Elly Griffiths, author behind the Ruth Galloway series, has topped this year's Dead Good Reader Awards shortlists by securing a total three nominations, while crime writers Ruth Ware, Clare Mackintosh, Tony Kent and Teresa Driscoll follow close behind with two nods apiece. Voted on by the Dead Good crime community, the awards recognise household names and newcomers alike, from Lee Child and Sarah Hilary to C J Tudor and Stuart Turton.
Altogether 24 authors have been shortlisted across six categories, which celebrate among other things detective duos, small town mysteries and Dead Good's most recommended read.
Quercus author Griffiths is in the running for three different awards: The Holmes and Watson Award for Best Detective Duo, The Wringer Award for the Character Who’s Been Put Through It All and The Dead Good Recommends Award for Most Recommended Book.
Her characters Ruth Galloway and Harry Nelson were voted "best detective duo" alongside Christopher Fowler's Bryant and May (Bantam), Tess Gerritsen's Rizzoli and Isles (also Bantam), Sarah Hilary's Marnie Rome and Noah Jake (Headline), Syd Moore's Rosie Strange and Sam Stone (Point Blank) and P J Tracy's Gino and Magozzi (Michael Joseph).
Character favourites the Dead Good community sympathised with for having "gone through it all" included, alongside Ruth Galloway again, Lee Child's Jack Reacher (Bantam), Nicci French's Frieda Klein (Michael Joseph), Patricia Gibney's Lottie Parker (Bookouture), – Tony Kent's Michael Devlin (Point Blank) and Tim Weaver's David Raker (Michael Joseph).
Books containing the "most dysfunctional families" meanwhile were thought to be Little Sister by Isabel Ashdown (Trapeze), Blood Sisters by Jane Corry (Penguin), Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell (Arrow), Good Me, Bad Me by Ali Land (Michael Joseph), Let Me Lie by Clare Mackintosh (Sphere) and The Good Samaritan by John Marrs (Thomas & Mercer).
In contention for The Whodunnit Award for the Book That Keeps You Guessing, Amazon Publishing have two titles in the mix from its Thomas & Mercer imprint, I Am Watching You by Teresa Driscoll (Thomas & Mercer) and The Lucky Ones by Mark Edwards (Thomas & Mercer), which go head to head with Let Me Lie by Clare Mackintosh (Sphere), Skin Deep by Liz Nugent (Penguin), The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stu Turton (Bloomsbury Raven) and The Lying Game by Ruth Ware (Vintage).
CJ Tudor's debut The Chalk Man, won by Michael Joseph in a nine-way auction, makes an appearance on the shortlist for The Cabot Cove Award for Best Small Town Mystery. It competes against The Dry by Jane Harper (Abacus), winner of the Fiction: Crime & Thriller category at 2018's Nibbies, as well as A Murder to Die For by Stevyn Colgan (Unbound), Dark Pines by Will Dean (Point Blank), The Devil’s Claw by Lara Dearman (Trapeze) and Hell in a Handbasket by Denise Grover Swank (Independent).
Vying for the title of Most Recommended Book are I Am Watching You by Teresa Driscoll (Thomas & Mercer), The Dark Angel by Elly Griffiths (Quercus), Killer Intent by Tony Kent (Point Blank), Anything You Do Say by Gillian McAllister (Michael Joseph), The Fear by C L Taylor (Avon) and The Lying Game by Ruth Ware (Vintage).
Readers can now vote for the winners via the Dead Good website, with the winner being announced as part of the Theakston Old Peculiar Crime Writing Festival on Friday 20th July.