The world-famed Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) has announced the shortlist for its Margery Allingham Short Mystery Prize.
The competition celebrates the classic mystery story, and entries had to adhere to Allingham’s definition of a mystery. The great Golden Age author summed it up as: “The Mystery remains box-shaped, at once a prison and a refuge. Its four walls are, roughly, a Crime, a Mystery, an Enquiry and a Conclusion with an Element of Satisfaction in it.”
Margery Allingham Shortlist 2021:
Antony M Brown For Laura Hope
Chris Curran All the Little Boxes
Camilla Macpherson Heartbridge Homicides
Hazell Ward As Dead as Dodo
Antony M Brown, who lives in Eastleigh, is the author of the Cold Case Jury Collection (Mirror Books) – true crime mysteries in which readers can deliver their verdicts online at coldcasejury.com. He has appeared numerous times on radio and television talking about true crime and crime writing, including The Porthole Mystery, the BBC News Channel documentary based on his second book.
Chris Curran lives in St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex. Her first novel, Mindsight set in Hastings, is a psychological thriller. It was chosen as the lead title for Harper Collins’ new digital first imprint at Killer Reads. Subsequent books include Her Turn to Cry, All the Little Lies and Her Deadly Secret. She also writes under the name Abbie Frost (The Guest House).
Camilla Macpherson lives in The Hague in the Netherlands. Her debut novel, Pictures at an Exhibition, which revolves around the National Gallery during the Second World War, was published by Random House in 2012 and translated into Dutch, German and Polish. Camilla is currently working on a detective story set in the Netherlands in 1940. She has won a number of awards for her short stories and travel writing.
After completing an MA in 2019, Hazell Ward is now working for a PhD by Practice in Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University, part of which involves writing a crime novel. It also allows her to read detective novels, and call it ‘work’. Although she has had success in a number of general fiction competitions, this is the first crime writing competition she has entered. Hazell is also a freelance writer and teacher. She lives in North Wales.
The Margery Allingham Society, set up to honour and promote the writings of the great Golden Age author whose most well-known hero is Albert Campion, works with the CWA to operate and fund the writing competition. One of the UK’s most prominent organisations for the support and promotion of crime writing, the CWA was founded in 1953. Each year the competition attracts many entries from the UK and overseas.
Dea Parkin, Secretary of the CWA, said: “We are in awe of the quality and number of entries we received this year. We’ve witnessed a huge resurrection in the popularity of mystery stories in the pandemic, thanks in part to the popularity of Richard Osman’s The Thursday Murder Club and authors like Robert Thorogood who created the popular BBC murder mystery series, Death in Paradise. This short story competition is a fantastic way of building a writer’s craft, and profile, in the mystery genre.”
The winner will be announced later this year and will receive £500 and two passes for the international crime writing convention CrimeFest in 2022. The renowned competition also brings attention and prestige for both established and aspiring authors.