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Ngaio Marsh Awards 2021 finalists announced

The finalists for this year’s Ngaio Marsh Awards for New Zealand crime, mystery or thriller writing have been announced.

The titles longlisted in the best novel category are:

  • The Stone Wētā (Olivia Cade, Paper Road Press)
  • The Girl in the Mirror (Rose Carlyle, A&U)
  • The Snow Thief (C J Carver, Right Nuisance)
  • Shakti (Rajorshi Chakraborti, Penguin)
  • Dance Prone (David Coventry, VUP)
  • The Murder Club (Nikki Crutchley, Oak House Press)
  • Sprigs (Brannavan Gnanalingam, Lawrence and Gibson)
  • Caught Between (Jeannie McLean)
  • The Tally Stick (Carl Nixon, RHNZ Vintage)
  • The Secrets of Strangers (Charity Norman, A&U)
  • Tell Me Lies (J P Pomare, Hachette)
  • Soldiers (Tom Remiger, Text).

The titles longlisted in the best first novel category are:

  • Bush Sick Land (Julian Barrett)
  • The Girl in the Mirror (Rose Carlyle, A&U)
  • Puzzle Me Dead (Kathy Childs, Jamuna Press)
  • A Kind of Catharsis (Ann Chapman, Gallica Print)
  • Dark Empire (John Horrocks, Steele Roberts Aotearoa)
  • The Beautiful Dead (Kim Hunt)
  • Where the Truth Lies (Karina Kilmore, S&S)
  • The Hunted (Jo McCready)
  • Bull by the Horns (Bruce Miller)
  • Toto Among the Murderers (Sally J Morgan, Hachette)
  • Soldiers (Tom Remiger, Text)
  • Neands (Dan Salmon, OneTree House)
  • For Reasons of Their Own (Chris Stuart, Original Sin)
  • While the Fantail Lives (Alan Titchall, Devon Media).

The titles longlisted in the biennial best nonfiction category are:

  • Ripiro Beach: A Memoir of Life after Near Death (Caroline Barron, Bateman Books)
  • Weed: A New Zealand story (James Borrowdale, Penguin)
  • Rock College: An unofficial history of Mount Eden Prison (Mark Derby, Massey University Press)
  • Ngaio Marsh: A companion to the mystery fiction (Bruce Harding, McFarland and Co Inc)
  • From Dog Collar to Dog Collar (Bruce Howat)
  • Memories of a Community Cop (Caroline Lawson, Worldly Press)
  • Gangland (Jared Savage, HarperCollins NZ)
  • The Quick and the Dead (Cynric Temple-Camp, HarperCollins NZ)
  • White Moko: Stories from my life (Tim Tipene, One Tree House)
  • Black Hands: Inside the Bain family murders (Martin Van Beynen, PRHNZ).

This year, the awards have introduced a category for New Zealand writers of crime, mystery and thrillers for younger readers. The titles shortlisted in the best kids/YA category are:

  • Katipo Joe (Brian Falkner, Scholastic NZ)
  • Red Edge (Des Hunt, Scholastic NZ)
  • A Trio of Sophies (Eileen Merriman, Penguin)
  • Deadhead (Glenn Wood, OneTree House).

The finalists for Best Novel, Best First Novel and Best Nonfiction will be announced on 28 August at the WORD Christchurch Festival. The winners will be revealed at a WORD Christchurch event in October.

Established in 2010, the Ngaio Marsh Awards recognise excellence in New Zealand crime, mystery and thriller writing. The winner of last year’s Best Novel prize was Auē by Becky Manawatu (Makaro Press), while Melbourne-based New Zealand author R W R MacDonald won Best First Novel for The Nancys (A&U).


Category: Awards Local news