previous winners

Now in its sixteenth year, the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award is considered the most coveted crime writing prize in the country, and one that receives substantial interest from authors, publishers, book sellers and fans of the genre in equal measures.

previous winners

Now in its sixteenth year, the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award is considered the most coveted crime writing prize in the country, and one that receives substantial interest from authors, publishers, book sellers and fans of the genre in equal measures.

2019 winner - Steve Cavanagh

Thirteen by Steve Cavanagh is the Lisburn author’s fifth book in the Eddie Flynn series of crime thrillers, serving up a delicious twist to the traditional courtroom thriller, where in this instance the real killer is not the one on trial, but a member of the jury!

Cavanagh was presented the award by title sponsor Simon Theakston at the event hosted by broadcaster Mark Lawson at the opening night of the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, staged by Harrogate International Festivals in the Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate.


He was one six shortlisted authors vying for the title from an original longlist of 18 crime novels, published by UK and Irish authors, available in paperback from May 1, 2018 to April 30, 2019.  He collected a £3,000 cash prize, as well as a handmade, engraved oak beer cask crafted by the coopers at Theakston’s Masham brewery.

The 2019 Award is supported by title sponsor T&R Theakston Ltd, WHSmith, and The Mail on Sunday.


The winner was decided by the panel of judges, comprising of literary and media figures chaired this year by Mari Hannah, alongside a public vote.

 

2019 winner - Steve Cavanagh

Thirteen by Steve Cavanagh is the Lisburn author’s fifth book in the Eddie Flynn series of crime thrillers, serving up a delicious twist to the traditional courtroom thriller, where in this instance the real killer is not the one on trial, but a member of the jury!

Cavanagh was presented the award by title sponsor Simon Theakston at the event hosted by broadcaster Mark Lawson at the opening night of the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, staged by Harrogate International Festivals in the Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate.


He was one six shortlisted authors vying for the title from an original longlist of 18 crime novels, published by UK and Irish authors, available in paperback from May 1, 2018 to April 30, 2019.  He collected a £3,000 cash prize, as well as a handmade, engraved oak beer cask crafted by the coopers at Theakston’s Masham brewery.

The 2019 Award is supported by title sponsor T&R Theakston Ltd, WHSmith, and The Mail on Sunday.


The winner was decided by the panel of judges, comprising of literary and media figures chaired this year by Mari Hannah, alongside a public vote.

 

OUTstanding CONTRIBUTION

The Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival Outstanding Contribution to Crime Fiction Award honours writers who have made a lasting and distinct impression on the genre over the span of their careers, and are often people who have provided inspiration for other great authors who have followed in their wake.

 

At the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in 2019 a special presentation was made to James Patterson – the winner of the tenth Theakston Old Peculier Outstanding Contribution to Crime Fiction Award, whose books have sold in excess of 300 million copies and has been the most-borrowed author of adult fiction in UK libraries for the past 11 years in a row.

OUTstanding CONTRIBUTION

The Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival Outstanding Contribution to Crime Fiction Award honours writers who have made a lasting and distinct impression on the genre over the span of their careers, and are often people who have provided inspiration for other great authors who have followed in their wake.

 

At the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in 2019 a special presentation was made to James Patterson – the winner of the tenth Theakston Old Peculier Outstanding Contribution to Crime Fiction Award, whose books have sold in excess of 300 million copies and has been the most-borrowed author of adult fiction in UK libraries for the past 11 years in a row.

Dubbed the “Silence of the Lambs for the internet age” by author Stav Sherez, The Intrusions has been a critical success and was named by the Guardian and the Sunday Times among their books of the year for 2017.
The Intrusions, the third book in Sherez’s series based on fictional detectives Carrigan and Miller, is based on the threats of stalking, obsession and online intimidation, sparked when a young woman’s friend is abducted.
He was presented with the award and a £3,000 cash prize at the opening night of the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival 2018 in Harrogate, North Yorkshire.

Chris Brookmyre scooped the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award 2017 for Black Widow, a story of cyber-abuse, where ‘even the twists have twists’. It features Brookmyre’s long-time character, reporter Jack Parlabane. Scotland’s first minister, Nicola Sturgeon tweeted that she had been given the novel as an early Valentine’s Day present by her husband, declaring it ‘brilliant’.
Brookmyre was presented the award by title sponsor Simon Theakston and broadcaster Mark Lawson at the opening night of the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival. The annual Festival, hosted in Harrogate, is the world’s biggest celebration of the genre.
Chris beat off stiff competition from the shortlist of six, whittled down from a longlist of 18 crime novels published by British and Irish authors whose novels were published in paperback from 1 May 2016 to 30 April 2017.

