Revealed - Harrogate International Festivals unveils longlist for Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year award

The longlist of the most prestigious crime novel award has been unveiled with literary legends and dynamic debuts in contention for Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year.

Wednesday, 5th May 2021, 9:19 am
Updated Wednesday, 5th May 2021, 9:28 am
Now in its 17th year, Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year, the most coveted prize in crime fiction, presented by Harrogate International Festivals celebrates crime writing at its best.

Now in its 17th year, the most coveted prize in crime fiction, presented by Harrogate International Festivals celebrates crime writing at its best. This year’s longlist transports readers around the world from California to Sweden and Calcutta to a remote Irish island and explores every subgenre from Scandi noir to murderous families.

The line-up of returning champions is led by crime fiction titan Ian Rankin who has received a nod for his A Song for The Dark Times, Mark Billingham, hoping for a third win with his Cry Baby, and Steve Cavanagh looking to beat the competition with Fifty Fifty.

This year’s longlist - selected by an academy of crime writing authors, agents, editors, reviewers, members of the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival Programming Committee, and representatives from T&R Theakston Ltd, the Express, and WHSmith - also recognises a number of authors who have previously never been listed by the prize.

Hoping to claim the trophy on their first appearance are Lucy Foley with her No.1 Sunday Times Best Seller, The Guest List, Chris Whitaker with We Begin at The End, Scottish author Doug Johnstone with The Big Chill and Liz Nugent with Our Little Cruelties, and Jane Casey with her latest Maeve Kerrigan instalment The Cutting Place.

The longlist also features several previously nominated authors hoping to go one step further and clinch the trophy with Elly Griffiths securing her seventh pick for her much lauded The Lantern Men and Susie Steiner getting her third nod for Remain Silent and Brian McGilloway’s second nomination for The Last Crossing, and best-selling author Louise Candlish hoping to win on her second pick with The Other Passenger.

Joining these outstanding names is the undisputed ‘Queen of Crime’ herself, Val McDermid with her newest Karen Pirie novel Still Life.

Celebrated in the industry for her impeccable ability to select emerging talent for the annual New Blood panel at Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, McDermid finds herself competing against many New Blood alumni including: Will Dean for his latest Scandi noir Black River; Eva Dolan for the newest instalment of her critically-acclaimed Zigic and Ferreira series, Abir Mukherjee’s new Calcutta and Assam-inspired Death in the East, and finally Trevor Wood - who has gone from the 2020 New Blood panel to longlisted for Crime’s biggest award.

Executive director of T&R Theakston, Simon Theakston, said: “The way the global obsession with the crime genre continues to grow year on year is simply astonishing and this year’s longlist proves the remarkable talent on offer in crime writing - from legends of the craft to eager-eyed newcomers.

“The shortlist is already too close to call so we encourage all to get voting. ”

Run by Harrogate International Festivals, the shortlist will be announced in June and the winner on July 22, at the opening evening of the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival - with the public urged to now vote for their winner online at:

The full longlist for the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of 2021 is:

Cry Baby by Mark Billingham (Little, Brown Book Group, Sphere);

The Other Passenger by Louise Candlish (Simon & Schuster);

The Cutting Place by Jane Casey (HarperCollins, HarperFiction);

Fifty Fifty by Steve Cavanagh (The Orion Publishing Group, Orion Fiction);

Black River by Will Dean (Oneworld Publications, Point Blank);

Between Two Evils by Eva Dolan (Bloomsbury Publishing, Raven Books);

The Guest List by Lucy Foley (HarperCollins, HarperFiction);

The Lantern Men by Elly Griffiths (Quercus, Quercus Fiction);

The Big Chill by Doug Johnstone (Orenda Books);

Three Hours by Rosamund Lupton (Penguin Random House UK, Viking);

Still Life by Val McDermid (Little, Brown Book Group, Sphere);

The Last Crossing by Brian McGilloway (Little, Brown Book Group, Constable);

Death in the East by Abir Mukherjee (VINTAGE, Harvill Secker);

Our Little Cruelties by Liz Nugent (Penguin, Sandycove);

A Song For The Dark Times by Ian Rankin (Orion, Orion Fiction);

Remain Silent by Susie Steiner (HarperCollins Publishers, The Borough Press);

We Begin At The End by Chris Whitaker (Bonnier Books UK, Zaffre);

The Man on the Street by Trevor Wood (Quercus, Quercus Fiction).

For more information on Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel Of The Year Award :

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