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2019 Ngaio Marsh Awards Longlist

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Ngaio Marsh Award longlist revealed

An extraordinary literary tag-team is among several tales inspired by historic events to be named today on an eclectic longlist for the 2019 Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Novel.

“It’s surreal and strangely fitting that in our tenth season of the Ngaio Marsh Awards, and almost forty years after Dame Ngaio’s passing, our judges are considering a story that she began writing herself during the Second World War,” says founder Craig Sisterson.

The Dame faces plenty of stiff competition for this year’s prize, with several award-winning authors on the longlist for the 2019 Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Novel.

“Our international judging panel faces quite a challenge this year, that’s for sure,” says Sisterson. “Along with Stella Duffy’s brilliant resumption of Inspector Alleyn, we have superb fictional explorations of real-life crimes from another local Dame and a past Ngaios winner, exciting new tales from past finalists, and several hard-hitting stories about young people.”

The Ngaio Marsh Awards have celebrated the best New Zealand crime, mystery, thriller, and suspense writing since 2010, and this year’s longlist runs the gamut of settings from rural New Zealand to New York City, time periods from the 1940s to modern day, and themes ranging from teen bullying to societal discrimination and the verisimilitude of memory.

The longlist for the 2019 Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Novel is:

  • NO ONE CAN HEAR YOU by Nikki Crutchley (Oak House Press)
  • CASSIE CLARK: OUTLAW by Brian Falkner (OneTree House)
  • THIS MORTAL BOY by Fiona Kidman (Penguin)
  • MONEY IN THE MORGUE by Ngaio Marsh & Stella Duffy (HarperCollins)
  • THE QUAKER by Liam McIlvanney (HarperCollins)
  • CALL ME EVIE by JP Pomare (Hachette)
  • THE STAKES by Ben Sanders (Allen & Unwin)
  • MAKE A HARD FIST by Tina Shaw (OneTree House)
  • THE VANISHING ACT by Jen Shieff (Mary Egan Publishing)
  • RAIN FALL by Ella West (Allen & Unwin)

The longlist is currently being considered by a judging panel of crime, thriller, and suspense writing experts from the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand.

The finalists will be announced on 2 August, along with the finalists for the Ngaio Marsh Awards for Best First Novel and Best Non-Fiction. All the finalists will be celebrated, and the winners announced, as part of a special WORD Christchurch event on 14 September.

For more information on this year’s longlist, or the Ngaio Marsh Awards in general, please contact founder and judging convenor Craig Sisterson, craigsisterson@hotmail.com

BOOK DETAILS
BOOK INFORMATION
Year of Publication
BLURB

'He said that they’d let me go on purpose. That they could easily find me if they wanted to. He said that they didn’t want me. That I was too much trouble. He said if I went to the cops, he’d know. If I told Sonya, he’d know. If I talked to friends or teachers, he’d know. He told me to pretend it didn’t happen. He told me to consider it a compliment, that I was too strong. His last words to me were, ‘Just forget’. 

Troubled teen Faith Marsden was one of several girls abducted from Crawton, a country town known for its picturesque lake and fertile farmland. Unlike the others, she escaped, though sixteen years on she still bears the emotional and physical scars. 

Zoe Haywood returns to Crawton to bury her estranged mother Lillian, who has taken her own life. As she and Faith rekindle their high-school friendship, they discover notes left by Lillian that point to two more young women who recently disappeared from Crawton. But Lillian’s confused ramblings leave them with more questions than answers. 

As Faith and Zoe delve deeper into the mystery, they become intent on saving the missing women, but in doing so are drawn into Auckland’s hidden world of drugs, abduction and murder. And then Faith decides to confront the mastermind – on her own. 

BOOK INFORMATION
Author
ISBN
9780995106413
Year of Publication
BLURB

Cassie has survived a hit and run but now she hears her father has disappeared - supposedly run off with a news reporter. As a senior congressman and Speaker of the House, her father is an important player in the tense world of American politics. Cassie knows he would not walk away from his career or his family and she is determined to find out what really happened. But there are bigger players who are equally determined to stop her, and she no longer has a security detail ...

I am outside the law. And I'm coming for you. 

In the high-stakes world of politics and business, who can she trust?

BOOK INFORMATION
Author
ISBN
9780143771807
Year of Publication
BLURB

An utterly compelling recreation of the events that led to one of the last executions in New Zealand.

Albert Black, known as the 'jukebox killer', was only twenty when he was convicted of murdering another young man in a fight at a milk bar in Auckland on 26 July 1955. His crime fuelled growing moral panic about teenagers, and he was to hang less than five months later, the second-to-last person to be executed in New Zealand.

But what really happened? Was this a love crime, was it a sign of juvenile delinquency? Or was this dark episode in our recent history more about our society's reaction to outsiders?

Black's final words, as the hangman covered his head, were, 'I wish you all a merry Christmas, gentlemen, and a prosperous New Year.' This is his story. 

BOOK INFORMATION
ISBN
9780008207137
Year of Publication
Book Number (in series)
33
BLURB

Roderick Alleyn is back in this unique crime novel begun by Ngaio Marsh during the Second World War and now completed by Stella Duffy in a way that has delighted reviewers and critics alike.

Shortlisted for the CWA Historical Dagger Award 2018.

It’s business as usual for Mr Glossop as he does his regular round delivering wages to government buildings scattered across New Zealand’s lonely Canterbury plains. But when his car breaks down he is stranded for the night at the isolated Mount Seager Hospital, with the telephone lines down, a storm on its way and the nearby river about to burst its banks.

Trapped with him at Mount Seager are a group of quarantined soldiers with a serious case of cabin fever, three young employees embroiled in a tense love triangle, a dying elderly man, an elusive patient whose origins remain a mystery … and a potential killer.