Clare Mackintosh first thriller I Let You Go was one of the fastest selling titles of 2015 and became a Sunday Times bestseller and a Richard & Judy book club winner. Clare spent twelve years in the police force, including time on CID, and as a public order commander. She left the police in 2011 and now writes full time.  Praised widely for its astonishing twist, overseas rights have now sold in 30 countries.
Clare was presented the award by title sponsor Simon Theakston and broadcaster Mark Lawson at the opening night of the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival. The annual Festival, hosted in Harrogate, is the world’s biggest celebration of the genre.

Debut author Sarah Hilary has scooped the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award for Someone Else’s Skin.
Hilary was presented with the award by title sponsor Simon Theakston and broadcaster Mark Lawson at the opening night of the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival (16th July) in Harrogate.
She beat off stiff competition from a shortlist of six, whittled down from a longlist of 18 titles published by British and Irish authors over the last year.

Belinda Bauer has won the £3,000 Theakston Old Peculier crime novel of the year award with Rubbernecker. Speaking at the ceremony on the opening night of the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, Bauer said: “This is really unexpected, it feels like a very lucky accident to win this award when my fellow shortlisted authors seem so much smarter than me.”
Bauer’s fourth novel is the story of Patrick Fort, a medical student with Asperger syndrome who finds himself on the trail of a murder. Fort’s investigations are woven together with a man lying speechless and unable to move in the neurological ward who thinks he has witnessed a crime, and a nurse who’s more interested in getting rich than looking after her patients.
Judge Steve Mosby hailed the novel as an “extraordinary crime novel”.

Scottish author Denise Mina scooped the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award with her tenth book Gods and Beasts.
Defying the odds, Mina beat off stiff competition from a shortlist that included Stuart Neville, Stav Sharez, Mark Billingham, Peter May and Chris Ewan to win this coveted accolade for the second time.

Scottish author Denise Mina scooped the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award with her ninth book The End of the Wasp Season.
Beating off stiff competition from a shortlist that included SJ Watson’s smash hit debut Before I Go To Sleep; veteran crime writer John Connolly’s The Burning Soul; and Steve Mosby’s acclaimed Black Flowers; this is the first time that Mina has been awarded the coveted accolade.

In 2011 the congratulations went to Lee Child, who beat off competition to take home the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award on the opening night of the Festival. Child won for his Jack Reacher thriller 61 Hours.
Child beat off stiff competition from Mark Billingham, hoping to make this year his hat-trick win, as well 2010 Festival Chair, Stuart MacBride. It wasn’t to be Irish debut novelist William Ryan’s year either, and despite critical acclaim for The Anatomy of Ghosts by Andrew Taylor and Blood Harvest by SJ Bolton, Child emerged as a clear winner.

In 2010, R.J. Ellory scooped the award with his novel A Simple Act of Violence, beating off stiff competition from a shortlist that included genre giants Ian Rankin, Peter James and Mark Billingham.
Ellory was completely stunned upon hearing the news: “I don’t think anyone not in my shoes can understand the definition of speechless. I am utterly speechless. This has really taken me aback. I feel acknowledged for doing something different. Thank you, I’m grateful beyond words.”

In 2009, Mark Billingham’s novel Death Message beat strong competition to scoop this sought after prize on the opening night of the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival.
Mark repeated his success from 2005 when he won the very first Crime Novel of the Year award with LazyBones. In total over 5000 votes were cast by the general public in the online poll to decide the winner.
After the announcement Mark Billingham said, ‘To even be on the shortlist with such fantastic authors was amazing and then to win was absolutely amazing!’

In 2008, the debut novel of Stef Penney, The Tenderness of Wolves conquered crime writing stalwarts Simon Beckett, Mark Billingham, Christopher Brookmyre, Reginald Hill, Graham Hurley, Peter James, Simon Kernick, Stuart MacBride, Alexander McCall Smith, Peter Robinson and CJ Samson.
Stef Penney said of her win: “I feel a bit of a fraud as it is only my first book and I don’t really feel like a proper crime writer, but I am delighted to have won.”
The Tenderness of Wolves also won the Costa prize in 2006.

