Child, Watt and Shepherd-Robinson take Crimefest awards

Child, Watt and Shepherd-Robinson take Crimefest awards

Lee Child, Holly Watt, and Laura Shepherd-Robinson are among this year's winners of the 2020 Crimefest awards.

Shepherd-Robinson has won the inaugural Specsavers Debut Crime Novel Award (£1,000) for Blood & Sugar (Mantle)in a new category in association with the convention’s headline sponsor.

She said: “I’m so thrilled to have won this prize, I can’t really believe it. Thank you so much to Crimefest and to Specsavers, and also to my amazing editor Maria Rejt and my agent Antony Topping, but most of all thank you to all the people who have read Blood & Sugar.

Lee Child and Jeff Harding, who read Child’s audiobook Blue Moon (Penguin Audio), also receive £1,000 for winning the Audible Sounds of Crime Award, sponsored by Audible UK.

Child said: “Thank you so much for this, to Crimefest obviously, but also to Jeff Harding most of all, my amazing narrator. He won this for me, thanks Jeff. I hope to see everyone soon in person and at a proper convention.”

In other categories, Holly Watt received the eDunnit Award for To the Lions (Raven Books), which won the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger in 2019. Helen FitzGerald received the Last Laugh Award for her psychological thriller Worst Case Scenario (Orenda). 

The H R F Keating Award for the best biographical or critical book related to crime fiction went to John Curran for The Hooded Gunman (Collins Crime Club), a celebration of the 2,000 books published by the Collins Crime Club imprint.

Best Crime Novel for Young Adults went to Kathryn Evans for Beauty Sleep (Usborne). Evans' debut, More of Me (also Usborne)won the Edinburgh International Book Festival First Book Award and was the first Young Adult novel to do so.

The winner of the award for Best Crime Fiction Novel for Children was Thomas Taylor for Malamander (Walker Books), a "quirky fantasy" with a cast of characters in pursuit of a sea monster.  All the winners were judged by a panel of leading British crime writers, and each will receive an engraved, hand-made Bristol Blue Glass Award.

Adrian Muller, co-host of Crimefest said: “Nothing can beat authors, readers and the crime writing industry gathering in person to celebrate the best of the genre. However, having appeared with Agatha Raisin co-star Ashley Jensen at last year’s Crimefest we were delighted that Matt McCooey returned to host our virtual ceremony. I’d like to thank our partners and sponsors, Free@Last TV, the production company behind the hit television series for producing our online awards presentation, and congratulate all worthy winners.”

The awards were due to be presented at a gala dinner during the convention at the Mercure Bristol Grand Hotel this June. In light of Covid-19, the winners were announced online and via social media.