30 May 2018

2018 Ngaio Marsh Awards Longlist

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Last Thursday we had a great evening with our Murder in the Library panel Alan Carter and Paul Cleave.  They were ably interrogated by Stella Chysostomou from Volume. Alan and Paul are both long-listed for this year’s Ngaio Marsh Awards.  The Awards were established in 2010 by ex-Nelsonian Craig Sisterson to promote New Zealand crime writing, and Craig launched the Murder in the Library Programme in 2015 to showcase New Zealand crime writers in libraries – Nelson joined in in 2016.  The longlist for this year’s Ngaios was also announced last week and certainly demonstrates the breadth and quality of New Zealand crime writing. 

Alan is longlisted for his Marlborough Man, a thriller with a nerve-wracking plotting, rich atmospheric settings, and complex characters that is set in the Top of the South.  Paul’s entry is A Killer Harvest, a creepy and extremely well plotted novel; you may guess some of the twists but I bet you don’t guess them all!  Baby by Annaleese Jochems, winner of the 2018 Hubert Church First Book Award for Fiction in this year’s Ockhams is also longlisted - Cynthia takes off with her dog, her beautiful yoga instructor and her Dad’s money - what could go wrong?  And the fabulous See You In September by Charity Norman.  See You In September follows Cassy on her OE to New Zealand before returning to her studies in the UK, and sees her get caught up in a cult.  Stella Duffy is on the longlist with her The Hidden Room – a powerful, deeply disturbing book about the insidious power that men have over women.  Katherine Hayton made the longlist with the latest in her great Detective Ngaire Blakes series: The Only Secret Left To Keep - Blakes is on a cold case, and this is a cleverly plotted and moving sad satisfying mystery.  I found Nathan Blackwell’s debut police procedural The Sound of Her Voice moving as well – in Auckland, Matt Buchanan has worked on a series of horrific crimes spanning decades, and years on he is still haunted by his earliest case, the still unsolved disappearance of a school girl, Samantha.  Kirsten McDougall also made the longlist with her Tess, featuring a very intriguing character, as did Finn Bell (last year’s Best First Novel winner for his Dead Lemons) with The Easter Make Believers (only available electronically) a great read about a hostage crisis in the small Otago town of Lawrence in the South Island that goes horribly wrong.  And the final longlisted title is Edmund Bohan’s The Lost Taonga (on order for our Library). 

Have a read of these great Ngaio entries, and let us know what you think!