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Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Martina Cole Wins CWA Diamond Dagger Award!!



Martina Cole is the recipient of the highest honour in British crime writing, the Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) Diamond Dagger.

The long-reigning Queen of Crime Drama is a publishing powerhouse. Martina has written 25 novels, all published by Headline, seventeen of which reached No.1 and her books have collectively spent over 4 years in the bestseller charts. Total sales stand at over 17 million copies, making her Britain’s bestselling female crime writer and with The Faithless she became the first British female adult audience novelist to break the £50 million sales mark since Nielsen Bookscan records began.  Her books have been translated into 31 languages and adapted for multiple stage plays and television series. 

Martina’s own story is as remarkable as any bestseller plot. Martina grew up on an Essex council estate and Ronnie and Reggie Kray once visited her family’s home when she was a child.

The youngest of five children in a large, poor, Irish Catholic family, she attended a convent school, where her struggle against authority started; this culminated in two expulsions. She finished school at 15 with no qualifications; was married at 16, divorced at 17 and pregnant at 18. A single mum, she struggled to bring up her son, Chris, taking on waitressing jobs.

Aged 21, she lost both her parents and started to write her iconic debut novel, Dangerous Lady, but it wasn’t until she was 30 that she gave up her job and decided to devote herself seriously to writing and finished the manuscript. Dangerous Lady caused a sensation when it was published in 1992 – and the rest is history.

Martina is a passionate advocate for prisoner rehabilitation and visits prisons to give writing classes. She often quips to her classes: ‘there’s one thing you’ve got that all writers want – time’. It’s therefore no surprise her books are the most requested in Her Majesty’s prison libraries, and the most stolen from bookshops.

The Diamond Dagger award recognises authors whose crime-writing careers have been marked by sustained excellence, and who have made a significant contribution to crime fiction writing.

The CWA Diamond Dagger is selected from nominations provided by CWA members. Martina Cole joins icons of the genre who have been recognised with the accolade, including Ruth Rendell, Lee Child, Ann Cleeves, Ian Rankin, PD James, Colin Dexter, Reginald Hill, Lindsey Davies, Peter Lovesey, and John Le Carré.

Martina said: “It means so much to me to be receiving this prestigious award from my peers at the CWA. I can’t believe it’s nearly thirty years since Dangerous Lady was published - some people dismissed me as an Essex girl and a one-book wonder – but as one of my favourite songs goes: ‘I’m still here’!”

Linda Stratmann, Chair of the CWA, said: “We are delighted to award the Diamond Dagger to a crime-writing legend.”

Maxim Jakubowski, Hon CWA Vice Chair, said: “A much-overdue reward for a major crime author who has often been badly overlooked by the critical establishment. Martina has single-handedly created a new crime genre and brought so many new readers on board, and has always been a vocal supporter of her fellow writers in word and deed.”

Thursday, February 18, 2021

WHO KILLED EDEN MULLIGAN?

A MASSIVE CONGRATS to Sharon Dempsey whose novel 'WHO TOOK EDEN MULLIGAN' is out today! It's been getting great reviews and I for one can't wait to get reading, especially with the amazing blurb below.....


 ‘A dark, disturbing and gripping read ... Sharon Dempsey will be one to watch!’ Claire Allan, USA Today bestselling author

‘They’re dead. They’re all dead. It’s my fault. I killed them.’

Those are the words of Iona Gardener, who stands bloodied and staring as she confesses to the murder of four people in a run-down cottage outside of Belfast.

Outside the cottage, five old dolls are hanging from a tree. Inside the cottage, the words “WHO TOOK EDEN MULLIGAN?” are graffitied on the wall, connecting the murder scene with the famous cold case of Eden Mulligan, a mother-of-five who went missing during The Troubles.

But this case is different. Right from the start.

Because no one in the community is willing to tell the truth, and the only thing DI Danny Stowe and forensic psychologist Rose Lainey can be certain of is that Iona Gardener’s confession is false....

A creepy, gritty and very compelling crime novel, perfect for fans of Patricia Gibney, Angela Marsons and Jane Casey.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Mystery Writers of America Announces 2021 Edgar Allan Poe Award Nominations!

Mystery Writers of America, as they celebrate the 212th anniversary of the birth of Edgar Allan Poe, announce the nominees for the 2021 Edgar Allan Poe Awards, honouring the best in mystery fiction, non-fiction and television published or produced in 2020.

The 75th Annual Edgar® Award Winners will be celebrated on April 29, 2021.

And of course I'm delighted to see "Guilt Rules All" - Irish Mystery, Detective, and Crime Fiction by Elizabeth Mannion & Brian Cliff being on the shortlist for Best Critical/Biographical, in which Rosemary Johnsen has written a critical piece on my fictional character Dr. Kate Pearson.

