Four Scots nominated for prestigious crime novel award

Doug Johnstone, Val McDermid, Abir Mukherjee and Ian Rankin have all been nominated for the top prize.

Four Scots nominated for prestigious crime novel award Harrogate International Festivals
Award: Four Scots in running for top book prize.

Four Scots have made the longlist for the UK and Ireland’s most prestigious crime novel award.

The Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year, now in its 17th year, is the most coveted prize in crime fiction.

Scots Doug Johnstone, Val McDermid, Abir Mukherjee and Ian Rankin have all been nominated for this year’s prize.

Presented by Harrogate International Festivals which celebrates crime writing at its best, this year’s longlist transports readers around the world from California to Sweden and Calcutta to a remote Irish island and explores every subgenre from Scandi noir to murderous families.

The line-up of returning champions is led by crime fiction titan Ian Rankin, who has received a nod for his A Song for The Dark Times, Mark Billingham, hoping for a third win with Cry Baby, and Steve Cavanagh looking to beat the competition with Fifty Fifty.

This year’s longlist recognises a number of authors who have previously never been listed by the prize, including Lucy Foley with her No.1 Sunday Times Best Seller The Guest List, Chris Whitaker with We Begin at The End, Doug Johnstone with The Big Chill, Liz Nugent with Our Little Cruelties, and Jane Casey with her latest Maeve Kerrigan instalment The Cutting Place.

The longlist also features several previously nominated authors including Elly Griffiths, who has  securing her seventh pick for The Lantern Men, Susie Steiner who has received her third nod for Remain Silent, Brian McGilloway’s second nomination for The Last Crossing, and Louise Candlish’s second pick with The Other Passenger.

Val McDermid has also been nominated for her latest Karen Pirie novel Still Life, alongside Will Dean for Scandi noir Black River; Eva Dolan for the newest instalment of her critically-acclaimed Zigic and Ferreira series, Abir Mukherjee’s new Calcutta and Assam-inspired Death in the East, and Trevor Wood – who has gone from the 2020 New Blood panel to longlisted for Crime’s biggest award – with The Man on the Street. 

Executive director of T&R Theakston, Simon Theakston, said: “The way the global obsession with the crime genre continues to grow year on year is simply astonishing and this year’s longlist proves the remarkable talent on offer in crime writing – from legends of the craft to eager-eyed newcomers. 

“The shortlist is already too close to call so we encourage all to get voting! A hearty toast of Old Peculier to all longlisted authors for this coveted award – and we look forward to what we know will be a fiercely fought competition!”

The shortlist will be announced in June, with the public able to vote for the winner on the award’s website.

The winner will then be announced on July 22, at the opening evening of the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival.

The full longlist for the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year 2021 is:

–          Cry Baby by Mark Billingham (Little, Brown Book Group, Sphere)

–          The Other Passenger by Louise Candlish (Simon & Schuster)

–          The Cutting Place by Jane Casey (HarperCollins, HarperFiction)

–          Fifty Fifty by Steve Cavanagh (The Orion Publishing Group, Orion Fiction)

–          Black River by Will Dean (Oneworld Publications, Point Blank)

–          Between Two Evils by Eva Dolan (Bloomsbury Publishing, Raven Books)

–          The Guest List by Lucy Foley (HarperCollins, HarperFiction)

–          The Lantern Men by Elly Griffiths (Quercus, Quercus Fiction)

–          The Big Chill by Doug Johnstone (Orenda Books)

–          Three Hours by Rosamund Lupton (Penguin Random House UK, Viking)

–          Still Life by Val McDermid (Little, Brown Book Group, Sphere)

–          The Last Crossing by Brian McGilloway (Little, Brown Book Group, Constable)

–          Death in the East by Abir Mukherjee (VINTAGE, Harvill Secker)

–          Our Little Cruelties by Liz Nugent (Penguin, Sandycove)

–          A Song For The Dark Times by Ian Rankin (Orion, Orion Fiction)

–          Remain Silent by Susie Steiner (HarperCollins Publishers, The Borough Press)

–          We Begin At The End by Chris Whitaker (Bonnier Books UK, Zaffre)

–          The Man on the Street by Trevor Wood (Quercus, Quercus Fiction)