelin’.”Shotgun Honey: Volume #4: Recoil 
  • Mangeot, Robert. “Lord, Spare the Bottom Feeders.” AHMM: March/April: 2020 
  • Walker, Joseph S. “Chasing Diamonds.” EQMM: September/October 2020 
  • Walker, Joseph S. “Etta at the End of the World.” AHMM: May/June 2020 
  • Woodson, Stacy. “Mary Poppins Didn’t Have Tattoos.” EQMM: July/August 2020 


  • Cohen, Jeff.  “The Question of the Befuddled Judge.” AHMM: May/June: 2020 
  • Malliet, G.M. “A Murder at Morehead Mews.” EQMM: July/August 2020 
  • Taylor, Art. “The Boy Detective and the Summer of ’74.” AHMM: January/February 2020 
  • Thornton, Brian.  “Suicide Blonde.” Suicide Blonde:Three Novellas 
  • Wilson, Matthew. “The Wretched Strangers.” EQMM: January/February 2020

A vote of the SMFS membership will determine the winner in each category. 

[Thanks to Cora Buhlert for the story.]

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