Congrats to all the nominees!

M.W.A. SHORTLIST

BEST NOVEL

Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line by Deepa Anappara
Before She Was Helen by Caroline B. Cooney
Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman
These Women by Ivy Pochoda
The Missing American by Kwei Quartey
The Distant Dead by Heather Young


BEST FIRST NOVEL BY AN AMERICAN AUTHOR
 
Murder in Old Bombay by Nev March
Please See Us by Caitlin Mullen
Catherine House by Elisabeth Thomas
Winter Counts by David Heska Wanbli Weiden
Darling Rose Gold by Stephanie Wrobel


BEST PAPERBACK ORIGINAL
 
When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole
The Deep, Deep Snow by Brian Freeman
Unspeakable Things by Jess Lourey
The Keeper by Jessica Moor
East of Hounslow by Khurrum Rahman

BEST FACT CRIME

Blood Runs Coal: The Yablonski Murders and the Battle for the United Mine Workers of America by Mark A. Bradley

The Third Rainbow Girl: The Long Life of a Double Murder in Appalachia by Emma Copley Eisenberg

Death in Mud Lick: A Coal Country Fight Against the Drug Companies that Delivered the Opioid Epidemic by Eric Eyre

Yellow Bird: Oil, Murder, and a Woman's Search for Justice in Indian Country by Sierra Crane Murdoch

Veritas: A Harvard Professor, a Con Man, and the Gospel of Jesus's Wife by Ariel Sabar
 

BEST CRITICAL/BIOGRAPHICAL
 
Howdunit: A Masterclass in Crime Writing by Members of the Detection Club edited by Martin Edwards
Phantom Lady: Hollywood Producer Joan Harrison, the Forgotten Woman Behind Hitchcock by Christina Lane
Ian Rankin: A Companion to the Mystery & Fiction by Erin E. MacDonald
Guilt Rules All:  Irish Mystery, Detective, and Crime Fiction by Elizabeth Mannion & Brian Cliff 
This Time Next Year We'll be Laughing by Jacqueline Winspear
 

BEST SHORT STORY

"The Summer Uncle Cat Came to Stay," Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine by Leslie Elman
"Dust, Ash, Flight," Addis Ababa Noir by Maaza Mengiste
"Fearless," California Schemin' by Walter Mosley
"Etta at the End of the World," Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine by Joseph S. Walker 
"The Twenty-Five Year Engagement," In League with Sherlock Holmes by James W. Ziskin

 

BEST JUVENILE

Premeditated Myrtle by Elizabeth C. Bunce
Me and Banksy by Tanya Lloyd Kyi
From the Desk of Zoe Washington by Janae Marks
Ikenga by Nnedi Okorafor
Nessie Quest by Melissa Savage

Coop Knows the Scoop by Taryn Souders
 
 
BEST YOUNG ADULT
 
The Companion by Katie Alender
The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
They Went Left by Monica Hesse
Silence of Bones by June Hur
The Cousins by Karen M. McManus

BEST TELEVISION EPISODE TELEPLAY

"Episode 1, The Stranger" – Harlan Coben's The Stranger
"Episode 1, Open Water" – The Sounds
"Episode 1, Photochemistry" – Dead Still
"Episode 1" - Des
"What I Know" – The Boys
 
 ROBERT L. FISH MEMORIAL AWARD

"The Bite," Tampa Bay Noir by Colette Bancroft

 

THE SIMON & SCHUSTER MARY HIGGINS CLARK AWARD 


Death of an American Beauty by Mariah Fredericks

The Cabinets of Barnaby Mayne by Elsa Hart
The Lucky One by Lori Rader-Day
The First to Lie by Hank Phillippi Ryan
Cold Wind by Paige Shelton

 

THE G.P. PUTNAM'S SONS SUE GRAFTON MEMORIAL AWARD
 
The Burn by Kathleen Kent
Riviera Gold by Laurie R. King
Vera Kelly is Not a Mystery by Rosalie Knecht
Dead Land by Sara Paretsky
The Sleeping Nymph by Ilaria Tuti
Turn to Stone by James W. Ziskin

SPECIAL AWARDS

GRAND MASTER
Jeffery Deaver
Charlaine Harris

ELLERY QUEEN AWARD
Reagan Arthur, Publisher – Alfred A. Knopf

The Edgar Awards, or "Edgars," as they are commonly known, are named after MWA's patron saint Edgar Allan Poe and are presented to authors of distinguished work in various categories. The organization encompasses some 3,000 members including authors of fiction and non-fiction books, screen and television writers, as well as publishers, editors, and literary agents.

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