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2021 Ngaio Marsh Awards finalists announced

2021 Ngaio Marsh Awards finalists announced

The finalists of the 2021 Ngaio Marsh Awards have been announced today. The awards celebrate the best mystery, thriller, crime and suspense writing in New Zealand across four categories.

The best writing is recognised across the following four categories: best YA/Kids Book, best Non-Fiction, best First Novel and best Novel.

Now in its 12th season, the awards highlight the importance of the crime writing genre, with Ngaio Marsh Awards founder Craig Sisterson saying, “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.” 

The finalists of this year’s awards have demonstrated their excellence in the crime genre through exploring a wide range of criminal justice issues facing Aotearoa.

The winners will be announced via a live streaming event held in association with WORD Christchurch on Saturday 30 October.

Watch this year's video presentation below:


Check out the 2021 finalists now:


Katipo Joe, Brian Falkner (Scholastic) 

Red Edge, Des Hunt (Scholastic) 

A Trio of Sophies, Eileen Merriman (Penguin) 

Deadhead, Glenn Wood (One Tree House) 



Weed: A New Zealand Story, James Borrowdale (Penguin) 

Rock College: An Unofficial History of Mount Eden Prison, Mark Derby (Massey University Press) 

From Dog Collar to Dog Collar, Bruce Howat (Rangitawa Publishing) 

Gangland: New Zealand’s Underworld of Organised Crime, Jared Savage (HarperCollins)  

Black Hands: Inside the Bain Family Murders, Martin van Beynen (Penguin)  



The Girl in the Mirror, Rose Carlyle (Allen & Unwin) 

The Beautiful Dead, Kim Hunt (Bloodhound Books) 

Where the Truth Lies, Karina Kilmore (Simon & Schuster) 

For Reasons of their Own, Chris Stuart (Original Sin Press) 

While the Fantail Lives, Alan Titchall (Devon Media) 



The Murder Club, Nikki Crutchley (Oak House Press)  

Sprigs, Brannavan Gnanalingam (Lawrence & Gibson) 

The Tally Stick, Carl Nixon (Penguin) 

The Secrets of Strangers, Charity Norman (Allen & Unwin) 

Tell Me Lies, JP Pomare (Hachette)