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Finalists revealed for the Ngaio Marsh Awards 2018

The best books in New Zealand crime writing of the past year have been named with the finalist announcement of 2018’s Ngaio Marsh Awards.

The prize, named for the Kiwi “Queen of Crime”, is in its ninth year and will be announced in the dame’s hometown at the WORD Christchurch writers’ festival in early September.

This year’s nominees include expatriate author Stella Duffy who last year published Money in the Morgue, her completion of an unfinished Marsh manuscript featuring her regular sleuth Inspector Roderick Alleyn. But Duffy is up for her own The Hidden Room in the best crime novel category.

Other nominees include past winner Paul Cleave for his latest, A Killer Harvest.

Macro alias: ModuleRenderer

One writer, former police detective who writes under the name of Nathan Blackwell, is nominated in both the best book and best first novel categories for his debut The Sound of her Voice.

Among the books not making the cut from the longlist announced in May was Baby by Annaleese Jochems, who won the Hubert Church Best First Book Award for Fiction at the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards earlier in the year.

“It’s been a year of record-breaking numbers of entries, and our judges were faced with tough decisions among a really diverse array of tales spread across varying styles, settings, and sub-genres,” says awards founder Craig Sisterson. “Some books our judges loved missed out, which underlines the growing strength and depth of our local writing. Kiwi readers devour tales of crime, thrills, and mystery. They’ve got lots of great choices here to encourage them to give our own storytellers more of a try.”

The finalists …

Best crime novel

Marlborough Man by Alan Carter (Fremantle Press)

See You in September by Charity Norman (Allen & Unwin)

Tess by Kirsten McDougall (VUP)

The Sound of Her Voice by Nathan Blackwell (Mary Egan Publishing)

A Killer Harvest by Paul Cleave (Upstart Press)

The Hidden Room by Stella Duffy (Virago)

Best first novel

The Floating Basin by Carolyn Hawes

Broken Silence by Helen Vivienne Fletcher (HVF Publishing)

All Our Secrets by Jennifer Lane (Rosa Mira Books)

The Sound of Her Voice by Nathan Blackwell (Mary Egan Publishing)

Nothing Bad Happens Here by Nikki Crutchley (Oak House Press)