one of Europe’s leading crime fiction conventions, has announced the winners of
its annual awards.
in their 16th year, the awards honour the best crime books released in the UK
winner of the highly anticipated Specsavers Debut Crime Novel Award, and
£1,000 prize monies, is Stacy Willingham for
A Flicker in the Dark published
psychological serial killer thriller with a shocking twist,
Flicker in the Dark was an instant New York Times bestseller
and Sunday Times Thriller of the Year and is set to be adapted into a
major TV series.
Mary Perkins, co-founder of Specsavers who sponsors the
award, said: “We’re thrilled to support the debut author prize. As one of the
judges, I thoroughly enjoyed reading all the shortlisted titles. Stacy
Willingham’s debut, however, was a book I simply couldn’t put down until I had
eDunnit Award for the best e-book goes to Sara
The Book of the
Most Precious Substance, published by Faber & Faber. The absorbing
occult thriller combining intrigue, magic and antiquarian bookselling was
praised as “deeply atmospheric” by The Guardian.
of the H.R.F Keating Award for best biographical or critical book on
crime fiction is The Life of Crime: Detecting the History of
Mysteries and their Creators by Martin
Edwards, published by Collins Crime Club. Edward’s opus on the
genre, described by the New York Times as a “impressive feat,”
recently won a 2023 Edgar Award.
Last Laugh Award goes posthumously to Christopher Fowler for Bryant
& May’s Peculiar London published by Doubleday. The author
died aged 69 in March this year, having being diagnosed with cancer three years
ago. His curious world of the nation’s oldest serving detectives, has been
described as “deliriously eccentric” in the Financial Times, and
“devilishly clever” by Val McDermid.
Crime Novel for Children, aged 8-12, goes to
Sharna Jackson for The
Good Turn published by Puffin. With themes of social activism, the
spooky mystery from the former Waterstones Children’s Book Prize Category
Winner revolves around an internet-loving girl determined to start her own
Crime Novel for Young Adults, aged 12-16, is awarded to Holly Jackson for Five
Survive published by Electric Monkey. A gripping cat-and-mouse
thriller, it was The Guardian Best Children’s Book of 2022.
Thalia Proctor Memorial Award for Best Adapted TV Crime Drama
goes to Slow Horses (seasons 1 & 2), based on the
books by Mick Herron. Produced by
See-Saw, shown on Apple TV+, the drama, which follows a dysfunctional and
disgraced team of MI5 agents, stars Gary Oldman.
award is named in honour of Thalia, a CrimeFest team member and a much-loved
figure in the world of crime fiction and is decided by public vote.
Muller, Co-host of CRIMEFEST, said: “We are proud to be one
of the few genre awards that celebrate e-books, humour, children, and Young
Adult novels. Our inclusive awards reflect the values of our convention as
accessible and open to all. These awards are a true celebration of the crime
genre, which continues to entertain and enlighten so many readers of all ages.
We would like to thank Specsavers for their on-going support in celebrating new
in Bristol, CrimeFest is one of the biggest crime fiction events in Europe, and
one of the most popular dates in the international crime fiction calendar, with
circa 60 panel events and 150 authors over four days. Featured Guests at the
convention this May are Mark Billingham and Elly Griffiths.
British crime fiction reviewers and reviewers of fiction for children and young
adults, alongside the members of the School Library Association (SLA) form
the CrimeFest judging panels.
was created following the hugely successful one-off visit to Bristol in 2006 of
the American Left Coast Crime convention. It was established in 2008. It
follows the egalitarian format of most US conventions, making it open to fans,
readers, and commercially published authors.
category winners will receive a Bristol Blue Glass commemorative award.
CrimeFest Award Winners
DEBUT CRIME NOVEL AWARD
Stacy Willingham for A Flicker in the Dark (HarperCollins)
Sara Gran for The Book of the Most Precious Substance (Faber &
Martin Edwards for The Life of Crime: Detecting the History of Mysteries
and their Creators (Collins Crime Club)
Christopher Fowler for Bryant & May’s Peculiar London (Doubleday)
CRIME FICTION NOVEL FOR CHILDREN
Sharna Jackson for The Good Turn (Puffin)
CRIME FICTION NOVEL FOR YOUNG ADULTS
Holly Jackson for Five Survive (Electric Monkey)
PROCTOR MEMORIAL AWARD FOR BEST ADAPTED TV CRIME DRAMA
Horses (seasons 1 & 2), based on the books by Mick Herron.
See-Saw. Shown on Apple TV+.