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Saturday, August 13, 2011

Murder, they wrote

21 August will be an official crime day in Christchurch -- crime in literature, that is

It is then that the 2011 Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel will be presented.

And there is more.

Award-winning American crime writers, Tess Gerritsen and John Hart, will join forces in a gripping session as they discuss their latest thrillers with prime book blogger Graham Beattie.

And there is even more.

Before the 2011 winner of the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel is announced, crime fiction expert Craig Sisterson (CrimeWatch blogger) will talk with the four finalists, Paul Cleave, Neil Cross, Paddy Richardson and Alix Bosco.

Yes!  The mysterious and anonymous Alix Bosco will appear in person, and the world will find out at long, long last who the mysterious he or she is.
So, after that bit of excitement, let's hark back to the international guests.

Tess Gerritson
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.

John Hart
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’.

(Funny, that.  A while back, I was wowed by a thriller called The Cleaner, but the author had a different name.  I must read this book to see if it is good.)

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  Tickets $20
To book: - Door sales will be available on the day.  Presented as part of the Christchurch Arts Festival.  For all bookings and more information contact:  Marianne Hargreaves Tel: 03 940 8575 Mobile: 027 2298741 Email:       

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