The Crime Writers Association has unveiled its shortlist for the 2012 Ellis Peters Historical Dagger award. Two novels set in the Tudor-era, The Crown by Nancy Bilyeau, and Sacrilege by SJ Parris, are among the six books in the running for the prize.
The Ellis Peters Historical Dagger is given out in the United Kingdom for the best historical crime novel, specifically one in which the commission, investigation and solution of a crime is the central theme. It is one of several awards given out the the Crime Writers Association. Peter James, Chair of the association, said “The Crime Writers’ Association Daggers are the most coveted of all awards in the UK crime writing calendar and this year’s shortlist entries have all been of an exceptionally high standard. I’m delighted to see that the world of quality crime writing is thriving in our new electronic age.”
In The Crown, which is the debut novel by Nancy Bilyeau, an aristocratic young nun must find a legendary crown in order to save her father’s life and preserve all she holds dear during the reign of Henry VIII. The judges panel stated that this book is “a treasure hunt, a murder story and a conspiracy thriller, this Tudor tale is the year’s most impressive debut. The pace never lets up in this story of great humanity in an inhumane period of our history, with an exceptional heroine.”
SJ Parris’ novel Sacrilege is set in 1584, when there are fear that Queen Elizabeth I will be assassinated. Giordano Bruno, radical philosopher and spy, is in London at this time, and becomes embroiled in a murder that draws him into the heart of a sinister conspiracy hiding in the shadow of England’s holiest shrine. “This is the third book to feature the real-life sixteenth-century monk Giordano Bruno as sleuth, and the character is becoming even more complex and interesting,” said the judges. “England’s future is at stake as Bruno investigates the disappearance of the corpse of St Thomas Becket in a pacy, well-written adventure.”
Other books on the shortlist include: I Will Have Vengeance by Maurizio de Giovanni; Bitter Water by Gordon Ferris; Prague Fatale by Philip Kerr; Icelight by Aly Monroe; and A Willing Victim by Laura Wilson. Click here for more information about the shortlist.