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IN THE country’s biggest crime writing event, the 2011 Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel will be presented alongside a session featuring two of the world’s best crime authors on Sunday, 21 August.
Award-winning American crime writers, Tess Gerritsen and John Hart, will join forces in a gripping session as they discuss their latest thrillers with crime aficionado and well-known book man, Graham Beattie. Before the 2011 winner of the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel is announced, crime fiction expert Craig Sisterson will talk with the four finalists, Paul Cleave, Neil Cross, Paddy Richardson and Alix Bosco. It is fitting that the award will be presented in Christchurch, the hometown of New Zealand’s doyenne of the mystery writing genre, Dame Ngaio Marsh, who was renowned worldwide as one of the four ‘Queens of Crime’ in the Golden Age of Detective Fiction, and whose books are still in print today.
In a satisfying plot twist, the winner of the inaugural Ngaio Marsh Award in 2010, Alix Bosco, has announced that he or she will appear at this year’s event. The name is a pseudonym for a well-known New Zealand writer, who works in a variety of other media and until now has wanted to keep his or her crime-writing persona separate.
The International Writers
In her latest novel, The Silent Girl, internationally bestselling author Tess Gerritsen, who has sold more than 20 million books worldwide, uses her own medical background and Asian-American experience to deliver a story of murder and mystery in Boston’s Chinatown, featuring her popular protagonists, homicide detective, Jane Rizzoli, and medical examiner, Maura Isles.
Ex-lawyer John Hart, author of three New York Times bestsellers, won the prestigious Edgar Award for his novels Down River (2008) and The Last Child (2010) - the first author in history to win the ‘Oscar of crime writing’ with consecutive novels. His latest book, Iron House, illustrates once again why he has quickly moved into the top rank of thriller writers.
The Finalists in the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel 2011
Christchurch writer Paul Cleave has achieved huge international success, with his debut The Cleaner, becoming the top-selling crime/thriller title of 2007 on Amazon Germany. His books have been bestsellers in Europe and Australasia, and have been translated into nine languages, His fourth novel, Blood Men, was one of the New Zealand Listener’s 100 Best Books for 2010, and is described as ‘a gruesomely gripping story’ told ‘in clean, sharp prose, with authentically laconic dialogue and flashes of very dark humour’.
Neil Cross, from Wellington, is a TV screenwriter and Booker-longlisted author of several acclaimed novels. He has been lead writer for acclaimed television series, Spooks, and created and wrote the BBC show Luther, for which he won an Edgar Award earlier this year. Neil was also a finalist for the 2010 Ngaio Marsh Award. The judges describe Captured as ‘fascinating’, with ‘amazing twists and turns’ and a ‘main character who was drawn so well’.
Dunedin writer Paddy Richardson has made the cut with her third novel, and second thriller, Hunting Blind. The story of a woman trying to find out what happened to her kid sister, who disappeared years before was one of the New Zealand Listener’s 100 Best Books of 2010, and has been highly acclaimed by the Ngaio Marsh Award judges for its ‘sense of downright creepiness’ and ‘some fascinatingly complex characters’.
Auckland writer Alix Bosco has impressed the judges with ‘the depth and complexity’ and ‘well-executed plot unfolding at a good pace’ in his/her second novel, Slaughter Falls. Bosco, a pseudonym for a “successful writer in other media” won the inaugural Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel in 2010 for his/her debut, Cut & Run, which introduced heroine Anna Markunas. This will be Bosco’s first public event.
The winner of the 2011 Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel will receive a distinctive handcrafted trophy designed and created by New Zealand sculptor and Unitec art lecturer Gina Ferguson, a full set of all 32 Ngaio Marsh novels, along with Ngaio Marsh’s autobiography and Joanne Drayton’s biography of Marsh, Ngaio Marsh: Her Life in Crime, courtesy of HarperCollins, and a cheque for $1000 provided by the Christchurch Writers Festival Trust.
Sunday 21 August, 11.00am
TelstraClear Club, Events Village, Hagley Park, Christchurch
To book: www.artsfestival.co.nz/crimefiction
Door sales will be available on the day.
Presented as part of the Christchurch Arts Festival