The 2007 Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year saw Allan Guthrie‘snovel, Two Way Split beat strong competition to scoop the sought after prize.
Allan Guthrie said of his win: “I am stunned, overwhelmed and very pleased. Thank you to everyone who had faith in the book and everyone who voted.”
He beat off strong competition including Stephen Booth, Christopher Brookmyre, Graham Hurley, Michael Jecks and Stuart MacBride.
The win was something of an inspiration for budding crime authors – Allan had faced hundreds of rejection slips before Two-Way Splitwas picked up by an independent press in America. Two-Way Splitwas then snatched up by Polygon and his fifth novel Slammer was published in 2009.

2006 saw a victorious Val McDermid when her novel The Torment of Others won the title. She beat Lindsay Ashford, Stephen Booth, Martin Edwards, Susan Hill and Ian Rankin. McDermid is one of the biggest names in crime fiction today. Her bestsellers have sold over an incredible ten million copies. The clinical psychologist Tony Hill who first appeared in her novel The Mermaids Singing became a household name with the ITV hit Wire in the Blood.
The win was a particularly special moment because of Val’s close association with the Festival. Of her win, Val said: “I was Programming Chair for the first three years of the Festival when it was just a twinkle in our eyes. I’ve been involved with the Festival from the very beginning and it feels very special to be honoured here because of the closeness of my involvement with it.”

The first winner of the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year in 2005 was Mark Billingham for his novel Lazy Bones. He pipped Simon Kernick, Val McDermid, Ian Rankin, Minette Walters, Andrew Taylor, Reginald Hill and Alexander McCall Smith to the post.
Mark was dubbed a ‘rising star’; his detective Tom Thorne series has since put him firmly in the crime writing hall of fame. Of his win at the time, Mark said: “I am absolutely delighted to be the winner of the first Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year … I am incredibly proud to have beaten so many great writers. I am really thrilled that so many people voted.”.

Dubbed the “Silence of the Lambs for the internet age” by author Stav Sherez , The Intrusions has been a critical success and was named by the Guardian and the Sunday Times among their books of the year for 2017.
The Intrusions, the third book in Sherez’s series based on fictional detectives Carrigan and Miller, is based on the threats of stalking, obsession and online intimidation, sparked when a young woman’s friend is abducted.
He was presented with the award and a £3,000 cash prize at the opening night of the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival 2018 in Harrogate, North Yorkshire.

Chris Brookmyre scooped the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award 2017 for Black Widow, a story of cyber-abuse, where ‘even the twists have twists’. It features Brookmyre’s long-time character, reporter Jack Parlabane. Scotland’s first minister, Nicola Sturgeon tweeted that she had been given the novel as an early Valentine’s Day present by her husband, declaring it ‘brilliant’.
Brookmyre was presented the award by title sponsor Simon Theakston and broadcaster Mark Lawson at the opening night of the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival. The annual Festival, hosted in Harrogate, is the world’s biggest celebration of the genre.
Chris beat off stiff competition from the shortlist of six, whittled down from a longlist of 18 crime novels published by British and Irish authors whose novels were published in paperback from 1 May 2016 to 30 April 2017.

Clare Mackintosh first thriller I Let You Go was one of the fastest selling titles of 2015 and became a Sunday Times bestseller and a Richard & Judy book club winner. Clare spent twelve years in the police force, including time on CID, and as a public order commander. She left the police in 2011 and now writes full time.  Praised widely for its astonishing twist, overseas rights have now sold in 30 countries.
Clare was presented the award by title sponsor Simon Theakston and broadcaster Mark Lawson at the opening night of the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival. The annual Festival, hosted in Harrogate, is the world’s biggest celebration of the genre.

Debut author Sarah Hilary has scooped the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award for Someone Else’s Skin.
Hilary was presented with the award by title sponsor Simon Theakston and broadcaster Mark Lawson at the opening night of the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival (16th July) in Harrogate.
She beat off stiff competition from a shortlist of six, whittled down from a longlist of 18 titles published by British and Irish authors over the last year.

Belinda Bauer has won the £3,000 Theakston Old Peculier crime novel of the year award with Rubbernecker. Speaking at the ceremony on the opening night of the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, Bauer said: “This is really unexpected, it feels like a very lucky accident to win this award when my fellow shortlisted authors seem so much smarter than me.”
Bauer’s fourth novel is the story of Patrick Fort, a medical student with Asperger syndrome who finds himself on the trail of a murder. Fort’s investigations are woven together with a man lying speechless and unable to move in the neurological ward who thinks he has witnessed a crime, and a nurse who’s more interested in getting rich than looking after her patients.
Judge Steve Mosby hailed the novel as an “extraordinary crime novel”.

