Richard Osman dominates shortlists at 2021 CrimeFest Awards

Richard Osman dominates shortlists at 2021 CrimeFest Awards

Richard Osman’s bestselling debut The Thursday Murder Club (Viking) has dominated this year’s CrimeFest shortlists with other nominations including Robert Galbraith, Ian Rankin and Lucy Foley. 

The presenter-turned-author is featured on the £1,000 Specsavers Debut Crime Novel Award, the Last Laugh Award shortlist and the Audible Sounds of Crime Award alongside Galbraith, Rankin and Lynda La Plante. Voted by Audible subscribers, the shortlist also sees last year’s winner Lee Child return, with his brother Andrew, for The Sentinel (Transworld), read by Jeff Harding. 

The eDunnit Award, for best e-book, sees Ian Rankin, Michael Connelly and James Lee Burke up against Australian screenwriter and playwright Gabriel Bergmoser. 

The Best Crime Novel for Young Adults features Enola Holmes: The Case of the Missing Marquess (Hot Key Books) by Nancy Springer, which was released last year to coincide with the Netflix adaptation starring Millie Bobby Brown of "Stranger Things". The list also features multi-award-winning author Patrice Lawrence, who won the CrimeFest award in 2018 for Indigo Donut (Hodder Children's Books). Lawrence is in contention this year for Eight Pieces of Silva (Hodder Children's Books), described by organisers as "an addictive tale of a teenager’s hunt for her missing sister". 

Now in its 14th year, the awards honour the best crime books released in 2020 in the UK. 

The long-running festival postponed its 2020 and 2021 conventions, owing to Covid-19 restrictions. Hosted in Bristol, it is one of the biggest crime fiction events in Europe, with around 60 panel events featuring around 150 authors over four days. Organisers said that owing to the pandemic, the 2021 winners will be announced on its website and via its social media pages this summer. 

Adrian Muller, co-host of the festival, said: “CrimeFest usually takes place in May, and although we had to cancel our physical convention this year, it’s important to continue these awards. They’ve built up a strong reputation after so many years, and we are thankful to both Audible and to Specsavers for their ongoing support.” 

Laurence Howell, vice-president of content at Audible, described how audiobooks have flourished in lockdown, saying: “With the isolation and social distancing of the last year, audiobooks have been a great comfort to many because of the intimate, immersive nature of audiobooks. Crime and thriller audiobooks remain one of our bestselling genres, as perhaps more of us seek escapism and entertainment in these trying times."

All category winners will receive a Bristol Blue commemorative Glass Award.  

The shortlists in full: 

Specsavers Debut Crime Novel Award 

  • Eva Bjorg Aegisdottir for The Creak on the Stairs (Orenda Books) 
  • Marion Brunet for Summer of Reckoning (Bitter Lemon Press) 
  • Robin Morgan-Bentley for The Wreckage (Trapeze)  
  • Richard Osman for The Thursday Murder Club (Viking) 
  • Mara Timon for City of Spies (Zaffre) 
  • Trevor Wood for The Man on the Street (Quercus) 

Audible Sounds of Crime Award 

  • Lee and Andrew Child for The Sentinel read by Jeff Harding (Transworld) 
  • Lucy Foley for The Guest List read by Olivia Dowd, Aoife McMahon, Chloe Massey, Sarah Ovens, Rich Keeble and Jot Davies (HarperFiction) 
  • Robert Galbraith for Troubled Blood read by Robert Glenister (Little, Brown Book Group) 
  • Anthony Horowitz for Moonflower Murders read by Lesley Manville and Allan Corduner (Penguin Random House Audio) 
  • Peter James for Find Them Dead read by Daniel Weyman (Pan) 
  • Lisa Jewell for The Invisible Girl read by Rebekah Staton (Penguin Random House Audio) 
  • Lynda La Plante for Buried read by Alex Hassell and Annie Aldington (Zaffre) 
  • TM Logan for The Catch read by Philip Stevens (Zaffre) 
  • Richard Osman for The Thursday Murder Club read by Lesley Manville (Viking) 
  • Ian Rankin for A Song for the Dark Times read by James Macpherson (Orion) 

H R F Keating Award 

  • Mark Aldridge for Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Greatest Detective in the World (HarperCollins) 
  • Martin Edwards (editor) for Howdunit: A Masterclass in Crime Writing by Members of the Detection Club (Collins Crime Club) 
  • Colin Larkin for Cover Me: The Vintage Art of Pan Books: 1950-1965 (Telos Publishing) 
  • Andrew Lycett for Conan Doyle’s Wide World (Tauris Parke) 
  • Heather Martin for The Reacher Guy (Little, Brown Book Group) 
  • Sheila Mitchell for HRF Keating: A Life of Crime (Level Best Books) 
  • Craig Sisterson for Southern Cross Crime: The Pocket Essential Guide to the Crime Fiction, Film & TV of Australia and New Zealand (Oldcastle Books) 
  • Peter Temple for The Red Hand: Stories, Reflections and the Last Appearance of Jack Irish (riverrun) 

Last Laugh Award 

  • Ben Aaronovitch for False Value (Gollancz) 
  • Christopher Fowler for Bryant & May—Oranges and Lemons (Doubleday) 
  • Elly Griffiths for The Postscript Murders (Quercus) 
  • Carl Hiaasen for Squeeze Me (Little, Brown Book Group) 
  • Richard Osman for The Thursday Murder Club (Viking) 
  • Malcolm Pryce for The Corpse in the Garden of Perfect Brightness (Bloomsbury Publishing) 
  • Khurrum Rahman for Ride or Die (HQ) 
  • Olga Wojtas for Miss Blaine's Prefect and the Vampire Menace (Contraband) 

eDunnit Award 

  • Gabriel Bergmoser for The Hunted (Faber) 
  • Sharon Bolton for The Split (Trapeze)  
  • J P Carter for Little Boy Lost (Avon, HarperCollins) 
  • Steve Cavanagh for Fifty-Fifty (Orion Fiction) 
  • Michael Connelly for Fair Warning (Orion Fiction) 
  • James Lee Burke for A Private Cathedral (Orion Fiction) 
  • Ian Rankin for A Song for the Dark Times (Orion Fiction) 
  • Holly Watt for The Dead Line (Raven Books) 

Best Crime Novel for Children (ages 8-12) 

  • Sophie Deen for Mission Shark Bytes (Walker Books) 
  • Elly Griffiths for A Girl Called Justice—The Smugglers' Secret (Quercus Children's Books) 
  • Anthony Horowitz for Nightshade (Walker Books) 
  • Jack Noel for My Headteacher is an Evil Genius (Walker Books) 
  • Serena Patel for Anisha, Accidental Detective (Usborne Publishing) 
  • Serena Patel for School's Cancelled (Usborne Publishing) 
  • Onjali Q Rauf for The Night Bus Hero (Orion Children's Books) 
  • Dave Shelton for The Pencil Case (David Fickling Books) 

Best Crime Novel for Young Adults (ages 12-16) 

  • William Hussey for Hideous Beauty (Usborne Publishing) 
  • Lauren James for The Reckless Afterlife of Harriet Stoker (Walker Books) 
  • Matt Killeen for Devil Darling Spy (Usborne Publishing) 
  • Patrice Lawrence for Eight Pieces of Silva (Hodder Children's Books) 
  • Simon Lelic for Deadfall (Hodder Children's Books) 
  • Robert Muchamore for Hacking, Heists & Flaming Arrows (Hot Key Books) 
  • Patrick Ness for Burn (Walker Books) 
  • Nancy Springer for The Case of the Missing Marquess (Hot Key Books)