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Ngaio Marsh Award
or Ngaio Marsh Award for New Zealand Crime Fiction
Subcategory of Awards International Awards
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2020 winner (Best First Novel) y separately published work icon The Nancys Rob McDonald , Crows Nest : Allen and Unwin , 2019 15785591 2019 single work novel

'Tippy Chan is eleven and lives in a small town in a very quiet part of the world—the place her Uncle Pike escaped from the first chance he got as a teenager. Now Pike is back with his new boyfriend to look after Tippy while her mum's on a cruise. Tippy is in love with her uncle's old Nancy Drew books, especially the early ones where Nancy was sixteen and did whatever she wanted. She wants to be Nancy and is desperate to solve a real mystery. When her teacher's body is found beside Riverstone's only traffic light, Tippy's moment has arrived. She and her minders form The Nancys, a secret amateur detective club.

'A wrongful arrest, a close call with the murderer and an intervention from Tippy's mum all conspire against The Nancys. But regardless of their own safety, and despite the constant distraction of questionable fashion choices in the town that style forgot, The Nancys know only they can stop the killer from striking again. A gripping and glorious, heart-warming novel for anyone who's ever felt they were on the outside looking in. At its heart, The Nancys is about the family we make and how we must summon the courage to face the truth, no matter what the cost may be.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

2019 winner Best First Novel y separately published work icon Call Me Evie Joshua Pomare , Sydney : Hachette Australia , 2019 14510835 2019 single work novel thriller

"Don't trust him. It wasn't me.

"It couldn't have been me.

"Meet Evie, a young woman held captive by a man named Jim in the isolated New Zealand beach town of Maketu. Jim says he’s hiding Evie to protect her, that she did something terrible back home in Melbourne.

"In a house that creaks against the wind, Evie begins to piece together her fractured memories of the events that led her here.

"Jim says he’s keeping her safe. Evie’s not sure she can trust Jim, but can she trust her own memories?"

Source: Publisher's blurb.

2018 winner (Best First Novel) y separately published work icon All Our Secrets Jennifer Lane , New Zealand : Rose Mira Books , 2017 14452756 2017 single work novel crime

'The River Picnic was one of the biggest events that ever took place in Coongahoola, and even wilder than the street party the night Malcolm Fraser became Prime Minister. The adults spoke about it in whispers and only when they thought us kids were out of earshot. All I knew for sure, apart from the fact that Stu Bailey’s wife drowned that night in the Bagooli River, was that four times more babies than usual were born the following October and not all of them looked like their dads.

'A girl called Gracie.

'A small town called Coongahoola, with the dark Bagooli River running through it.

'The Bleeders — hundreds of ‘Believers’ who move in and set up on the banks of the river. Who start buying up the town, and winning souls.

'The River Children — born in the aftermath of the infamous River Picnic. They start to go missing, one after the other.

'Gracie Barrett, the naively savvy spokesperson for her chaotic family (promiscuous dad, angry mum, twins Lucky and Grub, Elijah the River Child and fervent, prayerful Grandma Bett), for the kids who are taken, for the lurking fear that locks down the town and puts everyone under suspicion.

'Gracie is funny and kind, bullied and anguished, and her life spirals out of control when she discovers she knows what no one else does: who is responsible.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.