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Dark Deeds and Fresh Blood: 2022 Ngaio Marsh Award longlist revealed

Intrigue and betrayal in Renaissance Florence and 1930s Singapore, the ghostly voice of a ‘pretty dead girl’ in New York City, and a romp of a whodunnit fizzing through 1990s Auckland that took 25 years to write are among the ‘fresh blood’ in a diverse array of Kiwi storytellers named on the longlist for the 2022 Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Novel.

“A dozen years after we launched the Ngaio Marsh Awards to celebrate Kiwi crime, thriller, and mystery writing, it’s really gratifying to see how our local authors, experienced and new, continue to raise the bar and produce world-class stories,” says founder Craig Sisterson. “This year’s longlist is a terrific showcase of exciting and innovative storytelling, with our authors harnessing a diverse array of characters, settings, and styles, challenging tropes, and bringing fresh perspectives to a genre that’s thrilled readers globally for 150-plus years.”

The longlist for the 2022 Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Novel includes three past winners, several past finalists and longlistees, and five first-time entrants. “It was a really strong group of entrants this year, with many books our judges thoroughly enjoyed missing out,” says Sisterson. “Our local ‘yeahnoir’ scene keeps going from strength to strength. It’s high time more Kiwis realised that just like we accept and even expect our local sportspeople to compete at the highest levels on the world stage, likewise our authors – not just in crime and thriller writing, but across many genres and styles – are among the best in the world.” The Ngaio Marsh Awards have celebrated the best New Zealand crime, mystery, thriller, and suspense writing since 2010.

The longlist for this year’s Best Novel prize is:

• CITY OF VENGEANCE by DV Bishop (Macmillan)

• BEFORE YOU KNEW MY NAME by Jacqueline Bublitz (Allen & Unwin)

• THE QUIET PEOPLE by Paul Cleave (Upstart Press)

• TO THE SEA by Nikki Crutchley (HarperCollins)

• POLAROID NIGHTS by Lizzie Harwood (The Cuba Press)

• ISOBAR PRECINCT by Angelique Kasmara (The Cuba Press)

• NANCY BUSINESS by RWR McDonald (Allen & Unwin)

• SHE’S A KILLER by Kirsten McDougall (Te Herenga Waka University Press)


• THE DEVILS YOU KNOW by Ben Sanders (Allen & Unwin)

• QUIET IN HER BONES by Nalini Singh (Hachette)

• WAKING THE TIGER by Mark Wightman (Hobeck Books)

The longlist is currently being considered by an international judging panel of crime and thriller writing experts from the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. The finalists for both the Best Novel category and Best First Novel will be announced in early August. The finalists will be celebrated, and winners announced, as part of a special event at this year’s WORD Christchurch Festival, held from 31 August to 4 September 2022.


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