Money in the Morgue by Ngaio Marsh and Stella Duffy (HarperCollins) is among the crime writers shortlisted for more than one prize at this year’s Dagger awards, run by the Crime Writers’ Association (CWA).
One of the so-called Queens of Crime alongside Agatha Christie, Dame Ngaio Marsh is no longer as widely remembered as the creator of iconic characters like Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple.
But the Christchurch-born author – who produced 32 bestsellers starring Metropolitan Police detective Chief Inspector Roderick Alleyn – is now enjoying a new lease of life with the publication of a new novel, Money in the Morgue. Based on an unfinished manuscript, the book has been completed by London-based Kiwi, Stella Duffy.
Born in London but raised in Tokoroa, Duffy also drew on her own youth, growing up with many Māori and Polynesian friends.
“I wanted those bits to be as truthful as possible in the hope that people will not just see this book as something set in aspic during the Second World War,” she says. “Maybe it will take people back to her other books, and maybe it will get them interested in New Zealand writing and New Zealand/Aotearoa now.”
The Crime Writers’ Association Daggers awards were started in 1955 and are now awarded in 10 categories.
Other big names on the shortlists include Lee Child, who is shortlisted for the CWA Short Story Dagger with ‘Second Son’, published in No Middle Name: The Complete Collected Jack Reacher Stories (Bantam Press), and Henning Mankell, whose novel After the Fire (Harvill Secker), translated by Marlaine Delargy, is up for the Historical Dagger.
The winners will be announced at a reception at Daunt Books, Cheapside, London, on Wednesday 25 July. As previously announced, Michael Connelly will be given the Diamond Dagger, for his outstanding contribution to crime fiction, as nominated by CWA members.
Read more about the story behind Duffy’s adaptation of Marsh’s works here.