Bloody Scotland today (20th June) revealed the longlist for the McIlvanney Prize Scottish Crime Book of the Year Award 2017, which will see crime-fiction heavyweights, Ian Rankin and Val McDermid, competing with debuts writers, Helen Fields, Claire MacLeary and Owen Mullen.
Queen of Crime McDermid is longlisted for her 30th novel
The longlist for the award, recognising excellence in Scottish crime writing, was chosen by an independent panel of readers and features six male and six female writers, from both small Scottish publishers and large London houses. The winner will receive £1,000 and nationwide promotion in Waterstones.
Queen of Crime McDermid is longlisted for her 30th novel, suspenseful thriller Out of Bounds (Little, Brown) and Chris Brookmyre is also in the running for his psychological thriller Want You Gone (Little, Brown).
Macmillan also has two authors longlisted – Ann Cleeves’ murder mystery Cold Earth featuring Shetland detective Jimmy Perez and Lin Anderson who is recognised for her 11th book in the Rhona MacLeod series, None But the Dead.
Rankin, who will be celebrating the 30th anniversary of his first John Rebus novel at RebusFest in Edinburgh, is longlisted for Rather Be the Devil (Orion).
Several new voices are also celebrated on this year’s longlist.
Helen Fields is down for Perfect Remains, the first in a new crime series set in Edinburgh, following French lead character Detective Inspector Luc Callanach, a former Interpol officer. Claire MacLeary meanwhile is longlisted for Cross Purpose (Contraband), a debut “combining police corruption, gangs and murder with a paean to friendship, loyalty and how women of a certain age can beat the odds”, and Owen Mullen for Games People Play (Bloodhound).
Former journalist Craig Robertson is in the running for Murderabilia (Simon and Schuster), Denise Mina for her CWA Endeavour Historical Dagger-longlisted book The Long Drop (Random House), and Craig Russell for his detective noir, set in 1950s Glasgow, The Quiet Death of Thomas Quaid (Quercus).
Rounding off the set is Jay Stringer with How To Kill Friends And Implicate People (Thomas & Mercer), in which one of the main characters is a hitman looking for love.
Bob McDevitt, director of Bloody Scotland, said: “In what is shaping up to be a record-breaking year at Bloody Scotland (we sold twice as many tickets on our first day as last year), I’m pleased to see so many of the highlights of the 2017 programme featured on this longlist. It’s also brilliant to see a few debut novels on there slugging it out with the more established names. I certainly don’t envy our judges the task of picking a winner from this excellent crop of crime novels.”
The winner will be announced at the opening reception at Stirling Castle on 8th September, followed by a torchlight procession – open to the public – led by longlisted author Rankin.
Last year the Scottish Crime Book of the Year Award was renamed the McIlvanney Prize in memory of William McIlvanney who, says Bloody Scotland, established the tradition of Scottish detective fiction.
Authors Ian Rankin, Val McDermid and Deborah Levy are among a roster of starry names made new Royal Society of Literature fellows for 2017, while Waterstones m.d. James Daunt, publisher Margaret Busby and Bloomsbury’s Alexandra Pringle are among those to be honoured with honorary fellowships.
The newly-elected fellows will be introduced at the Society’s Summer Party on Monday 19th June. While the RSL chair Lisa Appignanesi reads a citation for each fellow, they will be invited to sign their names in the roll book which dates back to the Society’s founding in 1820. New Fellows sign the RSL roll book using either T S Eliot’s fountain pen or Byron’s pen.
Outgoing RSL president Colin Thubron is due to speak on an aspect of literary life and incoming president Marina Warner will give her inaugural address.
Joining Rankin, McDermid and Levy as the new RSL Fellows for 2017 are Simon Schama, Artemis Cooper, Meera Syal, Satnam Sanghera, Patience Agbabi, Tahmima Anam, Kwame Anthony Appiah, Terence Blacker, Howard Brenton, Helen Castor, Richard Cohen, Rebecca Lenkiewicz and Daljit Nagra.
Honorary Fellowships are awarded to publishers, agents, booksellers and producers. New RSL Honorary Fellows for 2017 are Allison & Busby co-founder Margaret Busby, Waterstones m.d. and founder of Daunt Books James Daunt; writer and BBC radio producer Tim Dee; group editor-in-chief at Bloomsbury Alexandra Pringle; and editor of the London Review of Books, Mary-Kay Wilmers.
This year’s Benson Medallists for exceptional contribution to literature are Busby, Wilmers and Carmen Callil.
Following the presentations and president’s address there will be a celebration of literary anniversaries – including those of Jane Austen, Gwendolyn Brooks, Robert Lowell, A A Milne, Harry Potter, Jonathan Swift and Edward Thomas – read by students and alumni of the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.
The RSL will be hosting the evening on Monday 19th June at the Bloomsbury Hotel 16-22 Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3NN at 6pm.
Val McDermid, Christopher Brookmyre, Denise Mina and Stuart MacBride will feature in crime festival Bloody Scotland’s first ever book of fiction, which will be launched at Stirling Castle on the opening night of the International Crime Writing Festival (8th September).
Published in partnership with Historic Environment Scotland, Bloody Scotland will see a selection of Scotland’s crime writers use the “sinister side” of the country’s heritage in a series of “gripping, chilling and redemptive” stories. Contributors include Val McDermid, Christopher Brookmyre, Denise Mina, Ann Cleeves, Louise Welsh, Lin Anderson, Gordon Brown, Doug Johnstone, Craig Robertson, E S Thomson, Sara Sheridan and Stuart MacBride. They each explore the “thrilling potential” of Scotland’s “iconic” sites and structures, uncovering “intimate and deadly” connections between people and places.
… a series of “gripping, chilling and redemptive” stories
The stories include a murder in an ancient broch, a macabre tale of revenge among the clamour of an eighteenth century mill, a dark psychological thriller set within the tourist throng of Edinburgh Castle and an ‘urbex’ rivalry turning fatal in the concrete galleries of an abandoned modernist ruin.
James Crawford, publisher of Historic Environment Scotland, said that the book will bring together two of Scotland’s “greatest assets” – its heritage and its crime writing. “So much of our special storytelling culture has come from authors taking inspiration from our unique buildings and landscapes”, he said. “We wanted to explore this head on, challenging 12 of our top crime writers to set their stories in and around Scotland’s most iconic sites and structures. The results are sensational, and are already creating a buzz internationally ahead of publication.”