Spring Into Crime Fiction Awards News


CrimeFest, a British crime fiction convention in Bristol, announced their 2023 CrimeFest Awards nominees. These prizes “honour the best crime books released in 2022 in the UK.” The awards will be presented on May 13.

Specsavers Debut Crime Novel Award

  • A Good Day to Die, by Amen Alonge (Quercus)
  • Bad for Good, by Graham Bartlett (Allison & Busby)
  • The Maid, by Nita Prose (HarperCollins)
  • Ashes in the Snow, by Oriana Rammuno, translated by Katherine Gregor (HarperCollins)
  • Kalmann, by Joachim B. Schmidt, translated by Jamie Lee Searle (Bitter Lemon)
  • Dirt Town, by Hayley Scrivenor (Macmillan)
  • The Siege, by John Sutherland (Orion)
  • A Flicker in the Dark, by Stacy Willingham (HarperCollins)

eDunnit Award

  • The Cliff House, by Chris Brookmyre (Abacus)
  • Desert Star, by Michael Connelly (Orion)
  • The Botanist, by M.W. Craven (Constable)
  • The Book of the Most Precious Substance, by Sara Gran
  • (Faber and Faber)
  • A Heart Full of Headstones, by Ian Rankin (Orion)
  • Nine Lives, by Peter Swanson (Faber and Faber)

H.R.F. Keating Award (for the best biographical or critical book related to crime fiction)

  • The Bloomsbury Handbook to Agatha Christie, by J.C. Bernthal and Mary Anna Evans (Bloomsbury Academic)
  • A Private Spy: The Letters of John le Carré, 1945-2020, by John le Carré, edited by Tim Cornwell (Viking)
  • The Life of Crime: Detecting the History of Mysteries and Their Creators, by Martin Edwards (Collins Crime Club)
  • Simenon: The Man, The Books, The Films, by Barry Forshaw (Oldcastle)
  • Gender Roles and Political Contexts in Cold War Spy Fiction,
  • by Sian MacArthur (Palgrave Macmillan)
  • Agatha Christie: A Very Elusive Woman, by Lucy Worsley
  • (Hodder & Stoughton)

Last Laugh Award (for the best humorous crime novel)

  • Bryant & May’s Peculiar London, by Christopher Fowler (Doubleday)
  • The Locked Room, by Elly Griffiths (Quercus)
  • Bad Actors, by Mick Herron (Baskerville)
  • Hope to Die, by Cara Hunter (Viking)
  • Mr. Campion’s Mosaic, by Mike Ripley (Severn House)
  • The Moose Paradox, by Antti Tuomainen (Orenda)

Best Crime Fiction Novel for Children (aged 8-12)

  • A Girl Called Justice: The Spy at the Window, by Elly Griffiths (Quercus Children’s Books)
  • Where Seagulls Dare: A Diamond Brothers Case, by Anthony
  • Horowitz (Walker)
  • The Good Turn, by Sharna Jackson (Puffin)
  • Spark, by M.G. Leonard (Walker)
  • The Ministry of Unladylike Activity, by Robin Stevens (Puffin)
  • Alice Éclair, Spy Extraordinaire! A Recipe for Trouble, by Sarah
  • Todd Taylor (Nosy Crow)

Best Crime Fiction Novel for Young Adults (aged 12-16)

  • Five Survive, by Holly Jackson (Electric Monkey)
  • Needle, by Patrice Lawrence (Barrington Stoke)
  • The Butterfly Assassin, by Finn Longman (Simon & Schuster Children’s)
  • Truth or Dare, by Sophie McKenzie (Simon & Schuster Children’s)
  • I Must Betray You, by Ruta Sepetys (Hodder Children’s Books)
  • The Notorious Scarlett and Browne, by Jonathan Stroud (Walker)


The winner of the 2023 Glencairn Glass Crime Short Story Competition has been announced. The trophy is a nice crystal whisky glass, which is certainly useful.

WINNER: “The Dummy Railway” by Frances Crawford

RUNNER-UP: “The Last Tram To Gorbals Cross” by Allan Gaw

The winning story will be published in the May issue of Scottish Field Magazine (on shelf Friday 7th April). Both the winner and runner-up will also be published from 11th April on Scottish Field Magazine’s website; www.scottishfield.co.uk and here.


The finalists for the 2022 Hammett Prize have been announced by The International Association of Crime Writers, North America. Their official website isn’t updated yet but The Rap Sheet has the list.

The Hammett Prize is given for literary Excellence in Crime Writing. Books must be published in the English language in the U.S. or Canada.

  • Copperhead Road, by Brad Smith (At Bay Press)
  • Gangland, by Chuck Hogan (Grand Central)
  • Don’t Know Tough, by Eli Cranor (Soho Crime)
  • Pay Dirt Road, by Samantha Jayne Allen (Minotaur)
  • What Happened to the Bennetts, by Lisa Scottoline (Putnam)

[Thanks to Cora Buhlert for many of these links.]

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.]

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.)