Theakstone Old Peculiar Crime Novel Award longlist announced today

The longlist for the Theakstone Old Peculiar Crime Novel of the Year has just been announced. There’s some fantastic books on the list and I’ve already read some of them, the rest need to be added to my tbr ASAP!

The longlist is:  (I’ve starred the ones I’ve read!)

–  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 Fiftyby 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)

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!”

Run by Harrogate International Festivals, the shortlist will be announced in June and the winner on 22 July, at the opening evening of the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival – with the public able to vote for the winner on

The award is run by Harrogate International Festivals sponsored by T&R Theakston Ltd, in partnership with WHSmith and the Express, and is open to full length crime novels published in paperback 1 May 2020 to 30 April 2021 by UK and Irish authors.

The longlist was selected by an academy of crime writing authors, agents, editors, reviewers, members of the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival Programming Committee, and representatives from T&R Theakston Ltd, the Express, and WHSmith.

The public are now invited to vote for a shortlist of six titles on, which will be announced inJune. The winner will be revealed on the opening night of Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, Thursday 22 July, and will receive £3,000, and a handmade, engraved beer barrel provided by Theakston Old Peculiar.

Have you read any of these books? Do you have a favourite? Let me know in the comments! 

books, thoughts

Theakston Old Peculiar Crime Novel of the Year Longlist – Thoughts

From the press release:

Now in its 16th year, the most coveted prize in crime fiction, presented by Harrogate International Festivals, received a record number of submissions and this highly anticipated longlist of 18 titles – 10 of which by women – represents crime writing at its best: celebrating four former winners, a Booker Prize contender, and the fresh new voices taking the genre by storm.

The full longlist for the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year 2020 is:

My Sister the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite (Atlantic Books)

Fallen Angel by Chris Brookmyre (Little, Brown Book Group, Abacus)

Nothing Important Happened Today by Will Carver (Orenda Books)

Cruel Acts by Jane Casey (HarperCollins, Harper Fiction)

Blue Moon by Lee Child (Transworld, Bantam)

The Long Call by Ann Cleeves (Pan Macmillan, Macmillan/Pan)

Red Snow by Will Dean (Oneworld, Point Blank)

Platform Seven by Louise Doughty (Faber & Faber)

Worst Case Scenario by Helen Fitzgerald (Orenda Books)

The Lost Man by Jane Harper (Little, Brown Book Group, Little, Brown)

Joe Country by Mick Herron (John Murray Press)

How the Dead Speak by Val McDermid (Little, Brown Book Group, Little, Brown)

The Chain by Adrian McKinty (Orion Publishing Group, Orion Fiction)

Conviction by Denise Mina (VINTAGE, Harvill Secker)

Smoke and Ashes by Abir Mukherjee (VINTAGE, Harvill Secker)

The Whisper Man by Alex North (Penguin Random House, Michael Joseph)

Blood & Sugar by Laura Shepherd-Robinson (Headline Publishing Group, Wildfire)

Blood Orange by Harriet Tyce (Pan Macmillan, Mantle/Pan)

I love crime fiction, some people find it gory or unsettling but give me a good murder or a mysterious disappearance any day. Whenever I don’t know what to read next I pick up a good thriller and I’m instantly hooked.

I blame this love of crime on my dad and the local library – I was in the adult section at 10 and the largest selection was the crime fiction shelves. My dad is a fan too and when he was home we watched things like CSI together.

The calibre of crime writing has just been getting better and better and the recent years have seen an explosion of excellent writing from a wide and diverse range of writers. For a genre fan like me, it’s been an excellent time .

The Theakston’s longlist is an example of the incredible range of books being published at the moment. I’ve read over half the list and every single one has been an incredible reading experience.

I don’t envy the judging panel at all, picking a winner from this list is not going to be easy.