After announcing the Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year longlist last month, today has seen the shortlist revealed. The award, which celebrates excellence, originality, and the very best in crime fiction from UK and Irish authors has whittled the original 18 titles down to 6 – no mean feat. Now all that’s left is to vote for your favourite, the winner will be revealed at a virtual awards ceremony on July, 31.
I’ve listed the titles below (I always like to add a bit of temptation to everyone’s life) or you can jump straight to voting here.
For other, like myself that were looking forward to this year’s cancelled festival, there is always next year and the dates have been confirmed as 22-25 July 2021 – see you next year!
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Smoke and Ashes by Abir Mukherjee
India, 1921. Captain Sam Wyndham is battling a serious addiction to opium that he must keep secret from his superiors in the Calcutta police force.
But Wyndham finds himself in a tight spot when he stumbles across a corpse in an opium den. When he then comes across a second body bearing the same injuries, Wyndham is convinced that there’s a deranged killer on the loose.
However, revealing his presence in the opium den could cost him his career.
As Wyndham and Sergeant ‘Surrender-not’ Banerjee set out to solve the two murders, Wyndham must tread carefully, keeping his personal demons secret, before someone else turns up dead…
YOUR PHONE RINGS.
A STRANGER HAS KIDNAPPED YOUR CHILD.
TO FREE THEM YOU MUST ABDUCT SOMEONE ELSE’S CHILD.
YOUR CHILD WILL BE RELEASED WHEN YOUR VICTIM’S PARENTS KIDNAP ANOTHER CHILD.
IF ANY OF THESE THINGS DON’T HAPPEN:
YOUR CHILD WILL BE KILLED.
VICTIM. SURVIVOR. ABDUCTOR. CRIMINAL.
YOU WILL BECOME EACH ONE.
YOU ARE NOW PART OF THE CHAIN
Worst Case Scenario by Helen Fitzgerald
Mary Shields is a moody, acerbic probation offer, dealing with some of Glasgow’s worst cases, and her job is on the line. Liam Macdowall was imprisoned for murdering his wife, and he’s published a series of letters to the dead woman, in a book that makes him an unlikely hero – and a poster boy for Men’s Rights activists.
Liam is released on licence into Mary’s care, but things are far from simple. Mary develops a poisonous obsession with Liam and his world, and when her son and Liam’s daughter form a relationship, Mary will stop at nothing to impose her own brand of justice … with devastating consequences.
WHY DID CAMERON BRIGHT DIE?
He had started to remove his clothes as logic had deserted him, and his skin was cracked. Whatever had been going through Cameron’s mind when he was alive, he didn’t look peaceful in death.
Two brothers meet at the remote border of their vast cattle properties under the unrelenting sun of the outback. In an isolated part of Australia, they are each other’s nearest neighbour, their homes hours apart.
They are at the stockman’s grave, a landmark so old that no one can remember who is buried there. But today, the scant shadow it casts was the last hope for their middle brother, Cameron. The Bright family’s quiet existence is thrown into grief and anguish.
Something had been troubling Cameron. Did he choose to walk to his death? Because if he didn’t, the isolation of the outback leaves few suspects…
‘We’re spies,’ said Lamb. ‘All kinds of outlandish shit goes on.’
In Slough House memories are stirring, all of them bad. Catherine Standish is buying booze again, Louisa Guy is raking over the ashes of lost love, and new recruit Lech Wicinski, whose sins make him outcast even among the slow horses, is determined to discover who destroyed his career, even if he tears his life apart in the process.
And with winter taking its grip Jackson Lamb would sooner be left brooding in peace, but even he can’t ignore the dried blood on his carpets. So when the man responsible breaks cover at last, Lamb sends the slow horses out to even the score.
This time, they’re heading into joe country.
And they’re not all coming home.
My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
When Korede’s dinner is interrupted one night by a distress call from her sister, Ayoola, she knows what’s expected of her: bleach, rubber gloves, nerves of steel and a strong stomach. This’ll be the third boyfriend Ayoola’s dispatched in, quote, self-defence and the third mess that her lethal little sibling has left Korede to clear away. She should probably go to the police for the good of the menfolk of Nigeria, but she loves her sister and, as they say, family always comes first. Until, that is, Ayoola starts dating the doctor where Korede works as a nurse. Korede’s long been in love with him, and isn’t prepared to see him wind up with a knife in his back: but to save one would mean sacrificing the other…
So there you have them and to save you scrolling back again the voting link is here.
This is Heike from Berlin. How sad that we won’t meet at Harrogate this year!
Anyway, are you sure about the date of the virtual ceremony (31st July)??? as given on your website.
I think the correct date is: Thursday 23rd July…
I found this on their website: “with the champion set to be revealed in a virtual awards ceremony on Thursday 23 July marking what would have been the opening evening of the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival. ”
Take care and see you next year.
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Heike!! hello. Sincere apologies for not responding sooner, I’m just cleaning up my comments file and found several, including this, that I’ve never seen in my notifications. Sadly it was too late to correct my error, thankfully many others also posted similar and assuming they were more on the ball than me will have posted the correct date. I’m sorry though not to have seen it sooner to say hello. I have booked for next year (with Sue) and she did mention that you’d already booked. I hope all is well with you and look forward to seeing you next year, hopefully in much happier circumstances, Take care and stay well, all best wishes, Jill x