The Finalist for the 2011 Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel

Following my previous post, the finalist for the 2011 Ngaio Marsh Award for best crime novel which will be presented as part of the upcoming Christchurch Arts Festival, have now been announced.

The finalists are:

  • BLOOD MEN by Paul Cleave (Random House)
  • CAPTURED by Neil Cross (Simon & Schuster)
  • HUNTING BLIND by Paddy Richardson (Penguin), and
  • SLAUGHTER FALLS by Alix Bosco (Penguin).

You can find additional information at Crime Watch.

The Spanish Hammett Prize

The top award of the Semana Negra (Noir Week) festival in Gijón for best crime novel published originally in Spanish (Castilian) in 2010, the Hammett Prize, went this year to Ricardo Piglia (Argentina) for Blanco Nocturno (Nocturnal Target).

The announcement was made today during the celebration of the XXIV Semana Negra de Gijon festival. My review of Blanco Nocturno is HERE.

You can find my previous post with the finalistsHERE.

Last year winner was Argentine novelist Guillermo Orsi, for his book Ciudad Santa (The Holy City).

For more information visit the Semana Negra website here.

Congratulations to the winners.

The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths

Esta entrada es bilingüe, desplazarse por la ventana hacia abajo para ver la versión en castellano

Quercus, 2009. 304 pages. ISBN: 978-1-84724-958-6.

Dr Ruth Galloway is a forensic archaeologist, a lecturer at the University of North Norfolk. She will be forty next year. She is a single overweight woman on her own, living pretty much in isolation in a small cottage near to the edge of the marshes on the coast of Norfolk with the only company of her two cats, Sparky and Flint.

Her peace is broken the day the police request her collaboration to identify some human remains found near to a bird sanctuary in the marshes. DCI Harry Nelson thinks they may belong to Lucy Downey, a five-year-old child who vanished without a trace some ten years ago. The bones turn out to be some two thousand years old but Galloway gets more involved in the Lucy Downey case when Nelson shows her the anonymous letters he has been receiving.  Then another girl goes missing and Ruth begins to receive some threatening messages.

Griffiths offers a colourful description that makes us feel the desire to visit the coast and the marshes of Norfolk. A magical place, full of symbolism, capable to spark our interest in archaeology. Ruth Galloway is a lovable character, very well drawn. However other characters are more conventional and the ending is too artificial. I could not find a clear explanation for some of the events narrated. It was an interesting reading, though, and I’ll probably meet Ruth Galloway again.

Elly Griffiths is the nom de plume of Domenica de Rosa, who was born in London and spent ten years in publishing before turning to writing fiction. Her Ruth Galloway novels have been inspired by the work of her husband, who gave up a job in finance to train as an archaeologist, and by her aunt, who lives on the Norfolk coast and who filled her niece’s head with the myths and legends of the area. She and her husband have two children and live near Brighton. The Crossing Places (Quercus, 2009) is the first novel in the series. A Room Full of Bones, the fourth instalment, will be available on 7 February 2012.

The Crossing Places has been reviewed at Euro Crime, Petrona, Mysteries in Paradise, Reactions to Reading, DJ’s Krimiblog, BooksPlease, Kittling Books, among others.

Elly Griffiths website


The Norfolk of Elly Griffiths’ Ruth Galloway Novels at Scene of the Crime

The Crossing Places de Elly Griffiths

La doctora Ruth Galloway es una arqueóloga forense, profesora de la Universidad de North Norfolk. Cumplirá cuarenta años el próximo año. Soltera, es una mujer con sobrepeso e independiente que vive prácticamente aislada en una pequeña casa de campo al borde de las marismas en la costa de Norfolk, con la única compañía de sus dos gatos, Sparky y Flint.

Su paz se rompe el día que la policía solicita su colaboración para identificar unos restos humanos encontrados cerca de una zona de protección de aves en las marismas. El detective inspector Harry Nelson piensa que pueden pertenecer a Lucy Downey, una niña de cinco años que desapareció sin dejar rastro hace diez años. Los huesos resultan tener unos dos mil años, pero Galloway se involucra más en el caso de Lucy Downey cuando Nelson le enseña las cartas anónimas que ha estado recibiendo. Luego de la desaparición de otra niña, Ruth empieza a recibir mensajes amenazadores.

Griffiths ofrece una colorida descripción que nos hace sentir deseos de visitar la costa y las marismas de Norfolk. Un lugar mágico, lleno de simbolismos y capaz de despertar nuestro interés por la arqueología. Ruth Galloway es un personaje adorable, muy bien construido. Sin embargo, otros personajes son más convencionales. El final es demasiado artificial. No he podído encontrar una explicación clara de algunos de los acontecimientos narrados. Sin embargo me ha resultado una lectura interesante y, probablemente, me volveré a encontrar con Ruth Galloway de nuevo.

Elly Griffiths es el pseudónimo de Domenica de Rosa, que nació en Londres y se dedicó diez años al mundo editorial antes de pasarse a la escritura de creación. Sus novelas, protagonizadas por Ruth Galloway, se han inspirado en su marido, que renunció a su trabajo en el mundo de las finanzas para dedicarse a la arqueología, y en su tía, que vive en la costa de Norfolk y le llenó la cabeza a su sobrina con los mitos y las leyendas de la zona. Ahora vive con su marido y sus dos hijos cerca de Brighton. The Crossing Places (Quercus, 2009) es la primera novel de la serie. A Room Full of Bones, la cuarta entrega, estará disponible el 7 de febrero de 2012.

Win a set of the 2011 Ngaio Marsh Award longlisted novels!

Thanks to Craig Sisterson at Crime Watch, crime fiction readers around the world now have the chance to go into the draw to win a full set of all EIGHT crime, mystery, and thriller novels longlisted for the upcoming 2011 Ngaio Marsh Award.

You can enter the prize draw simply by emailing a photo of yourself reading any New Zealand crime, mystery, or thriller title – contemporary or from days gone by – to ngaiomarshaward at gmail dot com. The book in your picture doesn’t have to be set in New Zealand, as long as the author is associated with New Zealand (lives in New Zealand, was born or grew up in New Zealand, etc).

For more information click HERE. This is quite a unique opportunity to learn more about Kiwi crime fiction which is not always available at reasonable prices in this part of the world.

The finalists for the 2011 Award will be announced tomorrow (NZT)!

The 2011 Ngaio Marsh Award will be presented on 21 August in Christchurch, at the conclusion of the “Setting the Stage for Murder” event, which will feature the finalists, along with visiting international crime writers Tess Gerritsen and John Hart.

The eight novels on the longlist (and in the picture above) are:

  • BLOOD MEN by Paul Cleave
  • CAPTURED by Neil Cross
  • DEATH IN THE KINGDOM by Andrew Grant
  • THE FALLEN by Ben Sanders
  • HUNTING BLIND by Paddy Richardson
  • SLAUGHTER FALLS by Alix Bosco
  • SURRENDER by Donna Malane

Spanish language readers may be familiar with Capturado by Neil Cross (Editorial Valdemar, 2010)

Neil Cross: Capturado

International Dagger Speculation (2012)

Thanks to Karen at Euro Crime, you can find HERE the list so far of translated crime novels published between June 2011 and May 2012 ie the period of eligibility.

I have read so far:

  • Sweet Money (Original title: Delincuente Argentino) by Ernesto Mallo. You can read my review HERE.
  • The Olive Labyrinth by Eduardo Mendoza, I read it before I started to blog, plan to write a post soon, stay tuned.
  • Basic Shareholder by Petros Markaris. You can read my review HERE
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