Scottish author Denise Mina scooped the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award with her tenth book Gods and Beasts.
Defying the odds, Mina beat off stiff competition from a shortlist that included Stuart Neville, Stav Sharez, Mark Billingham, Peter May and Chris Ewan to win this coveted accolade for the second time.

Scottish author Denise Mina scooped the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award with her ninth book The End of the Wasp Season.
Beating off stiff competition from a shortlist that included SJ Watson’s smash hit debut Before I Go To Sleep; veteran crime writer John Connolly’s The Burning Soul; and Steve Mosby’s acclaimed Black Flowers; this is the first time that Mina has been awarded the coveted accolade.

In 2011 the congratulations went to Lee Child, who beat off competition to take home the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award on the opening night of the Festival. Child won for his Jack Reacher thriller 61 Hours.
Child beat off stiff competition from Mark Billingham, hoping to make this year his hat-trick win, as well 2010 Festival Chair, Stuart MacBride. It wasn’t to be Irish debut novelist William Ryan’s year either, and despite critical acclaim for The Anatomy of Ghosts by Andrew Taylor and Blood Harvest by SJ Bolton, Child emerged as a clear winner.

In 2010, R.J. Ellory scooped the award with his novel A Simple Act of Violence, beating off stiff competition from a shortlist that included genre giants Ian Rankin, Peter James and Mark Billingham.
Ellory was completely stunned upon hearing the news: “I don’t think anyone not in my shoes can understand the definition of speechless. I am utterly speechless. This has really taken me aback. I feel acknowledged for doing something different. Thank you, I’m grateful beyond words.”

In 2009, Mark Billingham’s novel Death Message beat strong competition to scoop this sought after prize on the opening night of the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival.
Mark repeated his success from 2005 when he won the very first Crime Novel of the Year award with LazyBones. In total over 5000 votes were cast by the general public in the online poll to decide the winner.
After the announcement Mark Billingham said, ‘To even be on the shortlist with such fantastic authors was amazing and then to win was absolutely amazing!’

In 2008, the debut novel of Stef Penney, The Tenderness of Wolves conquered crime writing stalwarts Simon Beckett, Mark Billingham, Christopher Brookmyre, Reginald Hill, Graham Hurley, Peter James, Simon Kernick, Stuart MacBride, Alexander McCall Smith, Peter Robinson and CJ Samson.
Stef Penney said of her win: “I feel a bit of a fraud as it is only my first book and I don’t really feel like a proper crime writer, but I am delighted to have won.”
The Tenderness of Wolves also won the Costa prize in 2006.

The 2007 Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year saw Allan Guthrie‘snovel, Two Way Split beat strong competition to scoop the sought after prize.
Allan Guthrie said of his win: “I am stunned, overwhelmed and very pleased. Thank you to everyone who had faith in the book and everyone who voted.”
He beat off strong competition including Stephen Booth, Christopher Brookmyre, Graham Hurley, Michael Jecks and Stuart MacBride.
The win was something of an inspiration for budding crime authors – Allan had faced hundreds of rejection slips before Two-Way Splitwas picked up by an independent press in America. Two-Way Splitwas then snatched up by Polygon and his fifth novel Slammer was published in 2009.

2006 saw a victorious Val McDermid when her novel The Torment of Others won the title. She beat Lindsay Ashford, Stephen Booth, Martin Edwards, Susan Hill and Ian Rankin. McDermid is one of the biggest names in crime fiction today. Her bestsellers have sold over an incredible ten million copies. The clinical psychologist Tony Hill who first appeared in her novel The Mermaids Singing became a household name with the ITV hit Wire in the Blood.
The win was a particularly special moment because of Val’s close association with the Festival. Of her win, Val said: “I was Programming Chair for the first three years of the Festival when it was just a twinkle in our eyes. I’ve been involved with the Festival from the very beginning and it feels very special to be honoured here because of the closeness of my involvement with it.”

The first winner of the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year in 2005 was Mark Billingham for his novel Lazy Bones. He pipped Simon Kernick, Val McDermid, Ian Rankin, Minette Walters, Andrew Taylor, Reginald Hill and Alexander McCall Smith to the post.
Mark was dubbed a ‘rising star’; his detective Tom Thorne series has since put him firmly in the crime writing hall of fame. Of his win at the time, Mark said: “I am absolutely delighted to be the winner of the first Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year … I am incredibly proud to have beaten so many great writers. I am really thrilled that so many people voted.”.