March of Crime Fiction Awards

The weed of crime bears award-winning fiction!


The six shortlisted books for the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year 2021 were named on June 15:

  • The Lantern Men by Elly Griffiths (Quercus, Quercus Fiction)
  • Three Hours by Rosamund Lupton (Penguin Random House UK, Viking)
  • The Last Crossing by Brian McGilloway (Little, Brown Book Group, Constable)
  • Death in the East by Abir Mukherjee (VINTAGE, Harvill Secker)
  • We Begin At The End by Chris Whitaker (Bonnier Books UK, Zaffre)
  • The Man on the Street by Trevor Wood (Quercus, Quercus Fiction)

The public is invited to vote for the winner here. The award will be announced Thursday July 22. The author will receive £3,000, and a handmade, engraved beer barrel provided by Theakston Old Peculier.


The McIlvanney Prize recognizes excellence in Scottish crime writing, and includes a prize of £1,000 and nationwide promotion in Waterstones.. Here is the McIlvanney Prize 2021 longlist:

  • The Cut, Chris Brookmyre (Little,Brown)
  • The Silent Daughter, Emma Christie (Wellbeck)
  • Before the Storm, Alex Gray (Little, Brown)
  • Dead Man’s Grave, Neil Lancaster (HarperCollins, HQ)
  • The Coffinmaker’s Garden, Stuart MacBride (HarperCollins)
  • Still Life, Val McDermid (Little,Brown)
  • Bad Debt, William McIntyre (Sandstone)
  • The Less Dead, Denise Mina (Vintage)
  • How To Survive Everything, Ewan Morrison (Saraband)
  • Edge of the Grave, Robbie Morrison (Macmillan)
  • The April Dead, Alan Parks (Canongate)
  • Hyde, Craig Russell (Constable)
  • Waking the Tiger, Mark Wightman (Hobeck Books)


Mystery Readers International announced the finalists for the 2021 Macavity Awards on June 1.

The Macavity Award is named for the “mystery cat” of T.S. Eliot (Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats). Each year the members of Mystery Readers International nominate and vote for their favorite mysteries in five categories.

Best Mystery Novel:

  • Caroline B. Cooney: Before She Was Helen (Ecco)
  • S.A. Cosby: Blacktop Wasteland (Flatiron Books)
  • Matt Coyle: Blind Vigil (Oceanview Publishing)
  • Louise Penny: All the Devils Are Here (Minotaur)
  • Ivy Pochoda: These Women (Poisoned Pen Press)
  • Michael Robotham: When She Was Good (Scribner)

Best First Mystery:

  • Deepa Anappara: Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line (Random House)
  • Nev March: Murder in Old Bombay (Minotaur)
  • Richard Osman: The Thursday Murder Club (Pamela Dorman Books)
  • David Heska Wanbli Weiden: Winter Counts (Ecco)
  • Stephanie Wrobel: Darling Rose Gold (Berkley)

Best Mystery Short Story:

  • Barb Goffman: “Dear Emily Etiquette” (Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Sept/Oct 2020)
  • Art Taylor: “The Boy Detective & The Summer of ‘74” (Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, Jan/Feb 2020)
  • Gabriel Valjan: “Elysian Fields” (California Schemin’: The 2020 Bouchercon Anthology, edited by Art Taylor; Wildside Press)
  • Elaine Viets: “Dog Eat Dog” (The Beat of Black Wings: Crime Fiction Inspired by the Songs of Joni Mitchell, edited by Josh Pachter; Untreed Reads Publishing)
  • James W. Ziskin: “The Twenty-Five Year Engagement” (In League with Sherlock Holmes : Stories Inspired by the Sherlock Holmes Canon, edited by Laurie R. King; Pegasus Crime)

Best Mystery Critical/Biographical:

  • Leslie Brody: Sometimes You Have to Lie: The Life and Times of Louise Fitzhugh, Renegade Author of Harriet the Spy (Seal Press)
  • Martin Edwards, editor: Howdunit: A Masterclass in Crime Writing by Members of the Detection Club (HarperCollins)
  • Erin E. MacDonald: Ian Rankin: A Companion to the Mystery Fiction (McFarland)
  • Sheila Mitchell: H.R.F. Keating: A Life of Crime (Level Best Books)
  • Craig Sisterson: Southern Cross Crime: The Pocket Essential Guide to the Crime Fiction, Film & TV of Australia and New Zealand (Oldcastle Books)

Sue Feder Memorial Award for Best Historical Mystery:

  • Rhys Bowen: The Last Mrs. Summers (Berkeley)
  • Elsa Hart: The Cabinets of Barnaby Mayne (Minotaur)
  • Catriona McPherson: The Turning Tide (Quercus)
  • Ann Parker: Mortal Music (Poisoned Pen Press)
  • Ovidia Yu: The Mimosa Tree Mystery (Constable)
  • James Ziskin: Turn to Stone (Seventh Street Books)


The 2021 Bony Blithe Light Mystery Award, an annual Canadian award celebrating traditional, feel-good mysteries, has been given to —

  • Iona WhishawA Match Made for Murder (Touchwood Editions)

This will be the last ever Bony Blithe Award, because the award is being retired.

[Thanks to Cora Buhlert for the story.]