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Old Peculier

Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year 2024 Shortlist Announced

13 June 2024

The shortlist for the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year and the inaugeral McDermid Debut Award have been announced. The Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year award is for the best crime novel published in paperback in the previous year and is voted for by an academy and the public and the McDermid Debut Award honours Val McDermid, who helped co-found the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in 2003, and aims to continue her legacy, celebrating and platforming the best debut crime writers in the UK. Both will be presented at the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival.

More information about Ulverscroft's shortllisted titles are below.

The Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Shortlist
The Last Dance by Mark Billingham
Published in CD and MP3 CD audiobook and uLibrary eAudiobook in June 2023.
He's a detective, a dancer, he has no respect for authority - and he's the best hope Blackpool has for keeping criminals off the streets. Meet Detective Declan Miller. A double murder in a seaside hotel sees a grieving Miller return to work to solve what appears to be a case of mistaken identity. Just why were two completely unconnected men taken out? Despite a somewhat dubious relationship with both reality and his new partner, can the eccentric, offbeat Miller find answers where his colleagues have found only an impossible puzzle?

In The Blink Of An Eye by Jo Callaghan
Published in large print in August 2023.
In the UK, someone is reported missing every 90 seconds. Just gone. Vanished. In the blink of an eye. DCS Kat Frank knows all about loss. A widowed single mother, Kat is a cop who trusts her instincts. Picked to lead a pilot programme that has her paired with AIDE Lock - an AI detective - Kat's instincts collide against Lock's logic. But when the two missing persons cold cases they are reviewing suddenly become active, Lock is the only one who can help Kat when the case gets personal.

The Secret Hours by Mick Herron
Published in Large Print in December 2023, CD and MP3 CD audiobook and uLibrary eAudiobook in November 2023.
Two years ago, the Monochrome inquiry was set up to investigate the British secret service. Monochrome's mission was to ferret out misconduct, allowing civil servants Griselda Fleet and Malcolm Kyle unfettered access to confidential information in the service archives. But with progress blocked at every turn, Monochrome is circling the drain...until the OTIS file appears out of nowhere. What classified secrets does OTIS hold that see a long-redundant spy being chased through Devon's green lanes in the dark? What happened in a newly reunified Berlin that someone is desperate to keep under wraps? And who will win the battle for the soul of the secret service - or was that decided a long time ago? Spies and pen-pushers, politicians and PAs, high-flyers, time-servers and burn-outs - they all have jobs to do in the daylight. But what they do in the secret hours reveals who they really are...

None Of This Is True by Lisa Jewell
Published in Large Print in August 2023.
Celebrating her 45th birthday at her local pub, podcaster Alix Summer crosses paths with an unassuming woman called Josie Fair. Josie is also celebrating her 45th birthday. They are, in fact, birthday twins. A few days later, Alix and Josie bump into each other again, this time outside Alix's children's school. Josie has been listening to Alix's podcasts and thinks she might be an interesting subject for the series. She is, she says, on the cusp of great changes in her life. Alix agrees to a trial interview. Josie's life appears to be strange and complicated, and although Alix finds her unsettling, she can't quite resist the temptation to keep digging. Slowly, Alix starts to realise that Josie has been hiding some very dark secrets. Before she knows it, Josie has inveigled her way into Alix's life - and into her home...

Strange Sally Diamond by Liz Nugent
Published in CD and MP3 CD audiobook in June 2023.
Sally Diamond cannot understand why what she did was so strange. She was only doing what her father told her to do, to put him out with the rubbish when he died. Now Sally is the centre of attention, not only from the hungry media and worried police, but also a sinister voice from a past she has no memory of. As she begins to discover the horrors of her childhood, recluse Sally steps into the world for the first time, making new friends, finding independence, and learning that people don't always mean what they say. But when messages start arriving from a stranger who knows far more about her past than she knows herself, Sally's life will be thrown into chaos once again...

The McDermid Debut Award Shortlist
Crow Moon by Suzy Aspley
Published in Large Print in June 2024, and CDMP3 CD audiobook and uLibrary eAudiobook in April 2024.
Strathbran, Scotland. A village steeped in folklore and impenetrable mists and a horrifying mystery...

Martha Strangeways is struggling to find purpose in her life, after giving up her career as an investigative reporter when her young twins died in a house fire. Overwhelmed by guilt and grief, her life changes when she stumbles across the body of a missing teenager - a tragedy that turns even more sinister when a poem about crows is discovered inked onto his back...

When another teenager goes missing in the remote landscape, Martha is drawn into the investigation, teaming up with DI Derek Summers, as malevolent rumours begin to spread and paranoia grows.

As darkness descends on the village of Strathbran, it soon becomes clear that no one is safe, including Martha...


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