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'Deadhead' by Glenn Wood Finalists for the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best YA/Kids Book

Now in their twelfth season, the Ngaio Marsh Awards celebrate excellence in mystery, thriller, crime, and suspense writing from New Zealand storytellers.

This year, a special award honouring outstanding YA and children’s books has also been introduced. The finalists for the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best YA/Kids Book are:

  • DEADHEAD by Glenn Wood

  • KATIPO JOE by Brian Falkner

  • RED EDGE by Des Hunt

  • A TRIO OF SOPHIES by Eileen Merriman

“Many of us develop our love for reading, and all the benefits that brings throughout our lives, thanks to children’s authors,” says Ngaio Marsh Awards founder Craig Sisterson. “We’re delighted to now celebrate some of our best local exponents of kids’ mysteries and thrillers with a special award.”

“In a tough year for so many, including our entrants and international judges who’ve been living through a variety of rāhui and lockdowns, I’m grateful we can take this moment to celebrate some of our talented Kiwi authors whose compelling books give us insight into other lives and explore some big issues,” says Sisterson.

“As people smarter than me have said, including Val McDermid and Dennis Lehane, if you want to better understand a place, read its crime fiction,” says Sisterson. “Crime writing in its wider sense can deliver plenty of deep insights alongside rollicking entertainment, and is an ideal form for delving into character and the whydunnit, as well as broader societal issues.”

“It’s a strong group of finalists to emerge from a dazzlingly varied field,” says Sisterson. “This year’s entrants gave our international judging panels lots to chew over, and plenty of books judges enjoyed and admired didn’t become finalists. ‘Yeahnoir’, our local spin on some of the world’s most popular storytelling forms, is certainly in fine health.”

The winners of the 2021 Ngaio Marsh Awards will be announced at a special streaming event on Saturday 30 October, held in association with WORD Christchurch.

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