Two authors who returned to crime writing after more than a decade away have today been named among an eclectic longlist for the 2018 Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Novel.

“We shattered our record for entries in the Ngaio Marsh Awards this year, with 69 different books entered across our two fiction categories” says founder Craig Sisterson. “Along with a surge in first-time Kiwi authors choosing to write tales of crime, mystery and suspense – more than fifty new voices in the past three years - it’s been great to see more experienced local authors veering to the darker side as well as past crime writers returning to the fold.”

This year’s longlist for the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Novel includes a mix of new and experienced voices, several authors who’ve won and been shortlisted for a variety of awards in several countries, and writers ranging in age from early 20s to early 80s.

“It’s a really eclectic mix of tales on this year’s longlist,” says Sisterson. “Exhibits A-E, we have the return of Edmund Bohan’s nineteenth century detective Inspector O’Rorke after a fifteen-year absence, Stella Duffy’s first crime novel in more than a decade, a stunning debut from an ex-undercover cop, and two tales that impressed the Ockhams judges.”

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 full gamut, from detective fiction to gothic suspense to psychological thrillers to historical mysteries and magic realism.

The longlist for the 2018 Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Novel is:

  • MARLBOROUGH MAN by Alan Carter (Fremantle Press)

  • BABY by Annaleese Jochems (VUP)

  • SEE YOU IN SEPTEMBER by Charity Norman (Allen & Unwin)

  • THE LOST TAONGA by Edmund Bohan (Lucano)


  • THE ONLY SECRET LEFT TO KEEP by Katherine Hayton

  • TESS by Kirsten McDougall (VUP)

  • THE SOUND OF HER VOICE by Nathan Blackell (Mary Egan Publishing)

  • A KILLER HARVEST by Paul Cleave (Upstart Press)

  • THE HIDDEN ROOM by Stella Duffy (Virago)


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 in July, along with the finalists for the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best First Novel. The finalists will be celebrated, and the winners announced as part of a special event at the WORD Christchurch Festival, held from 29 August to 2 September.


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

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Submitted by Karen on Wed, 23/05/2018 - 08:57 pm