- he is a Christchurch local; what could be more appropriate for a prize named after Christchurch’s own Queen of Crime?
- his books have sold over a million copies worldwide and have been translated in several languages;
- he is the first author to have won the gong twice. He first won in 2011 for his book Blood Men and has been shortlisted every year since;
- he has the perfect name for a crime writer. Proof? Check out the title of the post on the Kiwi Crime Watch blog: “Contenders get Cleave-d in historic Ngaio Marsh victory“.
Yet, interestingly, Cleave was apparently surprised to win and has been reported as having said in his acceptance speech that New Zealanders hold Kiwi writers to a higher standard than they do international authors.
As a lily-livered reader of only the coziest of mysteries (Mma Ramotswe of the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency is my Goldilocks measure), I have not been brave enough to sample any of Cleave’s nine novels. Therefore I would really love to hear your opinions. Do you think that Kiwi crime writing, and Cleave’s specifically, is on a par with the best in the field internationally? What attracts you or puts you off reading New Zealand crime novels?
Previous winners of the Ngaio Marsh Award:
- Search our catalogue for more books by Paul Cleave
- Read our 2008 interview with Paul Cleave
- Check out our Ngaio Marsh Award page to see previous winners and finalists
- Browse the Ngaio Marsh Award Facebook page and Twitter account for more details and photos of this year’s Award ceremony