When the payroll disappears from a locked safe and the hospital’s death toll starts to rise faster than normal, can the appearance of an English detective working in counterespionage be just a lucky coincidence – or is something more sinister afoot?

BOOK INFORMATION
ISBN
9780008259914
Year of Publication
Book Number (in series)
1
BLURB

A city torn apart.

Glasgow, 1969. In the grip of the worst winter for years, the city is brought to its knees by a killer whose name fills the streets with fear: the Quaker. He takes his next victim the third woman from the same nightclub and dumps her in the street like rubbish.

A detective with everything to prove.

The police are left chasing a ghost, with no new leads and no hope of catching their prey. DI McCormack, a talented young detective from the Highlands, is ordered to join the investigation. But his arrival is met with anger from a group of officers on the brink of despair. Soon he learns just how difficult life can be for an outsider.

A killer who hunts in the shadows.

When another woman is found murdered in a tenement flat, it’s clear the case is by no means over. From ruined backstreets to the dark heart of Glasgow, McCormack follows a trail of secrets that will change the city and his life forever

BOOK INFORMATION
Author
Year of Publication
BLURB

For the past two weeks, seventeen-year-old Kate Bennet has lived against her will in an isolated cabin in a remote beach town--brought there by a mysterious man named Bill. Part captor, part benefactor, Bill calls her Evie and tells her he's hiding her to protect her. That she did something terrible one night back home in Melbourne--something so unspeakable that he had no choice but to take her away. The trouble is, Kate can't remember the night in question.

The fragments of Kate's shattered memories of her old life seem happy: good friends, a big house in the suburbs, a devoted boyfriend. Bill says he'll help her fill in the blanks--but his story isn't adding up. And as she tries to reconcile the girl she thought she'd been with the devastating consequences Bill claims she's responsible for, Kate will unearth secrets about herself and those closest to her that could change everything.

A riveting debut novel that fearlessly plumbs the darkest recesses of the mind, Call Me Evie explores the fragility of memory and the potential in all of us to hide the truth, even from ourselves. 

BOOK INFORMATION
Author
ISBN
9781760632755
Year of Publication
BLURB

Rip-offs are a dangerous game, but NYPD robbery detective Miles Keller thinks he's found a good strategy: rip off rich New York criminals and then retire early, before word's out about his true identity. New town, new name, no worries.

Retirement can't come soon enough, though. The NYPD is investigating him for the shooting of a hitman named Jack Deen, who was targeting Lucy Gates - a former police informant and Miles's ex-lover.

Miles thinks shooting hitmen counts as altruism, but in any case a murder charge would make life difficult. He's ready to go to ground, but then Nina Stone reappears in his life.

Nina is a fellow heist professional and the estranged wife of LA crime boss Charles Stone. Miles last saw her five years ago, when he was investigating her for bank robbery and looked the other way, for reasons he is still trying to figure out. Since then her life has grown more complicated: her husband wants her back, and he's dispatched his go-to gun thug to play repo man. 

Complicating matters is the fact that the gun thug in question is Bobby Deen, cousin of the dead Jack Deen - and Bobby wants vengeance.

The stakes couldn't be higher, but Nina has an offer that could be lucrative. Maybe Miles can stick around a while longer and get the big payoff he's been waiting for? But luck has a way of running out and soon Miles is in way over his head.

BOOK INFORMATION
Author
ISBN
9780473421878
Year of Publication
BLURB

Lizzie Quinn thinks she's tough. But when Lizzie is attacked in her local park, she realises just how vulnerable she is. She knows she has to get her confidence back. The thing is, she's scared of her own shadow these days.

Lizzie Q, why so blue?

Then she receives a letter in the mail, unsigned. Her stupid friends...or maybe her shortlived boyfriend? But they all deny it.

More letters arrive and Lizzie begins to think someone is watching her.

She has a stalker.

BOOK INFORMATION
Author
ISBN
B07BGXGB9S
Year of Publication
BLURB

Respectable appearances can hide the blackest of secrets. 

"The Vanishing Act" is a spicy tale of intrigue set in 1960s New Zealand, where society’s constraints and the laws of the day made outcasts of lesbians and prostitutes. 

Rosemary Cawley is used to hiding. With a penchant for beautiful women, such as gorgeous art tutor Judith Curran, the well-heeled fine arts lecturer knows she must keep the blinds drawn. After all, her love life led to her being banished from London to New Zealand by her ultra-conservative, upper-crust family. She thinks she has it all under control until someone starts to blackmail her, threatening to expose a shameful, dreadful episode in her past. 

General practitioner George Abercrombie and university registrar Alistair Dunstan are two old friends bedevilled by their greed for money and sex. Surreptitious photographs of women undressing, stolen money hidden in a floor safe – where will it end? In walks Rosemary. Will she be the undoing of them both, or will their unwanted attentions and intimidation drive her over the edge? 

When Dr Abercrombie is murdered, Inspector Maynard cranks up the heat. Will he solve the case, or will somebody crack first?

BOOK INFORMATION
Author
ISBN
9781760296834
Year of Publication
BLURB

I'm not running late like I usually am. Maybe that's why I look in the river, maybe that's why I stop when I see it. A dark-coloured raincoat, the arms spread wide, floating, hood-first down the river. 

And then it starts to rain.

Fifteen-year-old Annie needs to get to her basketball match, but the police have cordoned off her road. Is her neighbour, who she grew up with, still alive? What has he done to have the police after him? 

A murder investigation brings new people to Annie's wild West Coast town, including a dark-haired boy riding the most amazing horse she has ever seen. But Annie is wary of strangers, especially as her world is beginning to crumble around her. In setting out to discover the truth Annie uncovers secrets that could rip the small community apart.

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