The UK’s CrimeFest Awards Shortlists Include Clinton, Patterson, King

In News by Porter Anderson

The UK’s crime fiction convention, CrimeFest, announced the shortlists in six categories for its 11th annual awards program.

Image – iStockphoto: Joe Belanger

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

Convention Attendees May Number 500
The crime fiction convention that describes itself as the UK’s largest, CrimeFest, has announced its shortlists today (April 9) in its 11th annual round of CrimeFest Awards.

And just as a matter of pure speculation, should the shortlisted authors all turn up at the winners’ ceremony on May 11, the evening will be one star-studded event featuring Bill Clinton, James Patterson, Stephen King, Laura Lippman, Jay Qasim, Nicki Thornton, Ian Rankin, and Peter May.

SpecSavers is the sponsor of the convention, which is expected to draw some 500 attendees, among them more than 150 authors, agents, publishers, and crime enthusiasts at Bristol in England’s West Country. Some 60 presentations and panels are planned for the four-day event.

Crime fiction generally has been rated the most popular fiction genre in the UK market since 2017 when, as was reported by Laura Harding of the Press Association and others a year ago. Nielsen BookScan data then indicated that the category’s sales had for the first time surpassed those of general and literary fiction.

In a prepared statement, CrimeFest co-host Adrian Muller is quoted, saying that the CrimeFest Awards are “one of the highlights of organizing the convention. My co-host Donna Moore and I are always eager to see who the judges vote for.

“This year, the fact that we have longer shortlists indicate how strong the contenders were.”

2019 CrimeFest Awards Shortlists

Audible ‘Sounds of Crime’ Award

The Sounds of Crime Award is for an unabridged crime audiobook first published in the UK in 2018 in both printed and audio formats, and available for download from audible.co.uk, the prize’s sponsor. The winning author and audiobook reader(s) share the £1,000 prize equally (US$1,307) and each receives a Bristol Blue Glass commemorative award.

  • Ben Aaronovitch for Lies Sleeping, read by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith (Orion Publishing Group)
  • Louise Candlish for Our House, read by Deni Francis & Paul Panting (Whole Story Audiobooks)
  • Bill Clinton & James Patterson for The President Is Missing, read by Dennis Quaid, January LaVoy, Peter Ganim, Jeremy Davidson, Mozhan Marnò, and Bill Clinton (Random House Audiobooks)
  • Robert Galbraith for Lethal White, read by Robert Glenister (Hachette Audio)
  • Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen for The Wife Between Us, read by Julia Whelan (Pan Macmillan Publishers)
  • Stephen King for The Outsider, read by Will Patton (Hodder & Stoughton)
  • Clare Mackintosh for Let Me Lie, read by Gemma Whelan and Clare Mackintosh (Little, Brown Book Group)
  • Peter May for I’ll Keep You Safe, read by Anna Murray and Peter Forbes (riverrun)
  • Ian Rankin for In a House of Lies, read by James MacPherson (Orion Publishing Group)
  • Sarah Vaughan for Anatomy of a Scandal, read by Julie Teal, Luke Thompson, Esther Wane and Sarah Feathers (Simon & Schuster Audio UK)

Eligible titles were submitted by publishers, and Audible UK listeners established the shortlist and the winning title.

eDunnit Award

The eDunnit Award is for a crime fiction ebook first published in both hardcopy and in electronic format in the British Isles in 2018.

  • Leye Adenle for When Trouble Sleeps (Cassava Republic Press)
  • Steve Cavanagh for Thirteen (Orion Fiction)
  • Martin Edwards for Gallows Court (Head of Zeus)
  • Laura Lippman for Sunburn (Faber and Faber)
  • Khurrum Rahman for Homegrown Hero (HQ – HarperCollins)
  • Andrew Taylor for The Fire Court (HarperCollins)
  • Sarah Ward for The Shrouded Path (Faber and Faber)

Eligible titles were submitted by publishers, and British crime fiction reviewers voted on the shortlist and the winning title.

H.R.F. Keating Award

This award is for a biographical or critical book related to crime fiction first published in the British Isles in 2018. The award is named for the late “Harry” Keating (1926-2011), one of Britain’s best known crime reviewers and a writer of books about crime fiction.

  • Nils Clausson for Arthur Conan Doyle’s Art of Fiction (Cambridge Scholars Publishing)
  • Brian Cliff for Irish Crime Fiction (Palgrave Macmillan)
  • Glen S. Close for Female Corpses in Crime Fiction (Palgrave Macmillan)
  • Laura Joyce & Henry Sutton for Domestic Noir (Palgrave Macmillan)
  • Barry Forshaw for Historical Noir (No Exit Press)
  • Steven Powell for The Big Somewhere: Essays on James Ellroy’s Noir World (Bloomsbury)
  • James Sallis for Difficult Lives – Hitching Rides (No Exit Press)

Eligible titles were submitted by publishers, and British crime fiction reviewers voted on the shortlist and winner.

Last Laugh Award

The Last Laugh Award is for a humorous crime novel first published in the British Isles in 2018.

  • Simon Brett for A Deadly Habit (Crème de la Crime – Severn House)
  • Christopher Fowler for Bryant & May – Hall of Mirrors (Transworld)
  • Mario Giordano for Auntie Poldi and the Fruits of the Lord (John Murray)
  • Mick Herron for London Rules (John Murray)
  • Khurrum Rahman for Homegrown Hero (HQ – HarperCollins)
  • Lynne Truss for A Shot in the Dark (Bloomsbury)
  • Antti Tuomainen for Palm Beach Finland (Orenda Books)
  • Olga Wojtas for Miss Blaine’s Prefect and the Golden Samovar (Contraband – Saraband)

Eligible titles were submitted by publishers, and British crime fiction reviewers voted to create the list and choose the winner.

Crime Novel for Children

This award is for a crime novel for children (aged 8-12) first published in the British Isles in 2018.

  • P.G. Bell for The Train to Impossible Places (Usborne Publishing)
  • Fleur Hitchcock for Murder At Twilight (Nosy Cow)
  • S.A. Patrick for A Darkness of Dragons (Usborne Publishing)
  • Dave Shelton for The Book Case: An Emily Lime Mystery (David Fickling Books)
  • Lauren St. John for Kat Wolfe Investigates (Macmillan Children’s Books)
  • Nicki Thornton for The Last Chance Hotel (Chicken House)

Eligible titles were submitted by publishers, and reviewers of fiction for children and young adults voted  on the shortlist and winner.

Novel for Young Adults

This award is for a crime novel for readers classified by the program as being aged 12-16 and first published in the British Isles in 2018.

  • David Almond for The Colour of the Sun (Hodder Children’s Books)
  • Mel Darbon for Rosie Loves Jack (Usborne Publishing)
  • Julia Gray for Little Liar (Andersen Press)
  • Tom Pollock for White Rabbit, Red Wolf (Walker Books)
  • Nikesh Shukla for Run, Riot (Hodder Children’s Books)
  • Neal and Jarrod Shusterman for Dry (Walker Books)

Eligible titles were submitted by publishers, and reviewers of fiction for children and young adults voted on the shortlist and winner.


More from Publishing Perspectives on publishing and book awards programs is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's 2019 International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for trade and indie authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson also has worked as a senior producer, editor, and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA, and as an arts critic (National Critics Institute) with The Village Voice and Dallas Times Herald.